Monday, November 25, 2013

Festing For The Holidays: Home Town Rally

The very fine jamband, Cope

A group of super-fun Central Florida musicians are kicking off the new year right with a little down-home fest called the Home Team New Year's Rally  December 26-29 at Maddox Ranch outside Lakeland. This will be a lovely time with kind folks.

Tickets are $65 advanced, $80 at the gate. The bands playing are:

The Applebutter Express, COPE, Green Sunshine, High Cotton, Funky Seeds, Uncle Johns Band, Come Back Alice, Between Bluffs, Juanjamon Band, Honey Henny Lime, Holey Miss Moley, Shoeless Soul, Displace, Free Range Roosters, Charlie Dandilion, Savi Fernandez, The Stick Martin Show, BlessEd, Seratonic, Sunset Bridge, Legacy, Ghost Country Revival, Alex Foster, John Clark Band, Jeff Caruth and Btru, Josh We Know, Ramble Grass, Jeremy Willis, Brass Legacy, and an ALLSTAR Jam Sunday night!

Many of these bands are part of the excellent Orange Blossom Jamboree which happens in May at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, outside Tampa. 

Comeback Alice
Here's more about the Home Team New Year's Rally  from the promoters:

If you’re unable to make it for the entire weekend, Saturday/Sunday (2 day) tickets can be purchased at the gate for $60. And Sunday will be the only day we offer a day pass at $30. Also, camping until Monday is allowed, because Sunday will be just as funktastic as every other day! Primitive camping is included with the tickets purchase.
Maddox Ranch

• On that note…this is a KID FRIENDLY event, and children 12 and under get in FREE! Kids 17 and under MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian.**
• Since this event is not ACTUALLY on New Year’s Eve, we’ll have a mock New Years celebration on Saturday night, count down and all!! It’s so fun to do what we want, honestly though.
• **VERY IMPORTANT** NO DOGS ALLOWED. The wonderful people at Maddox Ranch are kind enough to allow us to host our event on their property, and we respectfully oblige to their few requests. Thank you in advance for understanding and obeying
• No electricity is provided, but generators are welcome!
• RV’s and campers are allowed
• Designated parking areas will be scattered throughout the property to allow you to park near your campsite, just not on top of it…you know, for space and camp fung shui reasons.
• Raised or confined fire pits ONLY! Firewood will be available for purchase on site at the event.
• Port-o-potties provided, as well as outdoor showers.
• NO FIREWORKS! We wanna melt the place down with the our music, not our pyrotechnics, that being said, fire hoopers and fire poi’s welcome-cause that’s just really cool to watch.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bear Creek Music & Art Festival Once Again Tops The Fest Charts

The photo festgrrl came to take -- It's Bootsy Baby!
What a weekend! True to form, the bacchanalia that is Bear Creek Music & Art Festival brought some of the finest in funk music to our little corner of the North Florida woods Nov. 14-16, plus world-beat, hip hop (The Roots headlined the packed ampitheater Saturday night,) and electronica. Bear Creek was studded with many one-of-a-kind collaborations, which have have become a welcome hallmark of this most excellent music festival.

Ian Neville rages the Sunday Dumpstaphunk show
A ridiculous panoply of funk talent was on display at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fl.:

 Boston power instrumental funk band Lettuce; Connecticut's blow-your-mind funk/jazz improv masters Kung Fu; The New Mastersounds, bringing their sound to us all the way from England; one-man band soul man Zach Deputy, who put a stage together on a borrowed trailer by the cypress lake and rocked a late-night pop-up show until the park shut it down; San Francisco's psychedelic soul-funksters Monophonics, Boulder, Colorado's hellaciously danceable The Motet;  and a welcome parade of New Orleans' powerhouses:  Galactic,  Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, George Porter Jr. and the Runnin' Pardners, and new NOLA supergroup, The Nth Power.

For funkateers, the star of the hour, with his star-shaped guitar, was, of course, the great Bootsy Collins and his awesome Funk Unity Band.  So, if you don’t like Bootsy Collins, I’m sorry, but I’m just never going to understand you.Those glitter suits! That star-shaped guitar! Those GLASSES!

Life is for living, and Bootsy – who used to be known in his younger days for wearing nothing but a diaper onstage when he thwacked the bass with Parliament Funkadelic – is LIVING.

I was beside myself waiting for Bootsy to take the stage. But first, his giant crew of singers and players came on wearing… ASTRONAUT SUITS! Yes!

They stood at attention while everyone waited for Bootsy to appear...

And then he and his funkateers gave a convivial funk performance befitting his status as a Funk Elder to us all, including Vegas-style hot dancing girls, a graphic, sexy-time sl-o-o-o-w song, and Bootsy making a dramatic foray right through the parted crowd ("So you can TOUCH Bootsy!") Ridiculous and fantastic.

As is often the case, festgrrl got the opportunity to see some bands which were new to her, and that was a blast. Particularly The Resolvers, a 10-piece powerhouse reggae band out of Miami. This show, on the campground stage Saturday afternoon, was one I was very, very happy I did not miss.

Just check out these pics:

Conga line
Dance contest
I had never seen New Orleans' entertaining and unusual Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes before, and wow they had style and killer chops. Their quirky cover of Tina Turner's 'What's Love Got to Do With It" was a crowd favorite.
Cool electric cello - Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes

Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes
 Latin funk band Brownout from Austin, Texas turned in two very impressive sets. I liked them so much the first time, I went to see them again.
Brownout on the Purple Hat stage

Brownout's Aaron Johnson
The show by Brooklyn afrobeat band Antibalas was widely cited by Bear Creekers as one of the best shows of the weekend. With 11 people working hard on that colorful stage, Antibalas absolutely killed it with a mesmerizing, high-energy show. The band follows the tradition of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, they did Kuti proud -- and then some.

Antibalas horns
MVP badges for sit-ins ought to go out to trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, guitarist Nick Cassarino, lap-steelman Roosevelt Collier, keyboardist Bernie Worrell and bass legend George Porter, Jr.
Jennifer Hartswick

Roosevelt Collier jams with Latin funk band Suenalo

Funk pioneer George Porter, Jr. (The Meters) sat in all over the place

Nick Cassarino
Former Ohio Players trumpeter Ron Haynes brought his band The Gamechangers from Chicago for their first-ever gig at Bear Creek. I mean their first time playing in public as a band at all. Very, very impressive funky jazz.

Haynes told the crowd that, like most first-time Bear Creekers, he hoped to be back next year.

Ron, we hear you on that! Bear Creek next year!

Ron Haynes And The Gamechangers

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Look! Are You One of These Cool People of Bear Creek?

One of the reasons festgrrl loves Bear Creek Music & Art Festival so much is that it's full of extraordinarily enthusiastic festers, who fill Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Fl. with spectacle after spectacle. Gathering together, dancing, putting on regalia -- it's one of the oldest facets of tribal community and it makes us FEEL GOOD.

Check out these lovelies from the just-finished Bear Creek 2013 -- which, as you will see,  included a Purple Day.

Are you in here?