News

Lettuce Announces Fall Tour Dates June 27, 2017 13:26

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Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
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While the funk pioneers known as Lettuce are mainly making festival appearances this summer, the band has just announced a handful of fall tour dates that will put them on the road for most of September. The tour kicks off at The Underground in Charlotte on September 8th, and continues with stops in Richmond (VA), Greensboro (NC), Pittsburgh (PA), and Burlington (VT) before making an appearance at Canada's Harvest Festival in Fredricton. The second half of the tour includes stops in Canton (MA), Buffalo (NY), Little Rock (AR), Tulsa (OK), Dallas (TX), and a festival spot at Eutopia Fest in Eutopia (TX) to close out the run. See the graphic below for more specifics, and make sure to check the band's official website and Facebook page for all of the latest details.
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Watch Lettuce perform "Sounds Like A Party" at Summer Camp 2016 here:
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Looking Back On An Amazing Weekend At Fool's Paradise April 10, 2017 14:19

Words & Photos by Amanda Franklin

Last weekend, funk fanatics and groove chasers gathered at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre to celebrate another weekend of incredible music at Fool’s Paradise.  The weather was immaculate, spirits were high, and the music, to no surprise, was spot-on.

Friday highlights included Manic Science supplying a funk-heavy electronic set, Lettuce supplying the sunset vibes, and JRAD bringing the absolute heat and Tom Hamilton closing off the night with some raging riffs.  The crowd echoed throughout the amphitheater as everyone joined in belting "Brown Eyed Woman" along with Scott Metzger and Hamilton.  Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti carried the 10+ minute jam as the band traversed between the mellow melody and high-energy playing.  Fans screamed in support as the guitarists mercilessly shredded and everyone in the crowd that night could agree, we wished “the music never stopped.”

The next day, The Main Squeeze it up a Saturday night fever by kicking off the day’s lineup.  The Floozies laid down the funk with a practically flawless show and thrilled the crowd by bringing out The Shady Horns for a portion of their set.  However, Lettuce’s closing set that night stole the weekend.  They began by immersing the crowd in smooth, psychedelic jams that highlighted the band’s incredible flow and cohesiveness.  The energy increased and Lettuce played perfectly to the people of St. Augustine with rich reggae undertones and an Exodus cover.  Antwaun Stanley joined the band for a cover of Vulfpeck’s "Funky Duck," which was an outright dance party in every sense of the word.

Even though attendance was slightly lower compared to last year, Fool’s Paradise proved again that they are a festival force to be reckoned with and drove home the fact that we’ll never miss this weekend as long as it’s put on.  Fool’s has everything you could ever want in a fest—a gorgeous venue, incredible crowd, stellar staff, unbeatable vibes, and sounds supplied by funk’s finest.  Honestly, what more could you ask for?

Watch complete footage of Joe Russo's Almost Dead's set here:

 


Watch Lettuce Perform "Last Suppit" On Jam Cruise 15 March 22, 2017 00:48

Photo by Keith Griner: Phierce Photo 

While it has been nearly two months since the madness of Jam Cruise 15, attendees and music fans alike are still buzzing about the wildly popular annual event.  While jam pioneers such as The Meters, moe., and Galactic sat atop of this year's lineup, New York's favorite funk act, Lettuce, was responsible for two of the hottest sets on the boat.  Fortunately, TourGigs was hand to capture and share so much of this year's magic.  JamCruise has just recently released HD footage of Lettuce performing "Last Suppit" from the band's set on the Pool Deck, which can be watched in full below.  This is expected to be the first release of a weekly video series from Jam Cruise, so stay tuned as more amazing footage from this year's event surfaces via TourGigs!

Watch Lettuce perform "Last Suppit" on Jam Cruise 15 here:

Lettuce is Adam Deitch (drums), Jesus Coomes (bass), Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (guitar), Neal Evans (keys), Nigel Hall (keys, vocals) and The Shady Horns: saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom.  You can catch another monster weekend of Lettuce next weekend at the second annual Fool's Paradise in St. Augustine, FL alongside Joe Russo's Almost Dead, The Floozies, The Motet, a special Manic Science set featuring Manic Focus and Break Science, The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman, along with Oteil Burbridge and Antwaun Stanley as Artists at Large.  Click here for further details.


Fool's Paradise Releases Complete Weekend Schedue March 17, 2017 09:31



Photos by Keith Griner: Phierce Photo

Fool’s Paradise is just around the corner! We’re gearing up for a weekend with Lettuce x2, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (with Jeff Chimenti), The Floozies, The Motet, Manic Science (Manic Focus x Break Science), The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman, and Oteil Burbridge & Antwaun Stanley as artists-at-large. On March 31 & April 1, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre will transform into a funk-fueled dance party – with so many surprises in store. 
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In addition to the main lineup, a number of late night shows will be hosted by some of the most talented musicians in the industry! On Friday, March 31, there will be performances from Jaw GemsEric Krasno Band, and the “Infinity Jam” hosted by Eric Krasno and Oteil Burbridge. On Saturday, April 1stDumpstaphunk will bring their unique brand of down-and-dirty New Orleans funk to the Elk’s Lodge for a very special late night set, their only performance at Fool’s Paradise. After Dumpstaphunk finishes up, they’ll join forces with members of Lettuce to form this year’s “Fools For Funk” super group.

There’s more to look forward to than just musical adventures. Fool’s Paradise is also offering exciting Florida excursions with your favorite artists! Whether it’s mini-golf with Lettuce’s Jesus Coomes, The Motet’s Lyle Divinsky, and Vulfpeck’s Antwaun Stanley, or ping-pong tournament with Adam Deitch and Adam Smirnoff, or a sailing adventure and DJ set at sea with Ryan Zoidis and Eric “Benny” Bloom, you’ll be rocking your Saturday alongside the best.

There will also be music at the Elk's Lodge on Saturday afternoon, from 1PM-4PM with performances from AjevaThe Groove Orient, and Ben Strok & The Full Electric. More information can be found here.

With so much to choose from, St. Augustine will be crawling with adventurous opportunities. The oldest city in the United States and fabled home to the Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine’s unique scenery and historical presence sets the city apart from any other in the country. With over 42 miles of beaches, incredible restaurants and bars, jetskiing, kayaking, fort tours, parasailing, and its own distillery, attendees will have plenty to explore.

For more information on VIP packages, hotel packages, camping options, or other recommendations, click here. See you at Fool’s Paradise!

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Check out the official 2016 Fool's Paradise aftermovie here:
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Fool's Paradise Adds The Motet, Antwaun Stanley, And Much More February 03, 2017 01:00

Photos by Keith Griner: Phierce Photo by Keith G

The forecast for the upcoming Fool’s Paradise just got a little sunnier with some very exciting lineup additions and late-night announcements. In addition to the previously announced lineup, the Florida destination event has added funk/dance powerhouse The Motet to the bill, and announced frequent Vulfpeck vocal collaborator Antwaun Stanley as an Artist-At-Large.

On Friday March 31st, Lettuce will kick off their first night with premier Grateful Dead tribute band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a special Manic Science set featuring Manic Focus & Break Science, LA-based groove masters Organ Freeman, along with Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge and Antwaun Stanley as Artists-At-Large.

On Saturday April 1st, Lettuce will close the celebration with electro-funk duo The Floozies, The Motet, and contemporary funk ragers The Main Squeeze, with Antwaun Stanley as an Artist-At-Large.

Fans can expect various cross-collaborations by the artists in attendance.

When the music at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre comes to an end each day, fans will have the option of continuing over to the Elk’s Lodge for additional late night after shows. The intimate venue will host a series of separately ticketed shows from Jaw Gems, Eric Krasno Band, and the “Infinity Jam” hosted by Eric Krasno and Oteil Burbridge onFriday, March 31st along with performances by Dumpstaphunk and the “Fools For Funk” featuring members of Lettuce, Dumpstaphunk, and more on Saturday, April 1st.

St. Augustine is roughly one hour from Jacksonville, one hour from Gainesville, and two hours from Orlando. The oldest city in the United States and fabled home to theFountain of Youth, St. Augustine’s unique scenery and historical presence sets the city apart from any other in the country. With over 42 miles of beaches, incredible restaurants and bars, oceanic activities, and historical adventures galore, attendees will have plenty to explore during their stay. Stay tuned for artist excursion announcements coming soon!

Brought to you by Lettuce, Purple Hat Productions, Live for Live Music, and Silver Wrapper, Fool’s Paradise is set to return to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre for the second year in a row. The state-of-the-art performing arts venue is nestled in a beautiful 16-acre section of Anastasia State Park. Campgrounds and beach shores make up this perfect Florida landscape.

The entire venue is General Admission, with the exception of minimal reserved seating. VIP packages will include reserved seating in front of the soundboard, priority access to the pit area, artist happy hour, discount alcoholic beverages, event poster and t-shirt. Hotel/Camping packages include lodging, transportation, VIP tickets to the event, and late-night tickets.

If guests are craving the ultimate outdoor experience, there are two nearby campsites with availabilities at Anastasia State Park and KOA Campgrounds. The city also offers a variety of lodging options.

Tickets for two-day passes are currently on sale, with single day and late night tickets going on sale this Friday, February 3 at 10am ET! For more information, visit www.FoolsParadiseFL.com

 


Fool’s Paradise Lineup:

Friday 3/31:
Lettuce
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
Manic Science (Manic Focus x Break Science)
Organ Freeman
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Saturday 4/1:
Lettuce
The Motet
The Floozies
The Main Squeeze

Artists At Large:
Oteil Burbridge
Antwaun Stanley

Friday 3/31 Late Night:
Jaw Gems
Eric Krasno Band
Infinity Jam (Eric Krasno & Oteil Burbridge plus special guests)

Saturday 4/1 Late Night:
Dumpstaphunk
Fools For Funk (Members of Lettuce, Dumpstaphunk & more)

Watch the official 2016 Fool's Paradise recap video here:
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SweetWater 420 Fest Releases Final Lineup For 2017 January 18, 2017 20:07

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SweetWater 420 Festival has added 30+ performers to it's already stacked lineup, and fans of the jam scene have every reason to rejoice.  Joining previously announced headliners Trey Anastasio, Widespread Panic, Ween, Slightly Stoopid, and Dirty Heads will be moe., Talib Kweli, Dopapod, Twiddle, Jackie Greene, Anders OsborneThe Werks, Break ScienceSunSquabi, The Hip AbductionStop Light Observations, BIG SomethingCBDBFunk YouVoodoo Visionary, and many others. Previously announced performers include Dark Star OrchestraAnders Osborne, Lettuce, The festival also unveiled a comedy lineup that includes former SNL cast member Jon Rudnitsky as well as Jake Nordwind, Joe Pettis and others.

Headliners Widespread Panic will perform two nights of the festival for a total of four sets throughout the weekend, while Anastasio will perform two sets with his solo band. Sweetwater 420 Fest will kick off April 21-23 in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Watch the official 2017 lineup announcement video here:


Fool's Paradise Announces 2017 Lineup January 17, 2017 12:33

Photo by Keith Griner: Phierce Photo by Keith G

On March 31 & April 1, Lettuce, Purple Hat Productions, Live for Live Music, andSilver Wrapper will host the 2nd annual Fool’s Paradise, a funk-fueled destination event taking place in the heart of one of America's most historic cities: St. Augustine, Fla. Returning to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, the two-day extravaganza will feature two explosive sets from New York funk masters Lettuce, along with premier Grateful Dead tribute band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, electro-funk duo The Floozies, a special Manic Science set featuring Manic Focus & Break Science, contemporary funk ragers The Main Squeeze, LA-based groove masters Organ Freeman, and Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge as an Artist at Large. Additional special guests will be announced soon, and several cross-collaborations amongst bands are to be expected.

With music as the main attraction, Fool’s Paradise is a premier destination event like no other. For two days under the Florida sun, there will be genre-bending music, artist-led excursions, and plenty of time for nautical activities just steps away from the ocean. A number of late night shows at the Elk’s Lodge (next door to the venue) will be announced in the coming weeks. Once in a lifetime artist-led excursions will also soon be announced, allowing you to embark on a water adventure, participate in a local activity, and immerse yourself with some of your favorite musicians in an intimate setting.

Thrown in conjunction with the organizers of some of the Southeast’s most treasured festivals, including Suwannee Hulaween, Purple Hatter’s Ball, and more, Fool’s Paradise is set to return to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The state-of-the-art performing arts venue is nestled in a beautiful 16-acre section of Anastasia State Park. Campgrounds and beach shores make up this perfect Florida landscape.

St. Augustine is roughly one hour from Jacksonville, one hour from Gainesville, andtwo hours from Orlando. The oldest city in the United States and fabled home to the Fountain of Youth, St. Augustine’s unique scenery and historical presence sets the city apart from any other in the country. With over 42 miles of beaches, incredible restaurants and bars, oceanic activities, and historical adventures galore, attendees will have plenty to explore during their stay.

The entire venue is General Admission, with the exception of minimal reserved seating. VIP packages will include reserved seating in front of the soundboard, priority access to the pit area, artist happy hour, discount alcoholic beverages, event poster and t-shirt, and a ticket to the late night concerts at Elk’s Lodge. Hotel packages include lodging, transportation, and VIP tickets to the event.

If guests are craving the ultimate outdoor experience, there are two nearby campsites with availabilities at Anastasia State Park and KOA Campgrounds. The city also offers a variety of lodging options.

For tickets and more information, visit www.FoolsParadiseFL.com

Watch the official 2016 Fool's Paradise aftermovie here:


SweetWater 420 Fest Adds Ween, Lettuce, + More To 2017 Lineup November 11, 2016 15:07

Photo by Keith Griner: Phierce Photography

Just last month, SweetWater 420 Festival made its initial lineup announcement featuring many of the jam scenes heaviest hitters.  Earlier this morning, the festival announced the addition of Ween, Lettuce, Dirty Heads, Savoy its 2017 lineup. These bands join an already stacked bill which includes Trey Anastasio Band, Widespread Panic, Slightly Stoopid, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dark Star Orchestra, Anders Osborne, and many more at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta on April 21st - 23rd.  The festival plans to add more artists to the lineup in the near future, so stay tuned for more updates!

Click Here: Sweetater 420 Fest Official Website / Ticket Info

Watch a recap from the 2016 SweetWater 420 Fest here:


Lettuce Funkifies Birmingham's WorkPlay Theatre September 30, 2016 18:42

Photos by Craig Baird Photography

Thursday night brought about a heavy night of funk at Birmingham's WorkPlay Theatre, as Lettuce brought it's "Sounds Like Party" tour to the Iron City.   After an hour long opening set from Michael Menert, the stage was set and the vibe was just right for action packed funk party.  This band's ability to come in and take over a room is nothing short of remarkable.  No matter how many times you get out to a Lettuce show, you can never be quite prepared for the dance party ahead of you.  Last night's cover of War's "Slippin' Into Darkness" just about set the room on fire, and flawless takes on Lettuce favorites such as "The Force," "Phyllis," "Does Your Mama Know," and "Sounds Like a Party" were more than enough to set this show over the top.  You would be hard pressed to find a better room for this type of party than WorkPlay Theatre.  This was certainly one that everyone in attendance will remember for quite some time, and the hype surrounding Lettuce's eventual return to Birmingham will be very real.  See below for a collection of photos courtesy of Craig Baird, as well as a complete setlist and video footage from "Slippin Into Darkness."  Lettuce continues it's tour this weekend at the inaugural Bear Creek Bayou Music & Arts Festival in New Orleans.

Setlist: Lettuce at WorkPlay Theatre - Birmingham, AL - 09.29.16

Intro, Blaze, Flu, The Force> Harmonic Jam > Slippin' Into Darkness, Remember the Children, Phyllis, By Any SMZ, Lett Bobby, Does Your Mama Know, Sounds Like a Party

Encore: Squa Live

Watch Lettuce cover War's "Slippin' Into Darkness" here:

 


Looking Back On LOCKN': A Weekend In Review September 04, 2016 14:20

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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Photos by Keith Griner: Phierce Photography
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Now that I have had nearly seven full days to digest what I witnessed last weekend, it only seems appropriate to attempt to explain my LOCKN' experience.  This was something I planned to do earlier in the week, before coming down with a mild case of what many have called the "wook flu."  My friends and I set out out on the journey from Alabama to Virginia just before sunrise on Thursday, August 25th, slightly apprehensive and anxious about a four day festival in the heat of summer.  With arguably the best lineup of bands I've ever seen (extra stess on "arguably," as it's all relative), excitement was certainly abound.  Luckily, some friends hooked us up with a few extra forest camping passes, which proved to be a total game changer.  We managed to set up camp just in time to head to the concert grounds for Vulfpeck's opening set, which served as a perfect intro to the epic weekend ahead.

Vulfpeck has been one of the hottest bands in the festival scene for nearly two years, and their live show speaks for itself.  What you see is what you get with Vulfpeck. They keep it as simple as possible, playing real instruments with essentially no effects. This making for a a very raw, natural outcome.  This set was highlighted by several of their hits, such as "Funky Duck," "1612," and "Put It In My Back Pocket," as well as a cover of Steely Dan's "Peg" that nearly lit the crowd on fire.  As they finished up, the massive crowd had its first glimpse at the infamous "turntable stage," which Umphrey's McGee took full advantage of.  Within three seconds of Vulfpeck stopping, Umphreys cranked into full effect with "Nipple Trix" as the stage rotated, which quickly segued into one of my personal favorites, "1348."  

The set continued with "Attachments" and "The Triple Wide," one of the bands biggest jam vehicles.  The "2x2" > "Speak Up" > "2x2" sequence moved swiftly into a raging take on "Puppet String," ultimately leading into "Roctopus."  At this time, Brendan Bayliss called upon none other than Gene Ween, who performed an entire set with Umphrey's last summer known as "God Boner."  Being that ole Gene has an uncanny resemblance to Billy Joel these days, the decision to cover Joel's "The Stranger" was well received.  With little time to spare, the band then segued back into "Puppet String," before "All In Time" closed things out in powerful fashion.   

Watch Umphrey's perform "The Stranger" with Gene Ween here:
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Next to take the stage was Ween, who was slated for the evening's headlining set.  It was clear early on that many in attendance did not know what to expect from these guys; myself included.  While I've casually listened to Ween over the last fifteen years, I never dove in deep, and I'd never had a chance to see them live.  While their were some very bizarre moments, I loved every minute of it.  These guys managed to pump out 26 total songs, including many I was familiar with such as "Transdermal Celebration," "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony," "How High Can You Fly," "Beacon Light, "Baby Bitch," "Boys Club," "Fat Lenny," "Push The Little Daisies," "Ocean Man," and "Zoloft."  We've made it a full week since this set, and I'm still talkin' bout "Boys Club."  I can't help but think that Dean and Gene must be somehow related to Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park), and last weekend further affirmed that assumption.  

After a truly exhausting two hours with Ween, there was just enough time for the first of many cool down sessions back at the car.  These sessions were critical, as we had a chance to turn up the A/C, charge the cell phone, and collect our completely scattered thoughts.  There wasn't much time to waste though, as Joe Russo's Almost Dead was up next at the Blue Ridge Bowl.  This was arguably my most highly anticipated performance of the weekend.  Like many others, I had been dying to see this band since its inception three years ago, but they don't tour extensively.  So, this was my first opportunity to catch their set, and I'll just say this.  JRAD uses the catalog of the Grateful Dead as a launching pad into something that is totally its own.  

I was absolutely blown away by my first JRAD experience, which kicked off with "Space" > "Truckin'," before moving into an absolute monster "St. Stephen."  "The Eleven" and "Brown Eyed Women" would follow, before "The Wheel" opened up another insane improv section.  The set continued with powerful takes on "Estimated Prophet," "Tennessee Jed," and "Viola Lee Blues," and a beautiful take on "He's Gone" would follow.  Right around 3:15 AM, the band busted into "Terrapin Station," and you better believe we got the full Terrapin Suite.  This was easily the best late night set I'd experienced at this point, and one of the best Dead sets I've ever witnessed.  Keep in mind that I'm a child of the late 80's.  

Watch JRAD perform "He's Gone" > "Terrapin Station" here:
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While it was already nearly 90 degrees upon waking up on Friday, the lineup ahead of us demanded our full effort and attention.  Turkuaz was scheduled for a 12:30 PM power funk lunch session, and that's something you just can't miss out on.  This is one of the most entertaining, high-energy bands in the festival circuit, and they've only scratched the surface.   These guys are incredibly tight, and the level of choreography that goes into each set can't go unnoticed.  The set ultimately closed with an amazing rendition of The Band's "Shape I'm In," to which the stage rotated with Vulfpeck in full effect.

As much as I hated to walk away from Vulfpeck, I knew that my next move was arguably my most critical decision of the weekend, and the "Infinity Downs" area had a live video stream of the main stage.  I made my way over to the almighty Vida-Flo RV, which treated me to an incredibly pleasant experience.  The fine folks at Vida-Flo spent their majority of time at LOCKN' helping others rehydrate and obtain a much needed second wind to fight through the outrageously hot and humid weekend.  "The LOCKN' Special" put me exactly where I needed to be, and I was able to enjoy Vulfpeck's covers of "Boogie On Reggae Woman" and "Tell Me Somethin' Good" during the procress.  I can't say enough about Jamey, Katie, and the rest of the Vida-Flo team for the service they provided to so many at LOCKN'.

The remainder of Friday afternoon was highlighted by performances from White Denim, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, and Peter Wolf (of the J Geils Band).  With my new found energy and hydration, I made it back to the concert grounds and enjoyed a seriously rockin' set from White Denim, who I'd been looking forward to seeing for several years.  While I definitely haven't given White Denim the attention they deserve over the years, I have loved everything I've heard from these guys.  Songs like "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" and "At Night In Dreams" have been staples in my regular rotation for some time, and the entire Corsica Lemonade album is simply brilliant.  

One lifesaving factor to my LOCKN' experience that I have failed to mention thus far is the hospitality that we experienced at Starr Hill Brewery tent, which was located at the back of the concert grounds.  Starr Hill, a craft brewery based in Crozet, VA, is the official beer sponsor of LOCKN', and I'm not sure how we would've survived without it.  Fortunately, a longtime childhood friend works for the brewery and granted us access to the tent the entire weekend.  Shade, fans with mist, cool beer, and most importantly water, were made available to all of Starr Hill's patrons this weekend, as well as a distant view of the main stage.  The luxury of watching White Denim and part of Charles Bradley's set from the Starr Hill tent was a perfect way to continue the afternoon.  Star Hill Brewery probably saved our lives last weekend.

As the sun began to set, Ween returned to the stage for it's second set of the weekend.  While this set was closer to 80-90 minutes, it was an absolute scorcher.  One of my top highlights from the weekend came in the form of "Roses Are Free" > "Your Party" > "Bananas and Blow" > "Voodoo Lady."  Several other classics, including "Mutilated Lips," "Spinal Meningitis," "Piss Up A Rope," and "Buckingham Green" helped make this set one that I'll never forget.  

The stage was now set for a moment that so many were waiting for.  Phish was slated for two full sets as the Friday night headliner.  While the 90-minute break in music felt like an eternity, this was soon forgotten as the band took the stage and ripped into the opening notes of "Wilson."  Despite a few miscues in "Wilson," as well as the intro to "Down With Disease," this set was off to a really hot start.  "Free" and "Wolfman's Brother" would follow, before we were treated to a "Tube" which featured that extended jam that has been somewhat rare in recent years.  Next up was "555," which even went further than it typically does with a next outtro jam.  

"It's Ice" was probably the highlight of the first set for me, as it's just one of those songs that I tend to miss by one show.  "Wingsuit," which may be the most underrated song in the Phish catalog, slowed the pace and ultimately led into one of the most beautiful jams of the weekend.  The transition into "Simple" pumped a new life into the massive crowd, and just when you thought the set was over, the lights shifted to one particular mic stand, indicating an acapella performance.  I was lucky enough to witness the debut of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" at Wrigley Field in June, and I was elated to hear it again on Friday night.  There's nothing quite like their spin on that classic tune.

After a brief intermission, Trey wasted no time busting into "Punch You In The Eye," and he didn't let off the gas once.  "Blaze On" and "Fuego" were perfectly executed, and the "Ghost" that followed was easily the biggest jam of the night.  The segue into "Bathtub Gin" was seemless, and "Backwards Down The Number Line" provided an amazing, nostalgic sing-a-long, as it always does.  Any set that ends with "You Enjoy Myself" is a treat, and this was the case on Friday.  The trampolines came out, and Trey even gave us a little break dancing expo during Mike's solo.  The "Ass Handed" tease during the eventual vocal jam was icing on the cake.  You can only do so much with an encore after "YEM," and this was a night where "Character Zero" was the perfect choice.  Just like that, Phish's first LOCKN' set was over, and we couldn't have asked for much more.

I won't get too repetitive when discussing the second late night set from JRAD, but goodness gracious, it was amazing.  Just the fact that our evening included Ween > Phish > JRAD was hard to believe.  "Good Lovin" kicked off the set, and "Shakedown Street," "China Cat Sunflower," and "I Know You Rider" would follow.  The band welcomed Nicole Adkins to the stage to add a little Donna Jean flare to "Dancin' In The Streets," "The Music Never Stopped," and "Turn On Your Lovelight."  I was not familiar with Adkins prior to this set, but wow...she's got some serious pipes.  Her involvement in this set was something that will always stand out when thinking back on this one.  Fortunately, she stuck around for harmony vocals on the "Franklin's Tower," "Thowing Stones," and "Not Fade Away" which closed out night two at LOCKN'.  Joe Russo's ability to command and lead this band from behind the drum kit is absolutely remarkable, and I've never seen anything like it.  We are talking about one of the most talented drummers on the planet though, so I guess no one should be surprised.

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We were now halfway through our LOCKN' experience, and waking up knowing that there were two more days of this madness was hard to believe.  Just like every other day, the lineup was slam packed full of "must see" bands, starting with Keller Williams' Grateful Grass at the Blue Ridge Bowl, or at least what was left of it from the two nights of JRAD destruction.  The Grateful Grass experience features a rotating cast of bluegrass musicians.  It's gotten to the point that Keller looks at the Dead's catalog as it's own genre, similar to jazz, as musicians can simply jump on stage with very little experience playing with one another and just roll with it.  I'd highly recommend reading Live Music Daily's interview with Keller from LOCKN', where he goes in depth on the evolution of the Grateful Grass concept.  

Listen to the entire Grateful Gospel set here:
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Moon Taxi was first up on the main stage, and they had the farm rocking at an early hour.  It's been a true pleasure watching this band progress from the college bar scene to touring across the country playing many of the most prestigious venues.  Their ability to find a balance between jam and mainstream rock is brilliant, and I can only imagine the dividends that it is paying.  Twiddle was up next, and I can't say enough about this band.  I feel like I haven't stopped listening to Twiddle all summer, and I've been fortunate to attend two summer festivals (LOCKN' and The Werk Out) which featured two sets of Twiddle.  "Jamflowman" and "When It Rains It Pours" gave me my two favorite Twiddle originals, and Keller Williams' sit-in on "Best Feeling" was likely the top spontaneous collaboration of the weekend.  

Watch Twiddle and Keller Williams perform "Best Feeling" here:
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Thanks to the champions at SiriusXM JamOn, nearly every major set at LOCKN' was broadcasted live, which you wouldn't think would impact those of us at the festival.  You have to take a break at some point though, especially amidst the extreme heat and humidity last weekend.  While I didn't watch the Galactic set with Lee Oskar, I was able to listen live from my car, which was a major luxury.  Galactic has been an anchor in the jam/festival scene for as long as I can remember, and they delivered once again.  Hard Working Americans were next on stage, providing me with my first chance to see this super group in person.  

While I've been a huge Widespread Panic fan for 15+ years, my eyes were glued to Neal Casal's guitar playing.  This guy is one of the best in the business, and easily one of the "hardest working" musicians around.  He was easily the MVP of the weekend, performing with HWA, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Circles Around The Sun.  Todd Snider's unique stage presence and style was a treat to watch, and it was a lot of fun watching Dave Schools and Duane Trucks jamming together with these guys.  

Saturday's Phil & Friends lineup was easily one of the most hyped moments of the weekend, and how could it not have been?  Who would have ever thought we would see Phil Lesh, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Joe Russo, Anders Osborne, and The Infamous Stringdusters play an entire set together?  How about adding Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi for two songs ("Mr Charlie" > "Sugaree")?  That is absolutely ridiculous, and yes, it really happened.  Seeing the stage rotate with this cast, while they busted into "Scarlet Begonias," was a memory I will always cherish.  I know I'll be listening to their renditions of "Dire Wolf," "Uncle John's Band," "Shakedown Street," and "Terrapin Station" (even if it wasn't the full Terrapin Suite) for the rest of my life.  

Most festivals would have probably featured that type of set as the night's headliner, but we weren't even close to that point.  The world class Tedeschi Trucks Band was up next for a super soulful ride into the evening.  Each night as the sun would go down, the crowd was able to breathe a little easier without the brutal sun beating down on us, and Tedeschi Trucks was a perfect way to ease into the night.  Joe Cocker's "The Letter", "Keep On Growing," and "Let Me Get By" rounded out this killer performance, setting the stage for the set that everyone is still talking about.

My Morning Jacket is no stranger to the festival scene, and it's no secret that they are one of the greatest rock-and-roll bands of our era.  That being said, I don't think anyone realized how dynamic this headlining set would be.  MMJ started in familiar territory with "Victory Dance," which flowed perfectly into a sequence of "Compound Fracture" > "Off The Record."  Next up was "Steam Engine," before a cover of Burt Bacharch's "What The World Needs Now" that had some true magic to it.  "I'm Amazed," "Spring," "Phone Went West, and Bob Marley's "Could You Be Loved" would follow and keep this set alive.  "Magheeta" would precede another epic moment, as James led the band through a well executed cover of Prince's "Purple Rain."  The set's closing sequence of "Wordless Chorus" > "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream (Pt.2)," David Bowie's "Rebel, Rebel" and "One Big Holiday" couldn't have been written up any better.  MMJ was headlining the jam scene's biggest festival of the summer, and they dialed up a list of songs that reflected that.  The hype surrounding this set is absolutely justified, and anyone who had already seen this band perform wasn't surprised in the least.  Is there a bigger modern rock star than Jim James?  

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Saturday's late night at Blue Ridge Bowl provided a much needed dose of funk as Lettuce took control of the party.  It's always a special occasion when Nigel Hall (keys/vocals) is on stage, adding an extra vocal element and opening up so many different options for this insanely talented group.  Prior to the set, drummer Adam Deitch and guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff promised fans the most psychedelic set of their career, and they delivered just that.  This set was specially crafted for LOCKN', and you can't help but tip your cap to these guys for such an appropriate approach.

For many, Sunday started off with a much needed church session, and luckily, Keller Williams was slated for his annual "Grateful Gospel" set.  Joining Keller on lead guitar was none other than John Kadlecick, who's known for co-founding Dark Star Orchestra in 1997, as well as joining Furthur in 2009. The female backing vocalists truly added a church-like gospel feel throughout the set, but I highly recommending watching the performance of "We Bid You Goodnight" below.  I can't imagine a better way to start your day at a festival than 90-minutes of Keller's Grateful Gospel.

Watch the "Moonlight Midnight" > "We Bid You Goodnight" sequence from Keller's Grateful Gospel here:
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I was unable to make it to the main stage for the afternoon's first two performers, The Dharma Initiative and Doobie Decibel System, but there was definitely a buzz about both performances.  As amazing as this year's lineup was, it can be painful when deciding which sets you have to take a break during.  Fortunately, our campsite was within listening distance for even these sets that weren't streamed live via JamOn.  I knew I couldn't miss Twiddle's encore performance.  It's amazing to watch this band continue to flourish and reel in new fans on the biggest stage.  Sunday's set started off with "Blunderbus, "Daydream Farmer," and "Beehop," before "Lost In The Cold" seemed to have the entire farm singing in unison.  "Carte Candlestick" and "Frankenfoote" ultimately closed out the short set, as the band was again slotted for just 60-minutes.  While most any band would kill for 60-minutes at LOCKN', you just want so much more once this band gets going.  I'll be shocked if we don't see these guys back on Oak Ridge Farm in 2017.

Watch Twiddle perform "Daydream Farmer" at LOCKN' here:
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Every music festival could use a nice dose of reggae, and who better to provide that than the band who taught us about this genre, The Wailers.  These seasoned vets took the stage and laid down literally every Bob Marley / Wailers hit that you've ever heard.  This music always generates a notable energy amongst a crowd, but it was something really special on Sunday afternoon. You've got to love the planning and attention to detail with the placement of each band on this lineup.  There is absolutely a science to it, and Peter Shapiro knows it as well as anyone in the game.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood took the stage fairly late in the afternoon, and they had their work cut out for them.  Not only were they slated for 90-minutes of originals, but they would then join Phil Lesh for the weekend's second set of Phil & Friends.  The CRB set was highlighted by originals such as "Leave My Guitar Alone," "Forever As The Moon," "New Cannonball Rag," and "Ain't Hard But Fair," while Jackie Moore's "Precious, Precious" and Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" rounded things out.  The band's latest hit single, "Narcissistic and Soaking Wet" would ultimately close things out.

Watch Chris Robinson Brotherhood perform "Narcissistic Soaking Wet" at LOCKN' here:
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While Saturday's Phil & Friends lineup featured the sexier lineup on paper, I personally thought Sunday's set had the true feel of a Dead set.  Perhaps it was presence of weekend MVP Neal Casal, who just knows how to play it like Jerry.  I've always been a fan of Robinson's vocals, and he really delivered for this one.  Just as the stage began to rotate, Phil, the boys from CRB, and Gary Clark Jr. began ripping into "Samson & Delilah."  "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "Wang Dang Doodle" were perfect choices, and the decision to play The Dead's version of Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle" was one of my favorite moments of the weekend.  This song might be the most commonly covered song in rock-and-roll, but hearing Chris Robinson sing it to The Dead's tempo was a fucking treat.  Do yourself a favor and watch the video footage below and see for yourself.  "Fire On The Mountain" and "New Speedway Boogie" opened things up for yet another monster "St. Stephen," and "The Wheel" wasn't going to slow down.  There aren't many songs in the Dead catalog better suited for a party than "Turn On Your Lovelight" (Bobby Bland), and Robinson crushed every note.  It was refreshing and reassuring to see Phil having such a great time, surrounded by so many world class musicians at LOCKN'  

Watch Phil Lesh & Friends perform "Hard to Handle" here:
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Gary Clark Jr. might have been the most intriguing act on the lineup entering the weekend.  While I've heard "Bright Lights" and "Don't Owe You a Thing" as many times as I can remember on JamOn, I just haven't given this guy the attention he deserves. I've been well aware of his reputation and status across the scene in general, but I was way past due for a Gary Clark Jr. set.  He and his band came out swinging as they opened with "Bright Lights," and swiftly moved into "Travis County," "Next Door Neighbor Blues," "Cold Blooded," and "BYOB."  The crowd continued filling in, and the set eventually closed out with "Don't Owe You A Thing," "You Saved Me," and "Shake.  The sound that this guy has is out of this world.  There are moments where My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, Jimi Hendrix, and White Denim all come to mind, except that Clark compliments the heavy riffs with one of the most soulful voices you've ever heard. 

Watch Gary Clark Jr. perform "Bright Lights" at LOCKN' here:
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The stage was now set for one final time, and you couldn't help but stand up and look around at the scene that awaited.  The energy at Oak Ridge Farm on Sunday night was impalpable, with 30,000+ fans riding high on four days of music with two more sets of Phish to come.  Each day as the sun would set, we experienced significant release as the temperature seemed to instantly drop fifteen degrees, and this held true once again on Sunday.  Phish took the stage right around 8:30 PM, and "Sample In A Jar" was first up to the plate.  Page then cued the now infamous vocal tracking of "Martian Monster," much to the approval of the LOCKN' faithful.  I really wish they would jam this one out more than they do now, and it feels like more appropriate in the second set (Ex: Atlanta, GA - July 31st, 2015), they're typically throwing it in early and keeping it fairly tamed.

 

The first set stayed super hot with "Axilla" and "The Moma Dance," before "Halley's Comet" provided that absurd, silly sing-a-long that very few are capable of pulling off.  We were then given a double-dose of the band's 1986 cassette tape release The White Tape with "AC/DC Bag" > "Fuck Your Face."  The sequence of "Fuck Your Face" > "46 Days" is about as heavy rock-and-roll as you can ask for from Phish.  "The Line" was a bit of a curveball, as it tends to be, but "Limb By Limb," "Possum," and "First Tube" would follow and wrap up a very, very solid first yet.  

There were high expectations for a wave of heavy hitters in set two, and they were exceeded, as usual.  "Carini" lit a fire across the farm and flowed nicely into the "Chalkdust Torture" that you knew was coming as some point.  "Twist" seems to be one of the jams of 2016, and I don't think anyone is complaining.  I've been a sucker for "Light" since the release of Joy in 2009, as this tune has become one of the bigger jam vehicles of the Phish 3.0 era.  The "Light" jam ultimately landed into "Tweezer," prompting a mildly concerning glow stick war on Oak Ridge Farm.  Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter" was next, prompting McConnell to guide us through the classic cover.  I'm assuming the guy next to me promised his friends that he would do a headstand if Phish was to play "No Quarter," because he went ballistic during the opening notes, and his friends proceeded to lift his feet to the sky as he hit the deck.  Truly remarkable.

From here, we went into full "space jam" mode, as Fishman dropped into the opening beat of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," aka "2001 (Space Odyssey)."  That's a dance party that never gets old.  It was apparently Fishman's moment, as he then dropped into the opening notes of "Harry Hood," which seemed to be a likely place for the set to end.  As I've said before...just when you think you know, this band proves you wrong.  They tacked on a "Tweezer Reprise" just for safe measure and made sure that this crowd was still on it's toes.  After a brief exit, the band returned and broke into The Rolling Stones' "Loving Cup" and closed out the festival with everyone screaming "What a beautiful buzz!"  While it might not have been a shocking encore selection, it felt extremely appropriate.  

Sitting down and reliving this unforgettable experience over the past few days has allowed me to fully comprehend the remarkable journey we took just a week ago.  It's easy to get caught up in the fatigue, anxiety, and pressure to "get back into a normal" rhythm after these huge musical weekends, but it's equally important to reflect and cherish the moment.  As much fun as it was, it certainly wasn't easy.  I've never dealt with that type of heat, humidity, and pure exhaustion without access to "going inside."  In the long run, that makes the experience that much more unique, and it definitely makes for better story-telling.  There were twelve different bands on this lineup that I have travelled to see play on their own, and some on multiple occasions.  Top that off with the fact that this marked my 30th show with my favorite band: Phish.  What's left to say?  My ability to continue embarking on these musical adventures with so many of the world's greatest friends is an element of life that I'll never take for granted.  Until next time, LOCKN'...

Special thanks to Keith Griner of Phierce Photography for capturing this weekend for us and allowing us to share it with you all.


A Weekend In Review: The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival August 12, 2016 13:08

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Year in and year out, music fans can count on summertime presenting an overwhelming variety of options to satisfy their musical appetite.  The vast majority of national acts pack their schedules with gigs from coast to coast, and it seems as if there is a major music festival every weekend.  Last weekend was the quintessential example, as Ohio-based jam/rock band The Werks hosted it's annual "homecoming" weekend: The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival.   

The Werk Out began in 2010 at Zane Shawnee Cavernsan indian reservation with underground crystal caves in Bellefontaine, Ohio.  The festival quickly outgrew that area and relocated to Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, where it has now been held for the past five years.  After hearing the rave reviews over the past few years and diving deep into The Werks' catalog, I knew that this was the year for a summer journey from Alabama and Ohio.  This ended up being easily one of my best decisions in recent memory.

From the moment we arrived on Thursday afternoon, the positive vibes were flowing from every angle.  An enthusiastic, welcoming staff directed our group to a prime camping spot, and we made at least 10 new friends before the campsite was even completed.  While there are numerous elements of The Werks that I have come to love, it's the positive culture that surrounds the band really seals the deal.  

Upon entering the festival grounds for the first time, Chris Houser (lead guitar - The Werks) was playing on the main stage with his very first band, Cheezcake, who set a perfect tone for the weekend.  Shortly after, we had the pleasure of catching several tunes from Sassafraz, a super talented group from Columbus which produced The Werks' newest band member, Jake Goldberg (bass).  Our first journey to the "Big Tent" led us to Mister F, who provided some serious funk prior to Dopapod taking the main stage.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Dopapod has quickly become one of the jam/festival scenes hottest acts, and their success is justified with every performance.  Watching those guys perform, with a beautiful sunset in the distance, made for a very special moment early on.  We even got to sing "Happy Birthday" to the bands audio engineer/light designer Luke Stratton, as the band called him to the stage for a cake presentation.  Shortly after sunset, the crowd shifted just a matter of feet to the "Side Stage," where America's favorite power funk army Turkuaz ignited one of the biggest dance parties of the weekend.  It's truly amazing to witness the production and chemistry of this band in person.  They advertise "power funk," and they absolutely deliver "power funk."

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

The main stage was now set for the weekend's first set from The Werks, who took the stage fully participating in the evening's "track suit" theme.  The band came out firing with classics such as "For Today," "For You," and "Fire Eater," and even debuted a cover of Elton John's "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King.  A classic duel on the keys between Dan Shaw and special guest Todd Stoops occured during "G-Funk," before a massive "Hard to Find" > "Cloud Hopper" > "Hard to Find" would close out the set.  This was particularly satisfying, as my last Werks festival set was cut short when a nasty thunderstorm hit during "Cloud Hopper" at AURA earlier this year.  Another cover was debuted for the encore when the band busted out "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas.  Somehow or another, Lettuce was up next for a late night set in the big tent, and night one at The Werk Out couldn't have been much hotter.

Watch The Werks perform "G-Funk" with special guest Todd Stoops here:

Video by izeoftheworldphotos

Photos by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Day two at Legend Valley picked up right where Thursday left off, and the party was alive and well in The Big Tent by early afternoon.  The Big Damn Jam served as a touching tribute to Norman Dimitrouleas, the former keyboardist of The Werks who tragically passed away in January of this year.  Norman had always wanted the band to play The Beatles' Abbey Road in it's entirety, and his brother Dino, Todd Stoops, and many others performed the album in epic fashion.  Next up was an early afternoon dose of heavy funk courtesy of Kung Fu, a band that always brings the party and never disappoints.  

Anyone that has been to a music festival understands that you have to be strategic; often leaving one set earlier than you would like to in order to catch one of those "must see" bands.  This was the story of Friday afternoon, but that's definitely not a bad problem to have.  It was now time for CBDB to kick off a 60-minute set it in The Big Tent.  These guys never cease to amaze me.  This would be the band's first performance with bassist Mike Sinopole, and you would've thought he'd been with the band for years.  The highlight of the set came in the form of two debuts: a cover of the Grateful Dead's "Loose Lucy" followed by a brand new original, "She's Mobile."  I can't help but predict very big things to come for CBDB in the near future.

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

We quickly made it back to the main stage as Twiddle kicked off their set with the classic "Jamflowman."  It had been way too long since I had seen these guys, and I was quickly reminded why they have really blown up recently.  Fortunately, they were scheduled for an additional set on Saturday, which allowed me to scoot back over to The Big Tent just in time for Backup Planet, one of the most promising young bands I have seen in years.  I was introduced to this band earlier this year at AURA Music & Arts Festival, when they delivered one of my favorite sets of the weekend.  These guys managed to exceed some very high expectations.  Backup Planet is the real deal, and they might have the best cover of "Whipping Post" that I've ever heard.

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Dopapod was now back on the main stage for another amazing sunset performance, only to be followed by a wildly energetic set on the side stage from live electronic act Zoogma.  I've had the pleasure of watching Zoogma work their way up from the college bar scene to the national festival scene, and I couldn't be happier for their success.  You get everything from electronic blues/rock to hip-hop with Zoogma, and how could you not get down to that?

The stage was now set for one of the weekend's biggest moments: two full sets of STS9.  There was a significant number of the Tribe faithful who came to The Werk Out specifically for this moment, and they were rewarded with a stellar festival performance.  The first set had two extremely unfortunate moments; the first of which involved a fan hopping on stage, climbing on drummer Zach Velmer's kit, and taking a trust fall onto the drummer mid-song.  Velmer handled the situation like the true professional that he is, and the band picked up right where they left off.  The set was then cut short due to technical/power issues, but the band returned for it's second set and gave Legend Valley an absolute gem.  The "Hubble" > "Orbital" > "Hubble" segue was as tight as anything I've heard from this band.  "World Go Round" made for an epic dance party to close out the set, and the "Breathe In" encore was simply perfect.  I couldn't have more respect for this band's response to a few unfortunate issues that were out of their control.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

It was now time for The Werks to continue the party in the big tent, which some might have seen as a difficult task after two powerful sets of STS9.  The boys kicked things off with a bang as they worked through the powerful instrumental "Lights Out," followed by the first "Transformational" since November of 2015.  They even finished the "Cloudhopper" from Thursday night.  Dino Dimitrouleas returned to the stage for an extended jam on "Rollin," and two of my personal favorites, "Find Your Way" and "You're Not Alone," closed out the set in heavy fashion.  

You would think this had to be the end of the evening, but the most unique moment of the night was yet to come.  The stage was now set for Twerkapod, a one-time 90's tribute set featuring a rotating cast of members from The Werks, Dopapod, and Twiddle.  What proceeded after 2:30 AM was nothing short of beautiful, epic, and hilarious.  For a more detailed recap and video footage of the Twerkapod set, click here.

Watch Twerkapod perform Blues Traveler's "Run Around" here:

Video by Charles Izenstark: izeoftheworldphotos

As we entered the final day at Legend Valley, the positive energy was contagious, and we were faced with yet another killer lineup.  Broccoli Samurai kicked things off early on the main stage, and these guys blew my mind.  The Cleveland-based four-piece held down a ridiculously melodic groove from start to finish, and they have some of the best song titles I've ever heard of.  I'm really looking forward to following this band moving forward.  

Members of The Werks, Twiddle, and Greensky Bluegrass joined forces for the Matt Butler's Everyone Orchestra, which opened things up for some truly amazing improv jamming.  I had heard a lot about this project over the years, but this was my first time witnessing it in person.  The constantly rotating cast always brings something new to each stage, and watching this collection of musicians in this capacity was a definite highlight.  BIG Something proceeded to absolutely crush the side stage, while The Werks headed over to the VIP tent for a three-song acoustic set which included Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer," "Fall," and "Better Than Before."  This was my first time seeing these guys in an acoustic setting, and it only further affirmed how diverse this band can be.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Greensky Bluegrass was next up on the main stage for one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend.  We took advantage of the grass hill back toward the vendors to enjoy the set full of all of the Greensky classics.  It had been quite some time since I'd had the pleasure of seeing these guys live, and damn...they were amazing.  They even brought out Mihali Savoulidis from Twiddle for "Last Winter in Copper County."  As soon as Greensky finished, Twiddle would take the side stage by storm for their second set of the weekend, which featured many of my favorites, such as "Be There," "Lost in the Cold," Syncopated Healing," and "Frankenfoote."  

Watch video footage of Greensky Bluegrass w/ Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle here:

Video by Charles Izenstark: izeoftheworldphotos

The main stage was now set for what you could easily call the weekend's main event.  The Werks were slated for two sets, and they took the stage in full tuxedos.  "Alive" kicked off the set and bust outs of "Give or Take" and "Cruel Stone Blues" would follow.  The always powerful "OG" ultimately led into a cover of Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" which closed out the first set in epic fashion.  "Drop" kicked off the second set, which has to be one of the most clever songs in recent history.  An extended "Werk Out Jam" moved into an "Immigrant Song Jam," and things truly took off from there.  

The sequence of "Finding Destiny" > "Galactic Passport" > "Finding Destiny" > "Galactic Passport" > "Finding Destiny" was on another level.  A raging rendition of "Onslaught" provided a classic Werks rager to close the second set.  The decision to encore with "Carry Me Back Home" came as no surprise, as the emotional tune had not been played since prior to the passing of Norman Dimitrouleas.  Dino returned to the stage for this one, which was an emotional, touching tribute to say the least.  Midway through the song, Rob Chafin addressed the audience and invited the entire Werk Out crew to the stage for the song's closing chorus. 

Watch the "Finding Destiny" > "Galactic Passport" sequence here:
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Watch The Werks' perform "Carry Me Back Home" here:

Videos by Charles Izenstark: izeoftheworldphotos

As many readers will understand, you're just never going to make it to every set that you plan for over the course of a weekend festival.  After three full days and two very late nights, I didn't have it in me to make it back over to The Big Tent for the two remaining sets from The Motet and Earphunk (Daft Phunk).  This was defintely my biggest regret of the weekend, but as the old saying goes, "You can't make 'em all."  There was a noticeable buzz amongst the campground surrounding both late night sets, and it sounds like Earphunk went above and beyond, with a set that went far beyond the time they were obligated to play until.  This came as no surprise, as that's the type of performance that those guys are known to give.  

As I wrap up what is easily one of the longest articles in the history of this website, I can't help but wonder if there is anyone who has actually continued reading to this point.  For anyone who has, thank you for reading through my memories of this amazing weekend.  There is no brief or concise way to justifiably recount this experience.  When thousands of fans come from every corner of the country to gather in the spirit of music and art, it is truly a beautiful thing.  The Werk Out was circled on my calendar for several months, and the anticipation which surrounded it was very real.  My expectations couldn't have been much higher, and they were exceeded each and every night.  I can't say enough about the job that Rob Chafin and the entire Werks crew has done in building and growing this festival into what it has become.  The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival was an experience that I will never forget, and I can't wait to return in 2017.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions


Catskill Chill Adds Lettuce, Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven, + Miles Davis Tribute July 20, 2016 15:41

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Photo by Hype Media & Entertainment
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JUST ANNOUNCED:
SEVENTH ANNUAL CATSKILL CHILL MUSIC FESTIVAL ADDS
LETTUCE, BITCHES BLOOM: A TRIBUTE TO MILES DAVIS,
REED MATHIS & ELECTRIC BEETHOVEN, AND FUNKY DAWGZ BRASS BAND
LAKEWOOD, PA | SEPTEMBER 23 – 25, 2016
 
Mike Gordon, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Greensky Bluegrass, Lettuce, Electron, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Break Science Live Band, Dopapod, Goldfish, Perpetual Groove, Deep Banana Blackout, Rob Garza DJ Set, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, The Werks, Cabinet, Particle and many more
Thursday night pre-party featuring Twiddle (two sets), Jimkata, Aqueous and TRAKSTAR
 
Weekend Tickets and VIP Packages On Sale Now at www.CatskillChill.com
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Catskill Chill Music Festival has added four funky additions to the 2016 lineup. Joining the bill are longtime #chillfam and funk masters, Lettuce. Several members of the band including Eric Bloom, Adam Deitch, Ryan Zoidis, Nigel HallAdam Smirnoff and Erick Coomes will also perform together with Borahm Lee in “Bitches Bloom: A Tribute to Miles Davis.” Catskill Chill will also present the East Coast debut of Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven who describe themselves as ‘the world’s first CDM (classical dance music) band.’ The lineup includes heavy hitting musicians Reed Mathis (Billy & the Kids, Tea Leaf Green), Jay Lane (Primus, Ratdog), Todd Stoops (RAQ), Cochrane McMillan (Tea Leaf Green) and Clay Welch.  Rounding out the announcement is 10-piece soul/funk act Funky Dawgz Brass Band.

The seventh annual event will take place September 23rd – 25th, 2016 at New Minglewood, a private summer camp in Lakewood, PA. Weekend tickets and VIP packages that include an exclusive Viewing Area, Main Stage Chill Tent, VIP Lounge Cabin, VIP Bathrooms with Showers, exclusive use of indoor/outdoor VIP and Artist Swimming Pools and Jacuzzi, and intimate BBQ sets with private performances by Eric Krasno Band and Michelangelo’Sunday Sauce featuring Nick Cassarino, Roosevelt Collier, Steve Molitz, Nate Edgar and Michelangelo Carubba, are on sale now.

The four performers announced today join the diverse lineup that includes Mike Gordon, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Greensky Bluegrass, Electron, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Break Science Live Band, Dopapod, Goldfish, Perpetual Groove, Deep Banana Blackout, Rob Garza DJ Set, Turkuaz, Kung Fu, The Werks, Cabinet, Particle, Zach Deputy, Ryan Montbleau, Orgone, The Nth Power, The Main Squeeze, Pink Talking Fish, TAUK, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Space Jesus, Roosevelt Collier's NY Get Down, Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, The Heavy Pets Tribute to the ‘80s and many more.

Continuing their tradition of offering a unique twist with returning artists, the Chill also features a number of first-time collaborations and tribute sets. Dopapod and Turkuaz will join forces for Dopakuaz Does Yacht Rock, Pink Taking Fish and Kung Fu will take on the music of Prince and David Bowie, while Particle and The Werks come together as PartiWerks. The weekend will also feature a Chillfam Allstars Michael Jackson Tribute.

For the first time ever, Catskill Chill will host an onsite pre-party at New Minglewood the night before the festival, on Thursday, September 22nd featuring two sets of Twiddle, along with JimkataAqueous and TRAKSTAR. Tickets are on sale now.

One of the defining characteristics of Catskill Chill is its unique setting. Hosted at New Minglewood, a private summer camp in Lakewood, PA, the venue has cabins for rent, paved pathways throughout, a beautiful lakefront, covered stage facilities, free parking, and free camping. Additional highlights of New Minglewood include indoor movie theaters, indoor and outdoor spaces for yoga, art, and wellness workshops, an easy-to-traverse campus, and “closer than ever” parking. While the “B Stage” and Club Chill will remain covered venues, this will mark the first year that the Chill will present an outdoor main stage for attendees to enjoy music in the open air, under the stars. The festival also offers a farmer’s market, craft and food vendors, a communal bonfire nightly, and an open mic.



Tickets:
GA weekend tickets, VIP tickets and VIP upgrades are currently available at www.CatskillChill.com.
Children under 12 are free, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Catskill Chill 2016 Lineup:
Mike Gordon
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Greensky Bluegrass
Lettuce*
Electron
Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass
Break Science Live Band
Dopapod
Goldfish
Perpetual Groove
Deep Banana Blackout
Rob Garza DJ Set
Turkuaz
Kung Fu
The Werks
Cabinet
Particle
Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven*
Zach Deputy
Ryan Montbleau
The Nth Power
The Main Squeeze
Pink Talking Fish
Tauk
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Space Jesus
Roosevelt Collier's NY Get Down
Tom Hamilton’s American Babies
The Heavy Pets Tribute to the ‘80s
Gibbz
Jen Durkin & The Business
G-Nome Project
Big Something
Scott Pemberton
Elise Testone's Zeppelin Tribute
The Magic Beans
Danny Mayer Trio
Beau Sasser's Escape Plan
The Indobox
Lespecial Primus Tribute
The Primate Fiasco
Funky Dawgz Brass Band*
Hayley Jane and The Primates
The Jauntee
West End Blend
Shwizz
Fikus
ShwiKus
Out of the Beardspace
Turbine plays RadioDead
Mister F
Strange Machines
Broccoli Samurai
Relative Souls
The Breakneck Boys
Formula 5
Youth Posse
Animal Reporters

Collaborations:
Dopakuaz Does Yacht Rock
Bitches Bloom: A Tribute to Miles Davis*
Pink Talking Fu: Prince Bowie
PartiWerks = Particle + The Werks
Chillfam Allstars Michael Jackson Tribute

Thursday Night Pre-Party:

Twiddle (2 sets)
Jimkata
Aqueous
TRAKSTAR
*Wave 3 artist

For more information visit:

www.CatskillChill.com
www.facebook.com/CatskillChill
Twitter + Instagram: @CatskillChill | #Chillfam


Lettuce Reveals Plans For 'Sounds Like A Party' Fall Tour June 22, 2016 15:10

New York-based funk powerhouse Lettuce has big plans for fall of 2016, as the band's announcement earlier this morning suggests.  Lettuce will be hitting the road hard from September to November with what they're calling the 'Sounds Like A Party' Fall Tour.  These fall dates serve as an addition to the bands' summer tour, which is named after the hit track off of the band's most recent studio album Crush.  

The tour begins with a one-off show at Stratton Mountain Music in Stratton, Vermont on September 4th, followed by a span of 25 total shows.  These 25 shows include stops down the east coast, southeast, midwest, and out into Texas.  Notable festival appearances include the first ever Bear Creek Bayou in New Orleans, Mustang Music Festival in North Carolina, and Suwannee Hulaween in Live Oak, Florida.  These come in addition to summer festival appearances at High Sierra Music Festival in California, Levitate Music Festival in Boston, The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival in Ohio, Lockn' in Virginia, and Thrival Festival in Pittsburgh.  Pre-sale tickets are currently available by clicking here.  See below for a full list of summer and fall tour dates.

Watch Lettuce perform "Sounds Like A Party" at Summer Camp 2016 here:

 


Looking Ahead To The Werk Out: An Interview With Rob Chafin June 08, 2016 16:11

 

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

We recently had a chance to catch up with Rob Chafin (drums/vocals) of The Werks, in an effort to learn more about one of the summer's hottest festivals, The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival.  In addition to handling the duties behind the kit for The Werks, Rob also serves as talent buyer for The Werk Out, which is celebrating it's seventh anniversary in 2016.  The festival is scheduled for August 4th-6th at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, featuring acts such as The Werks (three nights), STS9 (two sets), LettuceGreensky Bluegrass, DopapodTwiddle, and many more.  

Let's get started and talk a little Werk Out.  You guys started this festival in 2010, making this year number seven.  How did this idea come to life, and how have things progressed over the years? 

Rob: We started The Werk Out in 2010 at Zane Shawnee Caverns in Bellefontaine, Ohio.  It was an indian reservation with underground crystal caves, so it's not technically part of Ohio.  It was pretty ridiculous the first two years.  We quickly outgrew that area and moved it to Legend Valley, where the festival has been held for the past four years. Legend Valley is obviously historic with the Grateful Dead playing there, as well as bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and countless others throughout the year.  The Grateful Dead would have around 60,000 people out there.  It is literally Legend Valley.  It's an honor to be able to have our party there now.  This is certainly on the trajectory of being the biggest Werk Out, by far.     

It's great to see the universal growth of the bands on this lineup, like Dopapod, Twiddle, Greensky, and of course The Werks.  Last year you guys brought in Umphrey's McGee, and this year it's Sound Tribe Sector 9.  I look at this festival as a collection of the best bands in the jam scene. 

Rob: Well thanks man.  It's definitely great being a musician as the talent buyer because I’m able to be in the trenches, see who are absolutely killing it and bring them to the festival.  Luckily, a lot of these bands are our friends!  It's amazing to look back at all of the bands who have played The Werk Out.  Having STS9 and Umphrey’s at our event is truly an honor.  Even GRiZ played back in 2013 when he was getting started, and he's absolutely huge now.  The Floozies are blowing up.  Greensky Bluegrass played back in 2012, and now they're back as a headliner...watching Dopapod grow every year.  It's absolutely incredible.  

 Watch The Werks perform "Onslaught" at The Werk Out 2015 here:

It really is.  Aside from the established acts and those you have known for years, how do you go about filling out the lineup with the up-and-comers?   

Rob:  I'm definitely always looking for the new up-and-coming acts. There is definitely a long waiting list, because while we try not to repeat everyone every year, but there are typically only a few open slots each year.  We try to keep it new and interesting.  We try to see who's been killing it lately and bring them to the party.  I'm always on the lookout for great musicians, songwriters, and of course great drummers, but I might be a little biased there (laughs).  

Click Here: Purchase Tickets To The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival

You guys have put together several epic tribute sets in recent years.  In 2014, it was The Werks, Papadosio, and Dopapod performing Dark Side of the Moon.  What other tributes have you guys done in the past?  Let's hear a little more about the Twerkapod Tribute to the 90's this year. 

Rob: Whenever we get to collaborate with our friends, it's always fun for us. We had a blast doing Dark Side of the Moon with Papadosio and Dopapod.  So of course with Dopapod, we already know it's gonna be fun to do this 90's cover set with them.  We went on tour for the entire fall last year with Twiddle, and we had some many epic superjams with them.  To be able to involve them and bring them to The Werk Out for their first year is really exciting.  We're gonna throw down and play some awesome 90's covers with some of our best friends!   

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

How do you go about selecting the setlist from such a diverse decade of music?  Have you finalized which songs will make the cut yet? 

Rob: Yeah, we already have the songs picked out.  It's top secret, classified information, of course (laughs).  I can tell you one thing though.  It starts at 2:30 in the morning, so get your beauty rest the night before! 

Wow...that's going to be epic.  So in 2014, the famous Furthur bus stopped by The Werk Out.  Is that something that has happened in the past? 

Rob: So they were doing a tour that summer.  They hit a lot of festivals, like Gathering of the Vibes and a lot of the really big ones.  We were lucky enough for them to choose The Werk Out as one of their stops.  We played "Cryptical" > "The Other One" > "Cryptical" and had Zane and Derrick come out and kind of bless the crowd beforehand (laughs).  It was really cool.  They had a blast, and we would love to have the bus come around again. 

Watch The Werks perform the Grateful Dead's "Cryptical" > "The Other One" > "Cryptical" at The Werk Out here:

 

I cant say enough about the quality of HD video footage from The Werk Out.  You guys really capture the essence of the festival and give those unable to attend a nice taste of what it's all about. 

Rob: Of course...Jeremy Sewell is one of the best in the business.  We're very lucky to have him on board. 

No doubt about that.  So aside from the music, what other activities do you guys offer at The Werk Out? 

Rob:  We have a lot of other things going on.  While it's a music festival, it's specifically a music and arts festival.  We definitely have a lot of interactive art installations.  We have over 50 live painters, and a lot of performers and fire spinners.  There's yoga in the mornings.  We have an entire workshop dome, where people are presenting workshops ranging from philosophical and introspective workshops all the way to how to make ice cream.  We also have the VIP room for meet and greets and what not. 

I think the biggest thing is that it's BYOB.  We don't sell alcohol at the festival, so everyone can bring in their own.  There is no festival of our size that does that.  We don't really advertise it, but that's how we want it.  It's one of the things I learned as a festival goer.  As an event producer, it's great to have the perspective of being in a band and an avid festival goer.  It's a rare opportunity to see all angles and try to accommodate as best as possible. 

The little things like that really go a long way.  Attention to detail and that type of decision making are a big reason why this festival has become what it is today.  You guys obviously know what it takes to throw a successful festival.  What do you feel are some of the most important factors of establishing a building an annual music and arts festival? 

Rob: First and foremost, it's crucial to have an amazing support staff and team.  We're lucky to have some of the best in the business.  The vibe is crucial.  The vibe starts with the staff and the artists, and it works its way to the fans.  When the staff and artists are all vibing, and everything is running smooth, I feel like that vibrates to the music, the crowd, and everything else.  I've always looked for that and making sure we have that strong core team.  We feel like the artists are family to us.  Listening to the fans is also crucial.  You have to talk with everyone and see what they want.  That's a big part of it, while still sticking to your guns.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Click Here: Purchase Tickets To The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival

Follow The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival on Facebook


Looking Back on Catskill Chill Music Festival: Night 1 September 22, 2015 09:23

 Photo by Andrew Scott Blackstein - Blackstein Photography

One of the year's most anticipated music festivals, Catskill Chill, occurred this past weekend for one last go-round at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY.  Due to circumstances out of their control. the sixth-annual festival served as "A Farewell to Minglewood," as they will be forced to find a new home in 2016.  The festival will continue next year, and several amazing prospective locations have already been placed in the mix.  The year's lineup featured the likes of moe., Lotus, Zappa Plays Zappa, Lettuce, Electron, The Motet, Dopapod, Kung Fu, Twiddle, Turkuaz, The Werks, Particle, George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners, and many many more.  Below you will find a collection of our favorite moments from the weekend, with photos and setlists courtesy of our friends at Brotherly Love Productions.  

 Photos by Andrew Scott Blackstein - Blackstein Photography

Erick "Jesus" Coomes of Lettuce

 

Eric Krasno of Lettuce

Jesus Coomes, Adam Deitch and Adam "Schmeeans" Smirnoff of Lettuce

Mike Rempel of Lotus

George Porter Jr. & Brint Anderson of the Runnin' Pardners

 

Borahm Lee and Adam Deitch of Break Science 

Mihali and Friends - "Dead Set"

Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle and Tim Palmieri of Kung Fu 

 

Mihali and Friends - "Dead Set"

Josh Dobbs of Cats Under the Stars (Keys), Ryan Clausen of Dead Set (Drums), Brook Jordan of Twiddle (Drums), Zdenek Parker Gubb of Twiddle (Bass), Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle (guitar) and Tim Palmieri of Kung Fu (guitar)

"Dopakuaz" Plays Studio 54

Featuring Members of Dopapod and Turkuaz

Josh Schwartz (Bari sax), Josh Sanderson (Tenor sax), Chris Brouwers (trumpet) of Turkuaz

 Dave Brandwein of Turkuaz

 

 Setlist: Lettuce
-
Get Greasy, Bowler, The Force, Harmonics(major>minor), Slippin into Darkness, Phyllis, Lettsanity, Dread Zeppelin, Trillogy, Madison Square, By Any Shmeeans Necessary, New Reel, Squadlive, Makin My Way (Nigel Hall), Sounds Like A Party To Me (Nigel Hall), Do It Like You Do (Nigel Hall)
-
Setlist: Lotus
-
Suitcases, Tarot, L'immueble > Neon Tubes, Sid > Wooly Mammoth, Lead Pipe >  Arupa, Kesey Seed, Livingston Storm > Umbilical Moonrise, What Did I Do Wrong
-
Setlist: Dopakuaz Plays Studio 54
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That's The Way, A Fifth of Beethoven, Bad Girls > Le Freak,  Bell, You Should Be Dancing, Get Down, Funky Town > Disco Inferno, I Feel Love, Give It To Me Baby, Heart of Glass > Good Times

 

Stay tuned for recaps of Night 2 and Night 3 on Wednesday and Thursday!