Sunday, February 28, 2010

festgrrl: Keel Family Function

festgrrl: Keel Family Function

Keel Family Function

Photo: Larry Keel and Jenny Keel at String Break 2009

I'm a big fan of the musical tastes of Georgia promoter T-Dawg. He's putting on the Keel Family Function (named for flat-picking phenom Larry Keel.) It happens April 2-3 at Dawg's Cherokee Farms, which is in Georgia up near Chattanooga, Tennessee. I've heard is a fabulous, intimate farm where strings masters get down. The ridiculously cheap early bird ticket price of  $35 ends tonight, then it goes up to $50.

Here's a look at the lineup:


** EYE OF THE DAWG SHOWCASE on Saturday afternoon, 4/3! Featuring Jeff Sipe on drums with Col. Bruce Hampton, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Larry Keel, Donna Hopkins, Josh Phillips, Michael Tolcher, Bobby Miller, Ralph Roddenbery, Caroline Pond, Scott Mecredy, Grayson Capps, Erin Zindle, and some surprises.

** PEPPERLAND KIDS JAM w/ Donna Hopkins, Caroline Pond & Erin Zindle, accompanied by a surprise group of musicians!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

festgrrl: Suwannee Springfest Lineup Announced!

festgrrl: Suwannee Springfest Lineup Announced!

Suwannee Springfest Lineup Announced!

Suwannee Springfest at the Spirit of the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fl. has released its full lineup, and it is a tasty mix of top-notch singer-songwriters and progressive newgrass that'll make a fine weekend indeed. The fest happens March 25 -28. You can get tickets here.

Frenzied, fun, fantastic Slamgrass  troubadours Leftover Salmon headline. Cajun-bluegrass-jam rockers Donna The Buffalo, punkgrass Tornado Rider, high-energy Scythian, ridiculously talented Dread Clampitt and  the new Nashville band 18 South (with killer guitarist Guthrie Trapp), members of The Duhks, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band  and the Mosier Brothers will keep it stepping.

The roster of singer-songwriters is impressive.  Jonathan Edwards hits Suwannee for the first time. Also  Robert Earl Keen,  bring tears-to-your-eyes Verlon Thompson, Joe Craven, Jim Lauderdale, Roy Book Binder, Grant Peeples arnd the New 76ers, Peter Rowan, and Gatorbone Trio.

Also new to Springfest this year is Ruthie Foster, who was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for her record “The Truth According To Ruthie Foster.”

You can't beat the camping at this beautiful park and the crowd is just beautiful!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Four Good Shows in Tallahassee This Weekend

Grayton Beach's Newgrass pickers Dread Clampitt play at the new Stinky's Fish Camp on Highway 90, which is located in a strip mall east of Capital Circle that used to house the Tallahassee Car Museum (how Floridian is that, directions based on what USED to be there -- a truism my friend noticed is that every direction given in the South includes "where the Winn Dixie used to be")

Anyway, Stinky's is at 6725 Mahan Drive, in the old site of the Rose and Thorn pub. Show starts at 9 or 10.Dread Clampiptt will be playing next month at Suwannee Springfest in Live Oak.

Gainesville Afro-beat awesome band 3rd Stone plays at The Engine Room Saturday night as well.These guys  play Bear Creek Music and Art Festival and the Farm to Family Full Moon festivals outside Gainesville. You can get a taste of their sound at their website. 

Folk-rock experimental  band Akron/Family, with its soaring harmonies and otherworldly sound, plays at  9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Club Downunder, in the FSU Student Union. Warpaint opens. Tickets are $12 general public and free for FSU students with valid ID. For more, visit

Finally, reggae supergroup John Brown's Body plays the Engine Room Sunday night, doors open at 9. The bill also includes Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and Tomorrow's Bad Seeds. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of show.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Southern Exposure Festival

(Photograph of Stetson Kennedy by Ivy Bigbee)

The Southern Exposure Festival will happen on the St. Johns River Sunday, March 14 at the improbably named Alpine Groves Park in Switzerland, Fla. My friend Anne Feeney, the great activist labor singer, will globe trot our way to play this little Florida fest.

Stetson Kennedy, a famous Florida author and human rights activist (he once went under-hood to expose the Ku Klux Klan), will host the event, which happens on 54 beautiful acres next to the St. Johns River.

The promoters say: "This event is a momentous part of folk history as it reunites Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, the Guthrie Family and Stetson Kennedy for what could be their last reunion performance. Other artists include Lonesome Bert & the Skinny Lizards, Frank Thomas, Alvah Allen, Willie Green, Shorty Robbins and Anne Feeney."

They say there's a barn dance, old Florida vendors, and story tellers. Proceeds benefit the Stetson Kennedy Foundation. Tickets are only $15 and kids under 12 are free. Now that's a bargain.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gamble Rogers Folk Festival

The Gamble Rogers Folk Festival happens April 30-May 2. In years past, it has been at the St. Augustine Farigrounds. This year, performances will be scattered around venues in historic Old St. Augustine.

Headliners are Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Loudon Wainwright III, John Cowan Band, Pierce Pettis, Janis Ian, Greg Brown, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Michael Johnathon, Michael Smith, Ellis Paul, Mark Erelli, Danny Schmidt, Pieta Brown, Doug & Telisha Williams, Cheryl Wheeler, The Farewell Drifters, Sam Pacetti, Antje Duvekot and David Wilcox.

The venues are all pretty nice (although some are very small) They'll have shows at the Government House, the De Mesa Yard, Mill Top Tavern, Tradewinds Tropical Lounge, the Lightner Museum Pool, and the Flagler College Auditorium. 

You'll have to camp a few miles away across the bridge at Anastasia Island, which is a gorgeous state park. They will offer a shuttle between the park and downtown. A camping spot for the weekend is $80 and will hold one RV, 2 tents, and four people. There are a few private campgrounds in the area as well.

Personally, I think a fest loses much of its mojo when you can't camp at the fest itself. But this fest hooked up with the cultural arts folks in St. Augustine, and they wanted to drive traffic to downtown businesses. Old St. Augustine is beautiful and fun in any case.

The ticket prices go for $59.50 for the weekend, and you have to choose between two Saturday night shows when you buy your ticket - Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys or Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis and Janis Ian. In other words, your weekend ticket will only get you into one of those shows - not both.

I am a  fan of Sam Pacetti, who isn't a headliner but is definitely worth seeing, especially for his fingerpicking skills (Check out the instrumenntal track 'Brian's Rapier' on his Myspace page.) Also, Pierce Pettis once lived in Tallahassee and put on many memorable shows with his profound songwriting skills and buttery voice before he hit nationally.

If you don't know the history, Gamble Rogers was a treasured singer-songwriter-storyteller who tragically drowned in 1991 while trying to rescue a drowning swimmer off Flagler Beach.The festival is in its 15th year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

George Clinton Jr. Dies In Talllahassee

Condoloences are in order for funkateer George Clinton. is 50-year-old son was found dead in Clinton's Tallahassee home. It was ruled natural causes. George Clinton's mom also recently passed, so that's two deaths in the P-Funk family. More here

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bonaroo lineup announced today

The folks at Bonnaroo festival amped up the anticipation factor today by releasing their lineup in phases over the day. Here is what's been announced so far:

The Avett Brothers

The Flaming Lips with Stardeath and White Dwarfs perform “Dark Side of the Moon”


Medeski Martin and Wood

John Fogerty

Cross Canadian Ragweed

Ingrid Michaelson


The xx

Regina Spektor

Mayer Hawthorne & the County


Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers

Norah Jones



Monte Montgomery


Punch Brothers

Thievery Corporation


She & Him

Jimmy Cliff

Tokyo Police Club

Kid Cudi


Dr. Dog

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Acts Announced for Bear Creek!

They just keep making that lineup better and better for Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park Nov. 12-14!  Tickets are still just $99 until February 17. There's just no excuse not to buy early at that price. Here are the additions to the (already funkalicious) lineup:

Maceo Parker Band

The New Deal

The New Mastersounds x 2

Perpetual Groove x 2

The Everyone Orchestra

Elliot Lipp

Alex B

Brock Butler

Josh Phillips Folk Festival


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Furthur Orlando show

Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and their band Furthur laid it down at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando. It was strange being in the Universal Studios theme park for a Dead show, to say the least. Shakedown Street meets the Mall of America.

But once you got inside the venue-- wow!!! Most intimate Dead show I've ever seen.The hall held 3,000 people and the show was sold out.  Magical.

Here is the setlist for the Orlando show:

Saturday Night>Bertha

Race Is On

Must Have Been the Roses


Rueben and Cherise>Deep Elem Blues>Deal

After Midnight>Next Time You See Me


Cryptical (Dark Tease)>Wharf Rat>Spanish Jam>Other One (Uncle John Tease)


Going Down the Road

Bid You Good Night

Encore: US Blues>Touch of Grey

Here is the setlist from the Miami show:

Furthur Setlist

Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Joe Russo, John Kadlecik, Jay Lane, Jeff Chimenti


Bayfront Park Ampitheatre

Miami, FL

Set 1:

Born Cross Eyed >

The Music Never Stopped

Ramble On Rose

Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion

Dear Mr Fantasy >

On The Road Again >

Franklins Tower

Set 2:

Throwing Stones

Viola Lee Blues

Going Down the Road Feeling Bad Jam >

Mason’s Children >

Viola Lee Blues >

Good Lovin

Lady with a Fan

Terrapin Station

Shakedown Street

China Cat Sunflower >

I Know You Rider



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ringo Starr Will tour Florida This Summer!

How cool is this? A Beatle is coming to North Florida!

 Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band will play three dates in Florida this summer, and one date in Atlanta's Chastain Park (7/10.)

He'll play Ruth Eckerd Hall in St. Pete July 13, the Hard Rock Arena in Hollywood July 15, and the St. Augustine Ampitheatre on July 17. tickets for the St. Augustine show go on sale Feb. 12 .

The St. Augustine ampitheatre is a great, smallish, covered outdoor venue, and you can camp in Anastasia State Park next door and walk to the show. Ringo Starr! I love it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Congrats, Derek Trucks!

North Florida fest faves the Derek Trucks Band won their first Grammy award! The album "Already Free" took home the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Longtime Derek fans know he's been shredding like he was ... well, born into it :)... since he was a tyke.

The photo above, by Bob Pollock,  shows Derek Trucks sitting in with Lettuce at the 2009 Bear Creek Music & Art Festival, photo by Bob Pollock.

It's interesting to note that Derek Trucks' wife, Susan Tedeschi, was nominated for a Grammy in the same category, for her album "Back To The River."

Congrats, and looking forward to hearing these talented folks at Wanee Festival at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in April.! There's nothing like the sound of Tedeschi's smoky powerful voice wafting through the Live Oaks during the late night sets. Yes!