News

A Few Thoughts On The Magic Of Purple Hatter's Ball June 11, 2018 12:42

Words + Photos by Dawn Cassizzi 

It always feels good rolling up to the The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and my arrival to the Purple Hatters Ball was no different. This was my first time to attend PHB, and I was pleasantly surprised by the intimate feel of this little gem of a festival. With such a stark contrast to the crowds and craziness of so many other festivals I’ve attended at the park, I felt like I had happened upon a secret; a secret that included Spafford and one of my long-time favorites, Lettuce.

After arriving and setting up the camp site on Friday, we headed in for a yoga flow to get our bodies prepped for the full two days of dancing to come. Yoga, lunch and bike rides proceeded the afternoon that began with the heady jams of Hive Mind; a take-off of Atlanta based band, Space Kadet.

With just enough time between sets for a snack and a “trip” back to camp, my partner-in-crime and I returned to catch the soulful and sometimes sultry sounds of Memphis powerhouse, Southern Avenue. Band frontwoman, Tierinni Jackson knows how to put on a show and I loved seeing her sister, Tikyra as the drummer. This band puts a modern spin on “Memphis” style music that will take you all the way from the church to the club.

As the day began to turn to dusk, Toubab Krewe hit the amphitheater stage to set the vibe for the evening. With a sound that is challenging to describe, but impossible to forget, TK is a band that is not to be missed! *And lucky me… this time I did not miss the chance to pick up one of their limited-edition vinyl releases of their latest album, Stylo.

Toubab Krewe was followed by The Heavy Pets, and to close out the evening, Spafford. After discovering Spafford at Hulaween 2017, I knew I would make my strongest efforts to see them any time I possibly could. For my second show, they did not disappoint and kept me on my toes for the entire set. Filled with twists, turns and surprises, they have moments that are reminiscent of styles of so many of my favorite, but very different sounding bands…and yet I hesitate to compare, as they are so unique. I knew I was on the verge of obsession, however when they encored with a cover of Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” merged with “Reprise”, my feelings were confirmed.

Day two began with a slower start due to some scattered showers, but as soon as the rain passed we headed in to catch the Roosevelt Collier Trio, Breaking Biscuits and Lettuce. Roosevelt Collier, whom I heard referred to as the “Hometown Kid”, brought several of his friends up to join him including Nigel Hall (keys), Eric 'Benny' Bloom (trumpet), and Ryan Zoidis (sax) of Lettuce, as well as Luke Quaranta of Toubab Krewe on percussion.  

Our dancing shoes were broken in just in time for Breaking Biscuits, a groovy-trippy collaboration of Break Science and Disco Biscuits that has just enough electronica to keep the EDM kids happy. Of course, the crowd went wild when they brought up Rosey for a cover of Prince’s “1999”.

Closing out a spectacular line-up, Lettuce brought the funk and left the crowd satisfied with the 11th annual PHB.  Lettuce gives me life, and I hope they continue to return to this extra-special, boutique festival. Thank you to Mama Margie and Paul Levine for giving me another excuse to return to The Spirit of The Suwannee Music Park and for honoring your daughter, Rachel Morningstar Hoffman in such a beautiful way. See you next year!

Videos via RexAVision

Watch Toubab Krewe perform "Hang Tan" here:

Watch Southern Avenue perform "Don't Give Up" here:

Watch Breaking Biscuits perform "Inside You > Robot Rock" here:


Here's Why We Can't Wait For Purple Hatter's Ball May 30, 2018 00:05

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Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis
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It's that time of the year again, and summer festival season has officially begun. While countless festivals are scheduled in various, beautiful locations across the country, few (if any) can truly match the magic of Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. While heavy hitters such as Suwannee Hulaween and Wanee naturally draw the most attention to the park, one of our favorite annual events lies ahead this weekend: Purple Hatter's Ball. In addition to a consistently solid lineup, this  intimate two-day music festival raises awareness for The Rachel Morningstar Foundation (a non-profit 501c3 organization) in honor of music lover Rachel Morningstar Hoffman
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Purple Hatter's Ball 2018 will showcase a diverse line-up of music on two stages including the picturesque Amphitheater Stage surrounded by massive live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and the much-loved Beach Stage which offers plenty of shaded area for dancing during daytime sets and sun drenched sand along the black Suwannee River, where festival goers chill on inflatable rafts and play games. PHB 2018 will be headlined by seven-piece super funk futurists Lettuce, who are known for throwing down some of their best live performances on the SOSMP Amphitheater Stage, and Arizona-based four piece Spafford, who are in the midst of a meteoric rise within the jam scene, taking over airwaves on Sirius XM’s JamOn. Also performing is Breaking Biscuits featuring Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein from The Disco Biscuits, and Adam Deitch and Borham Lee of Break Science. The experimental band has only played a handful of shows, and this marks their first performance in the southeast.

Additional artists on the lineup include: Florida-based jam aficionados The Heavy Pets, who are currently touring behind their new full-length album Strawberry Mansion; the one-and-only sacred steel master Roosevelt Collier and his band whose Exit 16 debut album recently dropped on GroundUp Music; Toubab Krewe with their energetic instrumental world music that blends Caribbean, Malian and influences from the “Dirty South”; the conscious world-reggae sounds of DubConscious - Rachel’s favorite band;  and twin producer–duo MZG. Additional performers include Southern Avenue, Hivemind, Catfish Alliance, Trial By Stone, and Vlad The Inhaler.
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Purple Hatter’s Ball is the perfect opportunity to experience the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park festival grounds, during a laid-back, intimate and affordable event. Attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the park’s endless activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, biking, and disc golf.  There is no better way to experience Spirit of the Suwannee in style. The park also offers guest comforts including a general store, a full-service restaurant, showers and water stations.
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Here's a taste of what you can expect from the 2018 PHB lineup:
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Lettuce will bring an unmatchable level of explosive funk to the table.
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You've surely heard the Spafford hype. It's very real. Just wait.
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Break Science meets The Disco Biscuits: Need we say more?
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Toubab Krewe is back with a vengeance. Is there a more unique band out there?
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Suwannee is essentially home turf for The Heavy Pets. These guys always deliver. 
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Speaking of home turf...expect to see your fair share of Dr. Roosevelt Collier.
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Photos by Rex-A-Vision
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Purple Hatter's Ball Will Feature Lettuce, Spafford, Breaking Biscuits March 07, 2018 13:46

Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis

Purple Hat Productions has announced the artist lineup for the eleventh annual Purple Hatter’s Ball. Returning to its home at the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park (SOSMP) in Live Oak, Florida June 1 & 2, 2018 the intimate two-day music festival raises awareness for The Rachel Morningstar Foundation (a non-profit 501c3 organization) in honor of music lover Rachel Morningstar Hoffman.
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The 2018 Purple Hatter’s Ball (PHB) will be headlined by seven-piece super funk futurists Lettuce, who are known for throwing down some of their best live performances on the SOSMP Amphitheater Stage, and Arizona-based four piece Spafford, who are in the midst of a meteoric rise within the jam scene, taking over airwaves on Sirius XM’s JamOn. Also performing is Breaking Biscuits featuring Aron Magner and Marc Brownstein from The Disco Biscuits, and Adam Deitch and Borham Lee of Break Science. The experimental band has only played a handful of shows, and this marks their first performance in the southeast.
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Additional artists on the lineup include: Florida-based jam aficionados The Heavy Pets, who are currently touring behind their new full-length album Strawberry Mansion; the one-and-only sacred steel master Roosevelt Collier and his band whose Exit 16 debut album drops Friday on GroundUp Music; Toubab Krewe with their energetic instrumental world music that blends Caribbean, Malian and influences from the “Dirty South”; the conscious world-reggae sounds of DubConscious - Rachel’s favorite band;  twin producer–duo MZG, and many more. Full lineup listed below.
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PHB 2018 will showcase a diverse line-up of music on two stages including the picturesque Amphitheater Stage surrounded by massive live oak trees draped with Spanish moss, and the much-loved Beach Stage which offers plenty of shaded area for dancing during daytime sets and sundrenched sand along the black Suwannee River, where festival goers chill on inflatable rafts and play games.
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A favorite moment of the weekend is when Rachel’s mother, Margie Weiss (aka Mama Margie), leads an emotional ceremony celebrating her daughter’s memory. Each year, they released 24 monarch butterflies – 23 to represent Rachel’s age when she was taken from this world and 1 for her spirit that lives on. This year, Mama Margie will share several positive updates on  progress being made by the Rachel Morningstar Foundation and unveil a documentary about Rachel’s Law.
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Purple Hatter’s Ball is the perfect opportunity to experience the beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park festival grounds, famous for hosting Suwannee Hulaween, Wanee, and more, during a laid-back, intimate and affordable event. Attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the park’s endless activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, biking, and disc golf.
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A limited number of early bird tickets for $49 + taxes and fees will go on sale Friday, March 9 at noon EST. Tickets will include two days of music and primitive camping. Mama Margie VIP upgrades that include two dinners backstage with artists and staff, an event poster and tee shirt and preferred viewing are available for $199. For a limited time, the park is also offering a very special deal - receive an air-conditioned one bedroom cabin and a golf cart for $400. There is no better way to experience Spirit of the Suwannee in style. The park also offers guest comforts including a general store, a full-service restaurant, showers and water stations. To join the waitlist for cabins, golf cart rentals and RV hookups, please contact SOSMP at (386) 364-1683.
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Stay tuned for additional artist announcements and details on live art, yoga and workshops.
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Purple Hatter’s Ball 2018 Initial Lineup:
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Lettuce
Spafford
Breaking Biscuits ft. members of The Disco Biscuits and Break Science
The Heavy Pets
Roosevelt Collier Trio
Toubab Krewe
Southern Avenue
Dubconscious
MZG
Vlad The Inhaler
Trial By Stone
Catfish Alliance
HIVEMIND
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About The Rachel Morningstar Foundation:
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The Rachel Morningstar Foundation exists to help the public understand the benefit of guidelines for law enforcement's use of confidential informants (CIs). Currently each state, county, city, college campus or law enforcement agency sets their own standards, laws or guidelines as it relates to recruiting and using CIs. The efforts of this foundation are dedicated to the memory of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman (December 17, 1984 – May 7, 2008) a 23-year-old Florida State University graduate. She was murdered while acting as a police informant during a drug sting that started on May 7, 2008. The first of its kind in the U.S., Rachel’s Law, a Florida law that went into effect on July 1, 2009, established new guidelines for law enforcement when dealing with confidential informants.
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Purple Hatter’s Ball Information:
Twitter + Instagram: @PurpleHatters (#PHB2018 #PurpAllDay #RachelHoffman)
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Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park Information:
Twitter: @SOSMP (#Suwannee #SOSMP)
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CukoRakko Confirms Stellar Lineup For 2017 Fall Fest September 13, 2017 10:52

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Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
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Share this post directly from the Live & Listen Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments for a chance to win a pair of CukoRakko tickets. Make sure your settings are set to 'public' so we can see the shared post on our end.

Festival organizers have revealed the final lineup for CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival, which returns Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL for the fourth consecutive year on October 6th - 8th and will presented by Land Rover of Birmingham. The bi-annual, family friendly, grassroots music and arts festival has seen tremendous growth with each year, and this fall looks to be no exception. FallFest will feature arguably the festival's exciting lineup to date with BIG Something, The Heavy Pets, Backup PlanetFreekbass & The Bump Assembly, lespecial, Mr. B & The Tribal Hoose, Winston Ramble, Downright, Supatight, The Stolen Faces, Shabti, Jon Poor Band, Goat Hill String Band, and Jason Grubbs & Friends.  VIP ticket packages and advance general admission tickets can also be found at CukoRakko.com. This is a one-of-a-kind camping experience at one of Alabama's best kept secrets. Stay tuned for future festival updates, exclusive artist interviews, and everything you need to know about CukoRakko!
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CukoRakko offers so much more than just the music. Don't miss out on Get Rhythm's organized drum circles throughout the weekend. Get Rhythm is an interactive rhythm program which uses hand drums and percussion instruments from around the world with the goal of unity through rhythm. Programs range from educational, team building, leadership, or stress relief.
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John Scalici is an award winning teaching artist, author, internationally recognized facilitator, musician, and a member of the John C. Maxwell Team of certified speakers, coaches, and trainers. His Rhythm of Leadership® and Unity Through Rhythm® programs are in high demand and highly regarded at leading corporations, college campuses, elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. 
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Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
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-Get To Know This Year's Lineup!
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BIG Something

A 6 piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. It's no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has caught the ears of such revered Summer circuit stalwarts as Galactic, moe., Robert Randolph, and even The B52s who have all tapped Big Something as direct support.

This past February the group released their 4th full-length studio album, Tumbleweed, which was recorded once again with the help of grammy nominated producer John Custer (Corrosion of Conformity). He has produced all of their albums including Truth Serum, which was named 2014 Album of the Year by The Homegrown Music Network, making Big Something the only band ever to win this award 3 times with 3 different releases (2010, 2013, and 2014).

Watch BIG Something perform "The Flood" with Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's McGee here:

The Heavy Pets

The Heavy Pets are a funky-ass rock and roll band from South Florida. Called "a living, breathing force of nature" by Relix magazine, they are known for their songcraft and powerhouse live performances. The band has been a mainstay on the national touring circuit for over a decade, and will release its fourth full-length studio album in September 2017.

The Pets are a seasoned live act, playing over 1200 shows across the country since their inception in 2005. The band's energetic, extended sets have been described as "full blown musical salvation" that embodies the sound of their Florida home, weaving together elements of indie rock, funk and reggae into a style that is uniquely their own.

The group became an instant Sirius radio sensation upon the release of their debut album Whale in 2007. The crossover sound on their self-titled release, named a "Top 10 Album of 2010" by The Huffington Post, propelled them into the periphery of mainstream music. 2011 saw the release of Swim Out Past The Sun, an acoustic affair featuring longtime Jerry Garcia collaborator David Grisman. Beginning in 2013, The Heavy Pets put out a series of EPs recorded at the legendary Power Station studios, and will release its fourth full-length album in September 2017.

Watch The Heavy Pets perform "Dewpoint" > "Jackie Bones" here:

Backup Planet

Rock ‘n’ roll epitomizes escapism in its purest form. It’s not just artistic anesthetization either, but rather a galvanizing force that inspires us to keep pushing through life’s trials and tribulations. That’s why we still listen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Rush, and countless others all these years later. It’s the same reason audiences will be talking about Backup Planet’s second full-length album, Reactions, for a long time to come. The Nashville, TN quartet—Ben Cooper [keys, vocals], Chris Potocik [drums, vocals], Gavin Donati [guitar, vocals], and Blake Gallant [bass, vocals]—write arena-size anthems echoing with progressive intricacy, funk swagger, and even a little metallic edge. Giving listeners an inspiring and invigorating aural haven, their moniker couldn’t be more apropos…

Watch Backup Planet perform David Bowie's "Fame" here:

Freekbass

Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, Freekbass was an only child who initially wanted to be a magician. He later developed his own obsession for cartoon superheroes and comic books, relating to the underlying themes.

Living in Cincinnati exposed Freekbass to genres of music he may have missed otherwise. While most kids were listening to Nirvana and Green Day, he connected with the bottom-heavy sounds coming out of the boom boxes like Zapp and Midnight Star. While working in a music shop to pay off his first electric bass he had in lay-away, he began to study the classics of Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Parliament and Bootsy with a bass in one hand, and an MPC2000 in the other.

Freekbass has released six full-length CDs, including “Concentrate” with guests Bootsy Collins, DJ Spooky, Adam Deitch, and Steve Molitz, and “Junkyard Waltz” which includes guest appearances by Phish bassist Mike Gordon, guitarist Buckethead, keyboard wizard from P-Funk/Talking Heads Bernie Worrell, and is produced by funk legend Bootsy Collins. Also, national music DVD instruction company, The Rock House Method, recently released two Freekbass instructional DVDs “Learn Funk Bass with Freekbass (Level 1 & Level 2) “, and TrueFire.com just released the instructional DVD/download “50 Freekbass Licks You Must Know” . In 2010 Freekbass connected with DJ Logic, and Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz to form the funktronica trio, Headtronics. 

Going into 2015 Freek has a lot of things on the table. He just released his next album , “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real”, which is produced by Duane Lundy (My Morning Jacket’s Jim James/Ben Sollee) and includes P-Funk/Rubberband keyboardist Razor Sharp Johnson, horn man Skerik, and Trey Anastasio Band vocalist/trumpet Jennifer Hartswick . Also, he was a part of this year’s London Bass Guitar Show in the UK giving a master class and performing. Plus he will be doing extensive touring with his mainstay funk group, “Freekbass & The Bump Assembly” which also includes funk legend Razor Sharp Johnson on keys/synths and George Clinton & P-Funk alumni Rico Lewis on drums. And recently, he signed with the esteemed label Ropeadope Records.

Watch Freekbass' music video for "Mama's Like A Cowboy" here:

lespecial

Hailed as a breakthrough act to watch in 2017, lespecial, based in Boston and upstate New York, have established themselves as innovators and tastemakers on their own unique trajectory. “Disguised as an average power trio from Boston, lespecial creeps around corners and reaches into the darkest depths of the absurd. lespecial is meticulous, creative and defiant; eclectic, multi-talented and driven. The band prides itself in extending the boundaries of musical ability, rebelliously laying waste to the limits of popular music.” (Ragin Randy Entertainment)

Labeled with such unique descriptions as “dark future groove” or “death funk” to “trance metal” or “haunted house party music”, it is tough to put one’s finger on this dangerous and determined trifecta’s distinct sound. A lespecial set brings their signature blend of psychedelic metal infused funk along with deep, thumping synths and 808s that will have your hips swaying as quick as your head banging. From the band’s origins as three friends in high school in the woods of Connecticut who shared a passion for building unique instruments and hitting them with drum sticks, through studying music at a collegiate level to now running their own music school and studio, The Music Cellar, in Millerton NY, Jonny Grusauskas (guitar/synth/sampler/percussion/vocals), Luke Bemand (bass/synth/percussion) and Rory Dolan’s (drums/samples) unique chemistry is what gives them their incomparable personality.

As Steve Morse, Boston Globe writer and Berklee College of Music professor, claims, “They are virtuoso players- and they really listen to each other closely, which is what raises them apart from today’s progressive wannabees”. After several, eclectic EP releases, their debut album, “Omnisquid”, released in 2015, finds the band “jumping through periods of hypnotic rhythms, catchy riffs, and synth grooves fit for a club… throw in a healthy dose of heavy metal and punk influenced guitar, and you have one of the most interesting new albums out there.” (Monkeygoose Magazine). ITDJENTS claims “For fans of King Crimson, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Battles this is definitely the album for you”. The band’s expansive catalogue of singles and videos, including arrangements of everyone from Kanye West to Skrillex to Fela Kuti, is keeping all eyes and ears on lespecial as they prove in clubs and festivals nationwide why Relix Magazine claims “Amidst the rest of the noise, lespecial is the squeaky wheel that demands attention.” 

Check out lespecial's recent set from Disc Jam Music Festival here:

Mr. B & The Tribal Hoose

Mr B began freestyling and recording mixtapes as a highschooler in Phoenix, AZ. He first came in to the public eye after viral youtube video "Wendys Drive Thru Rap". Soon after, he hit the road in support of acts like DMX and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It did not take long for Mr B to realize he wanted to perform with more than just himself, and that's when the Tribal Hoose came along. With every member hailing from a different state, the group began as friends improvising live jams with Mr B as he freestyled at local house shows. They quickly realized they were on to something unique and captivating. The band has since grown and had the opportunity to perform at festivals with likes of Soulja Boy and Ying Yang Twins to name a few. They will B releasing their debut album in the Spring of 2017, followed by a tour to promote their album and movement.

Watch Mr. B & The Tribal Hoose perform "It Ain't All Good (But It's All Good) here:

The Stolen Faces

Photo by Thomas Diasio

Grateful Dead cover band The Stolen Faces deftly capture the spirit of the Dead, covering a wide variety of songs from the band’s expansive catalog and delivering them with the sort of energy and spontaneity that might have you thinking you’re standing in the Fillmore West in 1971. Led by bassist Christian Grizzard, the group features guitarist Jack Silverman, drummer Matt Martin, and a rotating cast of some of Nashville’s top session and touring musicians.

The members of The Stolen Faces all share a love for the Dead, and for the freeform jamming and good vibes that music entails. The group puts a high premium on nailing the vocal harmonies, and has the instrumental firepower to take the extended jams into some seriously trippy sonic territory. In a short time, touring through Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, they’ve begun to establish a reputation as one of the Southeast’s most solid and rockin’ Dead bands!

Watch several clips of The Stolen Faces performing here:

Winston Ramble

Based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Winston Ramble is a homegrown, folk-rock band. With members originally hailing from the free state of Winston County, AL, the band aims to interject the raw expression of rock-n-roll into the feel-good vibes of folk and bluegrass music.

Watch Winston Ramble & Friends perform "Miss You" here:

Downright

Watch Downright perform "The Dirt" here:

Supatight

Currently out of Asheville, NC, Supatight delivers a high energy live performance that is funk driven and appeals to a wide variety of audiences. While specializing in hard-hitting funk, their music incorporates elements of reggae, soul, jazz, and comedic country. Supatight blends intricately timed grooves with improvisational components resulting in an authentic, full sound, drawing diverse styles from every member of the band.

Watch Supatight perform "Puddin' Foot" here:

Shabti

Watch Shabti's official video for "Canvas of Clay" here:

Jon Poor Band

Watch Jon Poor Band perform "Alone In Our Skins" here:

Goat Hill String Band

Watch Goat Hill String Band perform "Long Train Runnin" here:

 Jason Grubbs & Friends


CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival Reveals Initial 2017 FallFest Lineup August 08, 2017 15:13

Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
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Share this post directly from the Live & Listen Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments for a chance to win a pair of CukoRakko tickets. Make sure your settings are set to 'public' so we can see the shared post on our end.

Festival organizers have revealed the initial lineup for CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival, which returns Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL for the fourth consecutive year on October 6th - 8th and will presented by Land Rover of Birmingham. The bi-annual, grassroots music and arts festival has seen tremendous growth with each year, and this fall looks to be no exception. FallFest will feature arguably the festival's exciting lineup to date with BIG Something, The Heavy Pets, Backup PlanetFreekbass, lespecial and Mr. B & The Tribal Hoose rounding out the first wave of bands. A very limited amount of early bird tickets can be purchased today by clicking here.  VIP ticket packages and advance general admission tickets can also be found at CukoRakko.com.  Stay tuned for future artist announcements, exclusive artist interviews, and everything you need to know about CukoRakko!

Get To Know The Lineup:

BIG Something

A 6 piece powerhouse with a sound that is both unique and timeless, BIG Something fuses elements of rock, pop, funk, and improvisation to take listeners on a journey through a myriad of musical styles. It's no secret why this group has quickly become one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the Southeast. Soaring guitars, synths, horns and alluring vocal hooks rise to the top of their infectious collection of songs and represent a sound that has caught the ears of such revered Summer circuit stalwarts as Galactic, moe., Robert Randolph, and even The B52s who have all tapped Big Something as direct support.

This past February the group released their 4th full-length studio album, Tumbleweed, which was recorded once again with the help of grammy nominated producer John Custer (Corrosion of Conformity). He has produced all of their albums including Truth Serum, which was named 2014 Album of the Year by The Homegrown Music Network, making Big Something the only band ever to win this award 3 times with 3 different releases (2010, 2013, and 2014).

Watch BIG Something perform "The Flood" with Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's McGee here:

The Heavy Pets

The Heavy Pets are a funky-ass rock and roll band from South Florida. Called "a living, breathing force of nature" by Relix magazine, they are known for their songcraft and powerhouse live performances. The band has been a mainstay on the national touring circuit for over a decade, and will release its fourth full-length studio album in September 2017.

The Pets are a seasoned live act, playing over 1200 shows across the country since their inception in 2005. The band's energetic, extended sets have been described as "full blown musical salvation" that embodies the sound of their Florida home, weaving together elements of indie rock, funk and reggae into a style that is uniquely their own.

The group became an instant Sirius radio sensation upon the release of their debut album Whale in 2007. The crossover sound on their self-titled release, named a "Top 10 Album of 2010" by The Huffington Post, propelled them into the periphery of mainstream music. 2011 saw the release of Swim Out Past The Sun, an acoustic affair featuring longtime Jerry Garcia collaborator David Grisman. Beginning in 2013, The Heavy Pets put out a series of EPs recorded at the legendary Power Station studios, and will release its fourth full-length album in September 2017.

Watch The Heavy Pets perform "Dewpoint" > "Jackie Bones" here:

Backup Planet

Rock ‘n’ roll epitomizes escapism in its purest form. It’s not just artistic anesthetization either, but rather a galvanizing force that inspires us to keep pushing through life’s trials and tribulations. That’s why we still listen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Rush, and countless others all these years later. It’s the same reason audiences will be talking about Backup Planet’s second full-length album, Reactions, for a long time to come. The Nashville, TN quartet—Ben Cooper [keys, vocals], Chris Potocik [drums, vocals], Gavin Donati [guitar, vocals], and Blake Gallant [bass, vocals]—write arena-size anthems echoing with progressive intricacy, funk swagger, and even a little metallic edge. Giving listeners an inspiring and invigorating aural haven, their moniker couldn’t be more apropos…

Watch Backup Planet perform David Bowie's "Fame" here:

Freekbass

Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, Freekbass was an only child who initially wanted to be a magician. He later developed his own obsession for cartoon superheroes and comic books, relating to the underlying themes.

Living in Cincinnati exposed Freekbass to genres of music he may have missed otherwise. While most kids were listening to Nirvana and Green Day, he connected with the bottom-heavy sounds coming out of the boom boxes like Zapp and Midnight Star. While working in a music shop to pay off his first electric bass he had in lay-away, he began to study the classics of Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Parliament and Bootsy with a bass in one hand, and an MPC2000 in the other.

Freekbass has released six full-length CDs, including “Concentrate” with guests Bootsy Collins, DJ Spooky, Adam Deitch, and Steve Molitz, and “Junkyard Waltz” which includes guest appearances by Phish bassist Mike Gordon, guitarist Buckethead, keyboard wizard from P-Funk/Talking Heads Bernie Worrell, and is produced by funk legend Bootsy Collins. Also, national music DVD instruction company, The Rock House Method, recently released two Freekbass instructional DVDs “Learn Funk Bass with Freekbass (Level 1 & Level 2) “, and TrueFire.com just released the instructional DVD/download “50 Freekbass Licks You Must Know” . In 2010 Freekbass connected with DJ Logic, and Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz to form the funktronica trio, Headtronics. 

Going into 2015 Freek has a lot of things on the table. He just released his next album , “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real”, which is produced by Duane Lundy (My Morning Jacket’s Jim James/Ben Sollee) and includes P-Funk/Rubberband keyboardist Razor Sharp Johnson, horn man Skerik, and Trey Anastasio Band vocalist/trumpet Jennifer Hartswick . Also, he was a part of this year’s London Bass Guitar Show in the UK giving a master class and performing. Plus he will be doing extensive touring with his mainstay funk group, “Freekbass & The Bump Assembly” which also includes funk legend Razor Sharp Johnson on keys/synths and George Clinton & P-Funk alumni Rico Lewis on drums. And recently, he signed with the esteemed label Ropeadope Records.

Watch Freekbass' music video for "Mama's Like A Cowboy" here:

lespecial

Hailed as a breakthrough act to watch in 2017, lespecial, based in Boston and upstate New York, have established themselves as innovators and tastemakers on their own unique trajectory. “Disguised as an average power trio from Boston, lespecial creeps around corners and reaches into the darkest depths of the absurd. lespecial is meticulous, creative and defiant; eclectic, multi-talented and driven. The band prides itself in extending the boundaries of musical ability, rebelliously laying waste to the limits of popular music.” (Ragin Randy Entertainment)

Labeled with such unique descriptions as “dark future groove” or “death funk” to “trance metal” or “haunted house party music”, it is tough to put one’s finger on this dangerous and determined trifecta’s distinct sound. A lespecial set brings their signature blend of psychedelic metal infused funk along with deep, thumping synths and 808s that will have your hips swaying as quick as your head banging. From the band’s origins as three friends in high school in the woods of Connecticut who shared a passion for building unique instruments and hitting them with drum sticks, through studying music at a collegiate level to now running their own music school and studio, The Music Cellar, in Millerton NY, Jonny Grusauskas (guitar/synth/sampler/percussion/vocals), Luke Bemand (bass/synth/percussion) and Rory Dolan’s (drums/samples) unique chemistry is what gives them their incomparable personality.

As Steve Morse, Boston Globe writer and Berklee College of Music professor, claims, “They are virtuoso players- and they really listen to each other closely, which is what raises them apart from today’s progressive wannabees”. After several, eclectic EP releases, their debut album, “Omnisquid”, released in 2015, finds the band “jumping through periods of hypnotic rhythms, catchy riffs, and synth grooves fit for a club… throw in a healthy dose of heavy metal and punk influenced guitar, and you have one of the most interesting new albums out there.” (Monkeygoose Magazine). ITDJENTS claims “For fans of King Crimson, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Battles this is definitely the album for you”. The band’s expansive catalogue of singles and videos, including arrangements of everyone from Kanye West to Skrillex to Fela Kuti, is keeping all eyes and ears on lespecial as they prove in clubs and festivals nationwide why Relix Magazine claims “Amidst the rest of the noise, lespecial is the squeaky wheel that demands attention.” 

Check out lespecial's recent set from Disc Jam Music Festival here:

Mr. B & The Tribal Hoose

Mr B began freestyling and recording mixtapes as a highschooler in Phoenix, AZ. He first came in to the public eye after viral youtube video "Wendys Drive Thru Rap". Soon after, he hit the road in support of acts like DMX and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It did not take long for Mr B to realize he wanted to perform with more than just himself, and that's when the Tribal Hoose came along. With every member hailing from a different state, the group began as friends improvising live jams with Mr B as he freestyled at local house shows. They quickly realized they were on to something unique and captivating. The band has since grown and had the opportunity to perform at festivals with likes of Soulja Boy and Ying Yang Twins to name a few. They will B releasing their debut album in the Spring of 2017, followed by a tour to promote their album and movement.

Watch Mr. B & The Tribal Hoose perform "It Ain't All Good (But It's All Good) here:

 


Win Tickets To See The Heavy Pets & Backup Planet At Zydeco (3/29) March 27, 2017 11:32

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Live & Listen is teaming up with CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival to offer a ticket giveaway for The Heavy Pets and Backup Planet at Zydeco in Birmingham, AL on Wednesday, March 29th.  Those who attended CukoRakko in October of 2016 will remember these two bands making for one of the most dynamic evenings of music we have seen on the main stage at Horse Pens 40.  To enter this contest, simply share this post directly from the CukoRakko Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments section.  Make sure that your Facebook settings are on "public" so we are able to see that you shared the post.  A winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 29th at 12:00 PM CST.
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Watch The Heavy Pets perform "Keep Me Running" here:
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Watch Backup Planet perform David Bowie's "Fame" on New Year's Eve (2016) here:
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Backup Planet Set To Release Sophomore Album 'Reactions' On March 31st March 10, 2017 13:39

BACKUP PLANET--the Nashville-based quartet who write arena-size anthems echoing with progressive intricacy, funk swagger, and even a little metallic edge--today (3/9) have announced their sophomore full-length album, REACTIONS, will be released Friday, March 31.

In support of the album, BACKUP PLANET will hit the road with fellow American rock band The Heavy Pets for a 21-date co-headline tour dubbed “The Heavy Planet Tour,” kicking off March 17 at High Dive in Gainesville, FL with stops in Birmingham, Atlanta, Nashville and Brooklyn, NY at Brooklyn Bowl (presented by RELIX), among others, before wrapping May 4 at Sundown At Granada in Dallas, TX. The band’s upcoming tour will also include solo headlining dates (see full itinerary below). For more information and where to purchase tickets, visit: backupplanetmusic.com/events.

The 10-track REACTIONS album was recorded at Syncromesh Studios in Birmingham, AL with producer Jason Elgin [Collective Soul, Maylene & The Sons of Disaster] and showcases the band’s top-shelf musicianship and songwriting, which is spotlighted in “Little Mingo,” “A Different Life” and another album standout, the haunting and heartfelt “Sublimation,” that conjures up a simmering stew of impressive fretwork, percussion, and towering vocals. BACKUP PLANET--Ben Cooper [keys, vocals], Chris Potocik [drums, vocals], Gavin Donati [guitar, vocals], and Blake Gallant [bass, vocals]--released their full-length debut, Element, during 2015 and have shared the stage with the likes of The Revivalists, Papadosio, and more in addition to headlining countless packed shows. RELIX proclaimed them “On The Verge,” and one fateful gig led to signing with powerhouse management firm Red Light Management [Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket, Dopapod, Phish,].

Ben Cooper (left) and Gavin Donati (right) of Backup Planet // aLive Coverage

Track listing for REACTIONS:

“Reactions”

“A Different Life”

“Bad Man”

“Dearth”

“Lookin’ Up”

“Little Mingo”

“Earth As A Dream”

“Sublimation”

“Waste High Jack”

“All In”

Catch BACKUP PLANET on the road:

Fri

3/17

Gainesville, FL

High Dive

Sat

3/18

St. Augustine, FL

Café Eleven

^Sun

3/19

Charleston, SC

Charleston Pour House

^Thu

3/23

Huntsville, AL

The Downstairs Connector

^Fri

3/24

Macon, GA

The Hummingbird

^Sat

3/25

Savannah, GA

Barrelhouse South

Sun

3/26

Dunedin, FL

Dunedin Brewery Spring Beer Fest

Wed

3/29

Birmingham, AL

Zydeco

Thu

3/30

Memphis, TN

1884 Lounge

Fri

3/31

Atlanta, GA

Aisle 5

Sat

4/1

Nashville, TN

Exit/In

Mon

4/3

Washington, DC

Gypsy Sally’s

Fri

4/14

Philadelphia, PA

Milkboy Philly

Sat

4/15

Syracuse, NY

Funk’n’Waffles

Tue

4/18

Allston, MA

Wonder Bar

Wed

4/19

Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Bowl (Presented by RELIX)

Thu

4/20

Bridgeport, CT

The Acoustic

Fri

4/21

Albany, NY

The Hollow

Sat

4/22

Burlington, VT

Nectar’s

Sun

4/23

Providence, RI

Alchemy

Wed

4/26

Raleigh, NC

The Pour House

Thu

4/27

Knoxville, TN

The Concourse

Fri

4/28

Chattanooga, TN

Revelry Room

Sat

4/29

Jackson, MS

Martin’s

Sun

4/30

New Orleans, LA

Gasa Gasa

^Tue

5/2

Houston, TX

Last Concert Cafe

^Thu

5/4

Dallas, TX

Sundown At Granada

 

^ indicates Backup Planet only shows


10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Miss The Blueberry Jam October 12, 2016 14:58

Photo by Michelle Carroll Stancil: The Southern Rambler

With this weekend's festival at Weeks Bay Plantation fast approaching, we felt that it would be appropriate to lay out just ten of the many reasons why you don't want to miss The Blueberry Jam.  With everything from live music and camping to local vendors, live painting, this festival offers something for just about everyone.  The Blueberry Jam is proud to be a family-friendly occasion, with kids ages 12 and under being admitted for free.  Before we get into to much initial information, sit back and check out these ten reasons why you don't want to miss out on The Blueberry Jam at Weeks Bay Plantation this weekend!

Special thanks to our sponsors who have made this event possible: Gulf Coast Organics, LuLu's, 92Zew, Red Hare Brewing, Bryant Bank, Chris Myers Automotive, Colonial Life, Flowerwood Nursery, Print Sound, and Optera Creative.

Click Here: Purchase Tickets to The Blueberry Jam

- A Benefit For American Cancer Society & Team River Runner - 

                                                    

The Blueberry Jam is extremely grateful and pleased to partner with two amazing, non-profit organizations for this event: American Cancer Society and Team River Runner. A percentage of all ticket sales will be donated to these two life-changing organizations.  The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.  ACS saves lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.

Team River Runner believes that every wounded and disabled veteran deserves the opportunity to embrace new challenges, invoke leadership, and promote camaraderie. Team River Runner provides an outlet to fulfill these beliefs – inviting wounded and disabled war veterans and their families to participate in adaptive paddling programs. Founded in 2004 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, TRR now offer weekly paddling sessions in 45 locations across the nation. Team River Runner is more than an adaptive sports program. It’s a program that provides hope and healing to those who have risked so much, yet asked for so little. It’s an opportunity to enjoy nature and realize its social, physical, and emotional benefits, whether it’s tackling whitewater rapids or paddling on peaceful flat-water. It’s an environment that facilitates connection, allowing veterans to reunite with their families and forge relationships with those who have endured similar pain. Our veterans are on the river to recovery.

-Two Days Of Music On A 90-Acre Organic Farm-

Weeks Bay Plantation is a 90-acre organic blueberry farm located on Mary Ann Beach Road in Fairhope, Alabama.  Family and locally owned, the plantation was established to display the bounty and wonderful attributes that Baldwin County has to offer.  With 15 varieties of 100 percent organic, antioxidant-rich berries to choose from, the acres of sweet blue fruit are reason enough to take a drive down.  While the berries aren't currently in season, this is an opportunity to take in the beautiful setting of an all organic farm while enjoying a variety of both nationally-touring and locally established bands.  

- The New Waterfront Stage At Weeks Bay Plantation - 

This brand new waterfront stage was recently built up out of the lake in the natural amphitheatre at Weeks Bay Plantation.  This location will allow for a dramatic increase in space and room to dance along the flatter area of the amphitheatre.  Sustainability has been upheld with the stage by using all refurbished materials for the clamshell-style canopy.  The new stage features a size of 32 feet wide, 24 feet deep, and 19 feet high.  The location will allow for a beautiful view of the lake, as well as the opposing tree line, which will be lined with tents.  Make sure to keep an eye out for the light projections across the trees as the sun goes down.

- Local / Regional Vendors On Site - 

The Blueberry Jam will have a wide variety of local food, beverage, and retail vendors on site, including: Weeks Bay Foundation, Southern Soul, Tin Top, Warehouse, Bean & Bistro, Kittrell's Daydream, The Brewer's Alley, The Polish Boutique, Moon Pie Mama, and Hoops For Fitness.  Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase for patrons ages 21 and older courtesy of B&B Bartending.

Click Here: Purchase Tickets to The Blueberry Jam

- Family Friendly: Kids 12 & Under Admitted For Free -

The Blueberry Jam is proud to be a family-friendly event.  Kids ages 12 and under will be admitted for free all weekend.  On Saturday, there will be a designated kids area with complimentary face painting and an inflatable bounce house.  Kids can also enjoy a variety of local snacks/refreshments from our various vendors.  Here's a perfect opportunity to bring out the entire family and allow the kids to get an early start on their love for music and arts! 

- The Heavy Pets Present Walrus: A Tribute To The Beatles - 

This year's headlining set will come in the form of special tribute on Saturday night, with The Heavy Pets Present Walrus: A Tribute To The Beatles.  Due to the overwhelming initial response The Heavy Pets have decided to take their extraordinary Beatles tribute on the road for select dates this Spring. Done in their distinct Heavy style, this tribute features blistering jams and unique takes on some of the greatest rock songs ever written.  The powerhouse jams and gorgeous harmonies that The Heavy Pets have become known for find a happy home in this incredible catalog.  

The Heavy Pets are an American rock band that blends rhythm & blues, jazz, funk, disco and reggae with rock & roll. Called “a living, breathing force of nature” by Relix Magazine, the Pets are known for their soulful songcraft and powerhouse live performances. Continuing the momentum of their current EP series, The Heavy Pets recorded and released Rags and Aces in the first half of 2014 amidst their rigorous tour schedule.

- Zach Deputy's One-Of-A-Kind Dance Party - 

Friday night's headlining set will come none other than Zach Deputy, a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter based in Savannah, GA who is best known for his live looping shows. He describes his style as "island-infused drum n' bass gospel ninja soul.  When he plays live, he will loop and layer chord progressions, bass, beat boxing, drum sounds, vocals, and guitar. He performs with four microphones: a vocal synthesizer for choir sounds; one for high-hat, snare, and back-beat; one for main vocals, and one for vocal bass or bass drum.  His looping shows are known for their variety. "There are so many different ways it can happen. I can loop my guitar first, go into drums or loop a vocal riff first or straight into beat boxing and loop it or just go acoustic. It's very free formed. Every show can be extremely different from another. I try to have little consistency when it comes to my show. I never want to get bored with myself."  His fans will seek out live recordings of particular shows because each is so unique.

Deputy spends most of the year touring and at one time averaged 300 shows a year.  His performances are mostly one-man-band looping shows, but also include Zach Deputy Band shows and acoustic storyteller shows. He has played many large festivals such as Jam Cruise, Mountain Jam, High Sierra Music Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, and All Good Music Festival.

- Bands On The Rise: McLovins, CBDB, and Little Raine Band - 

Many will remember the two-night stand from McLovins in November of 2015, which featured an acoustic set, a tribute to The Band, as well as a 90-minute set of danceable original tunes.  McLovins return for another two night stand this year (7:30 Friday / 7:00 PM Saturday), both sets being the second-to-last of the evening.  

Taking a page from their jam band forefathers, McLovins always try to keep their audiences guessing at what’s to come. Their eclectic setlists and individual musical personas define the band’s live shows. Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, McLovins have appeared at Gathering of The Vibes, Mountain Jam, The Peach Festival and the legendary Nateva Music Festival, as well as many acclaimed venues across the country. They have also performed with some of the most influential artists on the scene, including Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, George Porter, Jr. and Oteil Burbridge.  

CBDB is a progressive rock/jam band formed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, whose stock is rising fast. Fresh off the release of their third album, entitled "The FAME EP", they are seeing a pattern of snowballing momentum with large, energetic crowds hungry for their unique brand of progressive jam-rock, dubbed Joyfunk. CBDB blends soulful vocals and virtuosic instrumentation with smart, tasteful songwriting resulting in a sound that can be enjoyed by the casual listener and audiophile alike. On stage, they parade tight, ambitious compositions that seamlessly gives way to loose, adventurous improvisation and have quickly become a must-see act.

Little Raine Band, based in Birmingham, AL, has an ever-evolving sound and fan base reaching all over the Southeast. These four musicians strive to master the art of improv and creating a singular live show. LRB crafts their sound from their unique musical backgrounds and influences. Elements of prog rock, fusion, electronica, soul, and energetic improv can be heard at a Little Raine Band show.

Click Here: Purchase Tickets to The Blueberry Jam

- Beloved Local Bands - 

In addition to several nationally touring acts, The Blueberry Jam is anchored by three of the Mobile/Fairhope areas most exciting and stablished local acts: Infant Richard & The Delta Stones, Paw Paw's Medicine Cabinet, and Lee Yankie & The Hellz Yeah.  IRDS will kick off the festival on Friday night at 6:00 PM CST, while Lee Yankie (12:00 PM) and PPMC (1:30 PM) will be the first two performers on Saturday afternoon.  

- Local Live Painters - 

Several of the area's most talented artists will be on site this weekend, so keep an eye out for the live painters across the concert grounds.  Watching a painting develop stroke by stroke through the power of live music is nothing short of magical, and we strive to continue building the art scene at The Blueberry Jam each year.  We can't say thank you enough to our art director, Angela Krause Harley, for helping us bring this element to the 2016 Blueberry Jam!


The Blueberry Jam at Weeks Bay Plantation Releases Weekend Schedule October 04, 2016 15:47

Photo by Michelle Carroll Stancil

The second annual Blueberry Jam at Weeks Bay Plantation is scheduled for next weekend (Friday 10/14 - Saturday 10/15) in Fairhope, Alabama.  This one-of-a-kind, family-frienly music and arts festival is held on a beautiful 90-acre organic blueberry farm, with live music coming from the brand new waterfront amphitheatre stage.  For those looking to camp for the weekend, gates will open at 3:00 PM on Friday, October 14th.  Camping spots will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.  Tickets may be purchased online by clicking here, as well as at the box office at Weeks Bay Plantation.  A percentage of all ticket sales will be donated to American Cancer Society and Team River Runner.

For those wishing to keep an eye on the world of college football, there will be a tent and TV set up on site at Weeks Bay Plantation.  Activities such as face painting and inflatables will be available to children, who will be admitted free of charge (ages 12 and under).  A wide variety of local food vendors will be on site, as well as a centrally located bar for patrons ages 21 and up.  Music is scheduled to end by approximately 11:00 PM CST on both Friday and Saturday night.  We would like to thank our gracious sponsors who make this event possible: Gulf Coast Organic, LuLu's, Bryant Bank, 92 Zew, Colonial LifeOptera Creative, Flowerwood Nursery, American Cancer Society, Team River Runner, Red Hare Brewing Company, Print Sound, and Chris Myers Automotive.  See below for the official music schedule for both Friday and Saturday.

Click Here: Purchase tickets today!

Official Schedule for The Blueberry Jam at Weeks Bay Plantation:

Friday:
Infant Richard & The Delta Stones - 6:00 PM
McLovins - 7:30 PM
Zach Deputy - 9:30 PM

Saturday:
Lee Yankie & The Hellz Yeah - 12:00 PM
Paw Paw's Medicine Cabinet - 1:30 PM
Little Raine Band - 3:00 PM
CBDB - 5:00 PM
McLovins - 7:00 PM
The Heavy Pets Present Walrus: A Tribute to The Beatles - 9:00 PM


CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival Reveals Final Lineup For Fall Fest August 15, 2016 11:53

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Share this post directly from our Facebook page and tag a friend for a chance to win two weekend passes to CukoRakko.  We will announce a winner via Facebook on Monday, August 22nd at 12:00 PM CST.

CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival is pleased to reveal it's phase three artist announcement and final artist lineup for the 2016 Fall Fest at Horse Pens 40 on October 6th - 9th.  The phase three artist announcement includes a very special reunion performance from Mama's Love (Athens, GA), Dank & Friends (Atlanta, GA), Winston Ramble (Birmingham, AL), Bird Dog Jubilee (Atlanta, GA), and Seeds? (Huntsville, AL).  A variety of single-day and weekend passes to the festival can be purchased by clicking here.  CukoRakko is a one-of-a-kind, family-friendly event located at one of the South's best kept secrets, Horse Pens 40.  Kids ages 10 and under are admitted for free.  Stay tuned for details on Live & Listen's official pre-party at Horse Pens 40 on Thursday, October 6th.  

CukoRakko's Fall Fest will be held at Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL from Thursday, October 6th - Sunday, October 9th.  The lineup this fall will feature as diverse and exciting of a lineup as we have seen from the festival, including the likes of The Heavy Pets, Funk You, Col. Bruce Hampton & Madrid Express feat. Carter Herring, Backup PlanetWinston RambleDank & Friends, The Captain Midnight Band (x2), Maradeen, Mama's Love, The Stolen Faces, Jason Bailey Band, Boy Named Banjo, Royal & Toulouse, Bird Dog Jubilee, Seeds?and Harkestra's Grateful Gospel Jamboree.

Click Here: Purchase your CukoRakko tickets today!

In preparation for the October festivities, we have included video or audio footage from each of this year's performers below.  This lineup features a variety of amazing talent from across the Southeast, including many of the regions top up-and-coming acts.  Stay tuned for future coverage and exclusive content, including our annual interview series, "The Road To CukoRakko," which will be released in early October.

The Heavy Pets

"Dewpoint" - Live at The Georgia Theatre

"Keep Me Running" - Live at The Georgia Theatre

 Funk You

"Lets Dance" - Live at Terminal West

Col. Bruce Hampton & Madrid Express w/ Carter Herring

Entire set from Echo Mountain Studios

Backup Planet

Official music video for "The Road"

Winston Ramble

"Free State of Mind" - Live at Muscle Shoals Studio

Dank

Official music video for "Get Up"

The Captain Midnight Band

"Common Law Hussy"

Maradeen

Official Music Video - "She Treat Me Like a Real Man"

Mama's Love

Listen to "Catch a Feelin'" here:

Listen to "Wake Up Woes" here:

 The Stolen Faces (Grateful Dead Tribute)

Official Music Video - "U.S. Blues"

Boy Named Banjo

Listen to "Blue Hole Bridge" here:

Jason Bailey Band

"Adventures of Shannon Ceili"

Royal & Toulouse

Official music video - "One Direction"

Bird Dog Jubilee

Covering Twiddle's "Lost In The Cold"

Seeds?

Live at Lowe Mill in Huntsville, AL

Harkestra's Grateful Gospel Jamboree

Live from CukoRakko SpringFest 2015


CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival Reveals Phase 1 Lineup For FallFest July 08, 2016 16:30

CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival has revealed it's phase one artist announcement for this October's FallFest. The first phase includes The Heavy Pets, Funk You, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Madrid Express w/ Carter Herring, Backup Planet, and Jason Bailey Band.  Early bird ticket packages will go on sale on Tuesday, July 12th at 10:00 AM CST.  Stay tuned for future announcements and lineup additions.

That “magic feeling on the mountain” continues like nowhere else in the Southeast.  Held at the beautiful Horse Pens 40 in Steele, Alabama, this friends and family event features 3 days of music and mixed media arts. Enjoy yoga, rock climbing, glass blowing, blacksmithing, disc golf with a PDGA tourney, camping, hiking, kid’s activities, food and drinks, crafts and more.

CukoRakko is the Creek Indian word for ceremonial ground, stomp ground, big house and dance ground. This perfectly describes the phenomenal energy that can be felt at this historic outdoor nature park. Horse Pens 40 is a natural wonderland of unique rock formations nestled atop Chandler Mountain in the foothills of the Appalachians. Located on top of the third highest mountain in Alabama, the stone formations here are said to be among the oldest naturally exposed stones in the world, dating from 600 million to 1.3 billion years old. This sacred ground has a vivid history. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this incredible natural amphitheater.

Click Here: Official Website - CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival

Watch McLovins perform at CukoRakko SpringFest in May of 2016 here:


The Blueberry Jam at Weeks Bay Plantation Reveals 2016 Lineup June 27, 2016 08:42

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Purchase Early Bird Tickets Today!

Click Here: Live & Listen's Official Ticket Page

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Weeks Bay Plantation and Live & Listen are pleased to announce the official lineup for The Blueberry Jam, a music and arts festival held on Weeks Bay Plantation in Fairhope, Alabama on Friday, October 14th - Saturday, October 15th.  This year's headlining set will come in the form of special tribute, with The Heavy Pets Present Walrus: A Tribute To The Beatles.  Many will recognize The Heavy Pets from their countless appearances at many of the nation's biggest music festivals, as well as frequent play on SiriusXM JamOn radio.  Also performing this year will be Zach DeputyMcLovins (two nights), CBDB, Little Raine BandPaw Paw's Medicine Cabinet, Infant Richard & The Delta Stonesand Lee Yankie & The Hellz Yeah.  

This event offers a wide variety of musical talent while crossing into multiple genres, creating the feel of a true two-day music festival.  With the brand new, waterfront stage at Weeks Bay Plantation, the natural amphitheater can be used on an entirely new level.  This year's jam will benefit the the American Cancer Society and Team River Runner.

Check out the new waterfront amphitheater stage at Weeks Bay Plantation!

How can I purchase tickets?

Weekend passes and single-day tickets for Saturday, October 15th will be available through Live & Listen's official ticket page on Friday, July 1st.  Hop on our early bird ticket pricing and save money at the door.  Further details on all ticket options will be available when tickets go on sale on Friday, July 1st.
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Can I Bring My Kids?

Absolutely.  Kids ages 12 and under will be admitted for free.  We are excited to bring this unique family-friendly environment back to the Fairhope area for the second straight year. We will offer several activities to keep the kids entertained on the farm, including face painting, arts and crafts, inflatables, and much more. 

Will Food and Beverage Be Available?

Yes.  We will have a diverse variety of food vendors along the back end of the amphitheater, with seating available under the oak trees with just the right amount of shade for a nice meal.  Weeks Bay Plantation will have multiple remote bars surrounding the amphitheater for attendees ages 21 years and older. 

Will On-Site Camping Be Allowed?

Yes.  Weeks Bay Plantation will be open for camping at 4:00 PM CST on Friday, October 14th for those wanting to spend Friday and/or Saturday night camping on the farm.  Friday night's music will take place in the beautiful 6 Oak Hammock, while all of Saturday will take place at the brand new waterfront amphitheater stage.  Stay tuned for further details on camping.

How can artists get involved?

With many hands and lots of strokes. If you've ever had to opportunity to watch artists work you can understand how exciting it will be to see them paint the corners with the farm as our back drop and the incredible line up of musicians setting the tone. The strokes will be blows. Live artists will be abundant and their booths abounding.  And the interactive art theme won't go unnoticed, crafts for kids, plenty of paint to sling, and many places to make your mark.  If you are interested in being a live painter or vendor, please email Art Director: Jordan Atchison.
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Interested in becoming a volunteer?

The Blueberry Jam is looking for a limited number of volunteers for the weekend.  All volunteers will be issued a free weekend pass w/ free camping included.  Volunteers will be expected to attend a meeting at Weeks Bay Plantation prior to the gates opening on Friday, October 14th to review a detailed schedule for the weekend.  Please send an email to Jordan Kirkland of Live & Listen if interested in applying to volunteer at The Blueberry Jam.

Who Do I Contact For Press Related Inquiries?

Please direct all press related inquiries to Live & Listen.  All press/media credentials will be considered upon submission.  Submit your requests via email: Jordan Kirkland.  All requests will be reviewed and responded to in a timely fashion.

How can I learn more about the lineup?

 Present Walrus: A Tribute To The Beatles

Photo by Jordan August Photography

The Heavy Pets are an American rock band that blends rhythm & blues, jazz, funk, disco and reggae with rock & roll. C alled “a living, breathing force of nature” by Relix Magazine, the Pets are known for their soulful song craft and powerhouse live performances. Continuing the momentum of their current EP series, The Heavy Pets recorded and released Stolen Smile in the second half of 2014 amidst their rigorous tour schedule which recently surpassed 1,000 performances.  Dubbed The Heavy Pets Present Walrus: A Beatles Tribute, the band will perform a set full of Beatles covers while putting their own unique, jammed out spin on the familiar tunes.

The group became an instant SiriusXM radio sensation in 2007 with the release of their double-disc debut album, Whale. First embraced by the jam scene for their raw talent, their crossover sound that is showcased on their self-titled album, also dubbed a “Top 10 Album of 2010” by The Huffington Post, propelled them into the periphery of mainstream music. Returning to their acoustic roots on Swim Out Past the Sun (2011), THP's guitar duo set aside their electric axes for a more organic approach. The Pets followed up those polished efforts by releasing Everywhere Sessions: Volume 1 (2012), recorded live in the studio with accompanying videos. In 2013, The Heavy Pets launched an ongoing series of self-produced EPs with Two Horses and followed up with Rags and Aces in May of 2014, with both receiving heavy airplay on satellite radio.

The Heavy Pets have taken the stage at Bonnaroo, Jam Cruise, High Sierra, Gathering of the Vibes, All Good, Wakarusa, Mountain Jam, Hulaween, Langerado, Bear Creek, Summer Camp, Catskill Chill, AURA and their namesake PetZoo.

Watch The Heavy Pets perform Walrus: A Tribute To The Beatles in Orlando on 12.17.2015 here:

 

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Photo by ShowLove Media

Zach Deputy has made his mark thus far as a touring powerhouse. As a boy, the music of his Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage was cooked up in the South Carolina heat. The Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix competed with the R&B / soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles for space on the family stereo. As Deputy honed his craft, a unique hybrid of these influences emerged, ultimately creating the signature Zach Deputy sound.

To bring this sound to the stage, the big, impossibly upbeat South Carolinian with the infectious smile puts on a solo show– enhanced by looping technology– that is essentially a one man dance party offering up what he calls “Island-infused, Drum ‘n’ Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul” to the enthusiastic crowds of dancers who flock to clubs from coast-to-coast. It is these late night dance parties— more than 250 per year– that have made Zach Deputy one of the hottest up-and-coming performers on the camping festival circuit and “jam band” scene. For Zach, most days begin in a hotel room and end a couple of hours after walking off stage.

Watch Zach Deputy's full set from Remerton, GA on 02.26.16 here:

 

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McLovins is a soulful rock band that complements a youthful and infectious energy with seasoned and diverse musical talent. Inspired by an eclectic mix of influences like The Band, Steely Dan and The Flaming Lips bassist Jason Ott, drummer Jake Huffman, guitarist Justin Berger and keyboardist Atticus Kelly combine their progressive songwriting skills with 70’s inspired extended improvisations and instrumental ingenuity.
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Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, McLovins have appeared at Gathering of the VibesMountain Jam, The Peach Festival, and the legendary Nateva Music Festival. They have also performed with some of the most influential artists on the scene, including Buddy Guy, George Porter Jr., Oteil Burbridge and Robert Randolph.
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Currently the band is on the road promoting its self-titled new album cut in New York
City’s East Village and produced by 2-time Grammy award winner Bill Sherman.
As the band continues to evolve, consistency lies in the distinctive Jam-rock production that brings a vibrant sound and a unique energy to many acclaimed venues and festivals across the country.
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Watch McLovins perform "Building It Up" in New Haven, CT on 03.26.16 here:
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CBDB is a progressive rock/jam band formed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, whose stock is rising fast. Fresh off the release of their third album, entitled "The FAME EP", they are seeing a pattern of snowballing momentum with large, energetic crowds hungry for their unique brand of progressive jam-rock, dubbed Joyfunk. CBDB blends soulful vocals and virtuosic instrumentation with smart, tasteful songwriting resulting in a sound that can be enjoyed by the casual listener and audiophile alike. On stage, they parade tight, ambitious compositions that seamlessly gives way to loose, adventurous improvisation and have quickly become a must-see act.

Watch CBDB's music video for "Ground Score" here:

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Little Raine Band is a band truly on the rise, and is quickly becoming known as the hottest act in the Southeast. With an ever-evolving sound and fan base reaching all over the Southeast these young musicians have pledged their lives to master the art of live performance and creating a one of a kind live show. Little Raine Band is a four-piece band from Birmingham, AL that craft their sound from their unique musical backgrounds and an intense passion to follow their dream. Elements of progressive rock, funk, jazz fusion, electronic music, R&B, and energetic improvisations can be heard in a Little Raine Band show along with covers to cater to any crowd.

Watch Little Raine Band perform "New Beginnings" at Exit/In in Nashville here:

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Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet is Gabriel Willis on bass and vocals, Mike Jernigan on guitar and vocals, Ethan Snediger on drums and percussion, and Jeremy Ault on lead guitar. Formed in February 2015, Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet made waves after just a handful of shows along the Gulf Coast. In March, the band was featured on Studio10 which airs on WALA Fox10. Video of the performance was shared across multiple platforms and featured on more than a dozen local television stations across the country.

PPMC has hours of material covering everything from The Fugees to John Mayer to Eminem to the Bee Gees. Be sure to check out the sample set list for details. Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet doesn’t stop at covers. They also have more than an hour of soulful, funky and dancy uptempo originals.  For more laid back evenings, PPMC can tone it down for an easy listening acoustic set. No matter what you’re looking for, 
Paw Paw’s Medicine Cabinet is ready to deliver.

Watch Paw Paw's Medicine Cabinet perform "Subtle Tease" live on Studio 10 here:

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Formed in Mobile during the fall of 2014, Infant Richard and the Delta Stones is a diverse six-piece that explores all textures of music in their live shows. Described as Phish meets 2 Live Crew, every show is memorable and unpredictable. Led by the sensational Symone French on vocals, IRDS recorded their first album, The VD EP, in November of 2014. Winning Best New Local Band and Best Bass Player in the 2015 Nappies solidified their presence in the Mobile music scene.  IRDS has opened for national acts such as; Dumpstaphunk, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists and CBDB.

Watch Infant Richard & The Delta Stones perform "Chattanooga Chocolate Factory" here:

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Photo by Matt Gates Photo

Lee Yankie has been playing as a solo act and with his live band Lee Yankie & The Hellz Yeah in the Gulf Coast area since 2004. At the moment Lee is working on a new solo record "The Leavin' Sound". The solo album is influenced by Lee's acoustic solo work and creates a down home feel with plenty of Lee's signature slide guitar work. This album has tinges of everything from blues rock to downhome gospel, r&b and what some might call soulful country. "The Leavin' Sound" is set to be released in late summer 2012.

Watch Lee Yankie & The Hellz Yeah performing in Tuscaloosa here:


The Road To AURA: Jeff Lloyd of The Heavy Pets March 02, 2016 12:43

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Photo by Nick Sonsini: Sonsini Media
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The 7th Annual AURA Music & Arts Festival is right around the corner, taking place at The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida from Thursday, March 3rd to Saturday, March 5th.  As a part of our coverage of the festival, we are sitting down with a handful of this year's performers for a series of interviews called "The Road To AURA".  Next up is Jeff Lloyd (guitar/vocals) of The Heavy Pets.
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Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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Last year marked the 10th year anniversary for The Heavy Pets.  I recall from our last interview that that band played it's 1000th show at Hulaween in 2014.  There are also numerous side projects within the band.  How have you guys gone about planning the schedule for 2016?
 
Jeff:  Well we are kind of in transition right now.  We changed booking agencies around the middle of last year.  We kind of went independent, and we started booking on our own, but we knew that wasn't going to be a permanent solution.  That was just a temporary thing.  We started working with this new agency.  We had a plan going into it with them that I think has been really successfully implemented thus far, and I look forward to seeing where that ends up.  We knew that we wanted to get out on the road just as often as we normally do.  Maybe group it up a little more together, so we're not touring all year long, but doing a couple of extended tours and as many festival plays as you have seen us do in the past.  
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What we really tried to do differently moving into 2016 was to focus on these different tribute sets.  One that we had decided to do, which was The Beatles thing, and we're starting to see that getting attention all over the country.  That's been really fun to bring that out and show that to people.  But also the 80's tribute wasn't even conceived by us.  It was conceived by AURA, and it's something that they do every year.  They pick an artist to either cover another artist or do this kind of tribute thing that we're doing this year.  We're tributing an entire decade of music.  That was definitely a big part of the plan for 2016; to get out there and show the scene that we can do all of these different things.
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I've heard really great things about that Beatles' tribute.  When did you guys debut that set, and how much are you guys thinking about doing that moving forward?
 
Jeff:  I think it was toward the end of last year.  I think it was October, actually.  We did two shows right down here in South Florida.  We did it just one of those two nights.  It was so much fun to put together.  We had never done anything like it before.  Even in the last few years, we haven't played a whole lot of covers, period.  So to do an entire night of cover songs, and Beatles' songs no less, was really fun to put together.  Then we started realizing that there was no way in one that we could play all of The Beatles' songs that we would like to play.  
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There's definitely so much more that we could do with this.  So we booked it a few more times for different festivals, and we've been adding songs and changing up the setlist.  It's been a lot of fun, and now we have it booked for New Orleans Jazz Fest.  We're doing a late night thing there.  We're going to be doing this in Denver coming up next month.  Following that up, we're doing it up in the Northeast in cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and probably a few more.  We're also getting some looks from festivals to be doing it this Summer all over.  It's not something that we intend to do forever, but it is something that has been really fun to do right now.  We're certainly not even close to scratching the surface with the potential that it has.   
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Watch The Heavy Pets performing the Beatles Walrus Tribute Set at The Funky Biscuit here:
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The band has released several EP's in recent years, Stolen Smile  & Rags and Aces being the most recent in 2014.  Are there any plans for another studio recording this year?  How often do you guys try and add new originals into the rotation?
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Jeff:  Well that's a constant.  We're always trying to add new songs to the repertoire, and there is really no shortage with all of the songwriters in the band.  The one thing that we're getting better at is scheduling.  We've been scheduling and allotting our time a little bit better.  For years, we didn't really have much of a plan.  We just played and toured and played, practiced, and so on.  But now, we're a little bit better at scheduling here.  We know that we're gonna have some time in May.  We're looking at possibly getting back in the studio and throwing some new songs down in May, and we're definitely looking to stick with the format that we've been doing the last few times with the short EP thing.  I think that works really well with our schedule, and it allows us to put out stuff that is really fresh to us.  
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The Heavy Pets are obviously no strangers to AURA and Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.  I know Suwannee is extra special to you guys, being right in your backyard.   What is it that differentiates this venue from other major festival sites?   What are a few of your favorite Suwannee memories from over the years?
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Jeff:  Suwannee is just a magical place.  It's a permanent festival site.  So that right there means they have infrastructure, roads, and the way that the whole thing is set up is for throwing big musical events.  It makes it so great for the artists, and not only for us, but for the fans as well.  It's just such a great experience because of the way its set up, and then you add on top that the place is just so gorgeous.  It's just really full of natural beauty.  The main amphitheater itself is just such a sight with the big Florida oak trees and the Spanish moss hanging down.  There are hammocks everywhere, and it's just a beautiful, easy going place.  A perfect place to take in a weekend of music.
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I think that brings me to one of the first memories that comes to mind, which was playing Wannee on a Wednesday.  We've only done it once, and it was a couple of years ago.  We played that main amphitheater stage.  They refer to it The Mushroom Stage during Wannee.  Just seeing thousands and thousands of people out there was pretty special.  And of course, as you mentioned earlier, we played our 1000th show at Hulaween in 2014 on the big ole stage that they put in the field.  That was a huge experience for us, and the festival was great.  Everything was awesome about it.  They had champagne for us, and some nice things left in our dressing room.  I think left us a nice congratulatory card.  I forget exactly what it was but it was really nice.  You really couldn't plan your 1000th show any better than that.
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We obviously need to talk more about the big 80's tribute set from The Heavy Pets, scheduled for 5;15PM on Saturday night in the amphitheater.  You guys have called on Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman, as well as a few other guests for the special occasion.  How did the idea for this set come to life, and what can we expect on Saturday night?
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Jeff:  So the festival's founder, Daryl Wolff, has started a tradition for himself.  I believe it started with the Stevie Wonder set from a couple of years ago with Kung Fu and Nigel Hall.  He just had some sort of epiphany.  He came out on stage, and he gives his reasoning before the set.  He kind of emcee's the set, and he came out and said that he had a dream about that particular set.  So he made it happen.  He followed that up with a Hall & Oates tribute set that Stokeswood did, then last year The Main Squeeze did the Michael Jackson tribute.  Pretty much everyone we have seen do it thus far have called on a lot of the other musicians playing the festival.  We definitely have some big shoes to fill in terms of stepping up to the plate and knocking this one out of the park this year.  I think people are expecting to see something great, and we definitely intend to give it to them.
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Did you guys play any role in selecting the 80's theme?
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Jeff:  No...that's the thing.  We really didnt.  Daryl just hit us up about it.  He shot us a text saying, "I think I know what I want to do for the tribute set.  Why don't you guys do an 80's tribute?"  I will say that personally I wasn't jumping for joy initially.  It kind changed up the format, which I was fine with, but it had always been one band covering another band.  The 80's is just so open ended, and we started to realizing that there are so many directions that we can go here.  It just so happened that the day he texted us, we had a nice long drive ahead of us.  We had just landed at the Pittsburgh airport.  We picked up the rental car, turned on the radio, and what was playing was like "The 80's Show" on some local rock station.   So we just listened to like two and a half hours of 80's hits, and we got really excited about it.  During that drive, we were able to make of list of like 50 songs from the 80's that we had heard on the show, or that we were reminded of by other songs.  So now it has just been a process of whittling that down over the last few months, because there are really so many things that we wanted to do.  I think what we've decided on is really the best route.  But we'll see, you know?  I think people are gonna love it.
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This year's lineup features a notably diverse variety of the festival scene's most exciting groups. `What do you think this lineup says about the depth of this music scene in 2016? 
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Jeff:  I think AURA has always done a really great job of drawing bands from a pretty wide range, and that's important with a festival.  You don't want to draw from the same well with some of these bands, as far as style is concerned, as well as the demographic of who you want to get there.  So obviously the more diverse, the more fun the party is going to be.  I think AURA always knocks that out of the part.  Our set on Saturday is followed by Snarky Puppy and The Disco Biscuits, and we'll play around 20 songs that we have never played in front of anyone before.  But yeah, we're really looking forward to that opportunity.  We have quite a few surprise guests, as well, that are gonna be popping in.  So look out for that.  It's gonna be a blast!
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Watch The Heavy Pets perform "Bibbles" at AURA 2013 here:
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The Heavy Pets Announce 10th Anniversary "Tour Da Florida" August 31, 2015 14:15

The Heavy Pets have announced a 10th Anniversary ‪‎"Tour Da Florida” run with 11 shows in eight of their favorite towns including a performance at Dunedin's Oktoberfest, a two-night stand at the Funky Buddha Lounge in Boca Raton including the premier of Walrus: A Beatles Tribute, and a three-night run in Key West during Fantasy Fest.  

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Tour Da Florida Dates

9/24: Tallahassee | The Side Bar Theatre w/ Sir CharLes, Catfish Alliance

9/25: Gainesville | The JAM: Gainesville w/ Grit

9/26: Winter Park | Red Lion Pub w/ The Groove Orient

9/30: Jupiter | Guanabanas

10/2: Jacksonville | 1904 Music Hall w/ Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Displace

10/3: Tampa Bay |Dunedin Brewery for Oktoberfest

10/16: Boca Raton | Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery for Walrus: A Beatles Tribute

10/17: Boca Raton | Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery for It's Going Down...Memory Lane

10/23-25: Key West | Smokin' Tuna Saloon for Fantasy Fest
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For all future updates on The Heavy Pets, make sure to check their official website and social media outlets!
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