Next Saturday, March 5th, Railroad Earth will take the stage at NYC’s Playstation Theater in the heart of Times Square (tickets are available here). The roots and Americana-based “newgrass” jam band is made up of six highly talented musicians that can flat out write beautiful songs and take them to great heights, with their ability to stretch them out with some serious jamming. While the group doesn’t like to be labeled in one style or another, their songs are steeped heavily in the bluegrass, rock n’ roll, and celtic traditions.Whether it is Todd Sheaffer‘s skillful song craftsmanship, Tim Carbone‘s ethereal violin, the sound of John Skehan‘s alluring mandolin playing, Andy Goessling literally playing one of nine instruments, or the rhythm section of Carey Harmon on drums and Andrew Altman on upright/electric bass holding it down, one thing is for certain: when all of the pieces come together it makes for a transcendental experience. Railroad Earth’s music simply takes you on a enchanted journey of epic proportions.With five studio albums under their belts, along with the extremely popular live album Elko, Railroad Earth was also brought in to record last year’s highly-acclaimed album Ashes & Dust by Allman Brothers Band/Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, which was followed by a tour in support of the record. In other words, this isn’t a show that you want to miss.Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth Debut ‘Ashes & Dust’ At Intimate Town Hall PerformanceJoining Railroad Earth for the NYC show will be Scranton-based bluegrass outfit Cabinet. The group has been gaining a lot of recognition over the last couple of years, touring all over the country while releasing their third studio album Celebration in early 2015. Make sure to get to the show for Cabinet’s opening set, as there is sure to be plenty of boot-stomping and drinking of barley-laced ales during their set (well, really the entire night). Railroad Earth, Twiddle & More Tapped For Cabinet’s Susquehanna Breakdown FestivalRailroad Earth and Cabinet hit the PlayStation Theater in New York, NY on March 5th. For tickets and more information, be sure to head here.Railroad Earth – “Mighty River” from their OurVinyl Sessions:Cabinet “Celebration”, the title track of their 2015 studio album:Enter to Win Tickets:
2. Foundation Of FunkIt’s almost impossible to talk about funk music without hearing George Porter Jr.‘s name mentioned, and for good reason. He and his rhythm partner from the Original Meters, Zigaboo Modeliste are the Foundation Of Funk, and, with special guests John Medeski and Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds, the foundations showed how much the godfathers of the groove have left in them. Check out an epic “Cissy Strut” below.3. LettuceWith the past firmly covered, Lettuce came into the festival with a head of steam from a summer of wowing crowds across the nation. The band is a true symbiosis of superstar talent and a complete lack of musical ego that is both rare and amazing to see in action. Taking funk into the future, Lettuce is on the cutting edge of space age super funk, and the appreciative crowd was more than happy to follow them into the outer reaches of the jam. Blast off with the band below: After two years of silence, the mighty heart of Bear Creek beat once again, loud and proud on the Bayou in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bands like Lettuce and Dumpstaphunk that had that championed the beloved festival flocked to Crescent City to once again take the stages at the Bear Creek Bayou Festival, alongside other alumni like George Porter Jr., Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Soulive and The Heavy Pets. With an eye to the future, new acts ranging from The Floozies to The Flaming Lips made their debut, alongside the much anticipated arrival of the mothership that is George Clinton’s Parlianent-Funkadelic.With three stages situated around the waterfront landmark venue Mardi Gras World, Bear Creek picked right back up where it left off. Our own Rex Thomson was allowed to roam the festival and capture what he could photo and video wise and has returned from his funk odyssey with tales of the ten best things he experienced over the weekend. Check out the stories, photos and videos below.1. George Clinton’s Parliament FunkadelicP-Funk’s arrival in the park was long overdue, and the anticipation was well warranted, as the two hour mixture of classic tunes and more modern, hip-hop influenced songs had the crowd dazed, confused and smiling ear to ear. As always the stage was packed, with the old guard from the way back good old days supplemented by a fresh crop of eager musicians, all working to create the finest funk possible. Overseeing this effort was the man himself, George Clinton, bespoke and ready to flow to the grooves being laid down.Check out their stellar version of the classic “We Want The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)” below: 4. DumpstaphunkAs mentioned earlier, Dumpstaphunk has been a pillar of the Bear Creek spirit, and their two sets over the weekend were easily some of the funkiest sounds laid down over the weekend. Occasionally dueling on the bass with bandmate Nick Daniels, multi-instrumentalist Tony Hall put on a clinic in how to keep things funky. Covering the drummer stool once again, Nikki Glaspie of The Nth Power kept the beat alive for band leader Ivan Neville, whose organ and key board game is as strong as it ever has been. Give a listen to a get down version of the band’s tune “Water” below: 5. Flaming LipsAn old tenant of show biz is “Never follow a kids act,” since any mis-step will invite unflattering comparisons. That said, it’s been decades since the Saturday night anchors The Flaming Lips worried about anyone upstaging them. Since their founding under legendarily sketchy circumstances, Wayne Coyne and crew have pushed the boundaries of fusing art and psychedelia, creating a sonic dream-scape that can be…unsettling. But to the initiated and open minded, each show is a sacred right of love and hope.While some mistakenly focus on the theatrics and the similarity of set lists (They’ve closed with the same song, “Do You Realize,” for more than a decade), what they’re missing is the planned progression of emotional states the band is trying to lead the crowd through. Wayne Coyne is a master at guiding fans along the path of hope and harmony, using musical dissonance as a tool to unsettle and inspire at the same time.From the cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” his crossing of the crowd in a plastic bubble to the endless blasts of confetti from the canons and one-shot launchers he was well armed with, every action taken by Coyne was part of a carefully planned whole. While their music may not be for everyone, their core concept certainly is.The symbolism of his being held aloft in his bubble as he made his way, thanks to the out-stretched hands supporting him, showed what we could all do if we choose to lift instead of tearing down. Ot was a beautiful reminder that we are all in this together. We hold up others now, so that when we need to be lifted, there will be hands ready to raise us towards the stars. As messages go, there are few finer.6. Chali 2na & The House Of VibeAnother long time friend of the Bear Creek, Jurassic 5’s baritone master of flow Chali 2na was on hand with his band The House Of Vibe to kick mad flows and show how much magic could be made melding a live soul band and one of the best rappers of his generation. Using his set to showcase the young in body, not in spirit members of his band 2na showed the science and rapid fire skills that made him a legend were still strong within him. Give a listen to the wicked wordplay he laid out below:7. Zach DeputyThe one man band that is Zach Deputy broke with type and played his first set with his band The Hashtags before doing a more traditional looping set of his island flavored love music. He’s been playing the Bear Creek Festival since his beginnings and he was clearly happy to be back on familiar turf, even if the location was different. It seems a little weird to see Zach not making every little bit of the sound coming from the speakers, but it spoke volumes to his musical dexterity. Have a listen to his full band sound below:8. Karl Denson’s Tiny UniverseThe funky force of Karl Denson was in full effect at Bear Creek, with his whole band stepping up at various point. Guitarist DJ Williams was on fire, even contributing a song from his upcoming record to the show. Denson switched freely between flute, percussion and his trademark sax, all in an effort to serve the song. Fellow sax man Skerik came out to have a spirited guest stretch that morphed into a fierce back and forth between him and his host. Check out the fireworks below: 9. Nigel Hall BandSoul singer, ivory tickler and frequent Lettuce collaborator Nigel Hall provided a fun set of his own tunes and some choice covers to get the ball rolling on Saturday with a well received set. With a couple of last minute subs, guitarist Adam Smirnoff and saxophonist Khris Royal stepped up admirably and elevated the party to even higher heights. Give a listen to his set closing soul surprise:10. The PeopleWhile surely the music is the most important thing to most, attendees of a music festival Bear Creek has become a family affair over the years. After their first visit, most fans fall in love with the festival and count the days between, preparing for the next chance to gather with the families they have built by sharing their mutual loves and, of course, the dance floor. All around the grounds of Mardi Gras World there were people embracing much missed friends, sporting shirts from previous iterations of the fest and making new friends along the way to the next stage.Speaking of the next stage, a pleasant surprise before the Saturday night headliner The Flaming Lips was the staccato sound of one of New Orleans’ finest traditions, a drum line marching through the grounds. Music fans eager to enjoy the very visceral experience of seeing music made inches away were delighted to find that the source of the sweet sounds was The Roots Of Music, a band that exists as the public face for a local non-profit that uses music and musicians to help steer at risk youth away from the pitfalls of life in an admittedly tough town like New Orleans.While a portion of VIP ticket sales were allocated to this fine cause, their hat was filled by appreciative on lookers as the band showed chops far exceeding what one would expect given their ages. Check out what is surely the first steps of the next generation of funkateers below:This is just a small sampling of the highlights that popped off all over the grounds over the course of the two days of the funktackular return of the Bear Creek Music Festival on the bayous of New Orleans. The spirit of the festival was as strong and as true as ever with familiar faces greeting first timers in the crowds and on the stages with love and fellowship. Seeing the embers of the festival reignited into a raging blaze of musical fury was a truly welcome sight, and the future looks funky indeed.
Now that we’re in the New Year, John Mayer fans have been eagerly awaiting to hear news about The Search For Everything – Mayer’s new album. After releasing the lead single “Love On The Weekend” last month, Mayer promised more new music to come by the end of January, but didn’t reveal any further information… until now.A quick glance at Mayer’s Instagram page shows a 3×3 image depicting a potential album artwork. You can see a screenshot below.When you scroll through the images individually, which were uploaded around 4AM last night, the captions details Mayer’s plan for releasing the new album. He says that songs from The Search From Everything will be released four at a time, per month, and that the Wave One will begin on January 20th. The four songs to be released are: “Moving On And Getting Over”, “Changing”, “Love On The Weekend” and “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.”Check Out The New “Unicorn” Pedal Inspired By The Guitar Tone Of Jerry Garcia & John MayerMayer has also promised to tour both before and after Dead & Company‘s major summer tour, though no dates have been revealed for his solo agenda. We can’t wait!
Load remaining images Fans at the first two nights of The String Cheese Incident‘s New Year’s run at Broomfield, CO’s 1STBANK Center witnessed two solid performances, all leading up to the big night. To just say the group delivered would be an understatement. Cheese laid it all out on the table for a three set extravaganza that featured some of the band’s biggest hits, and a few surprises thrown in for good measure.With a packed house ready to ring in the New Year, SCI came out strong with a “San Jose” opener that got things going early on and never let up from there. “Outside and Inside” led into a cover of the Allman Brothers Band‘s “Hot ‘Lanta” before veering its way into the Grateful Dead‘s “Deal” to close out the set.If the first set was good, the second set was straight fire. “Close Your Eyes” saw Kyle Hollingsworth take the lead, and despite playing with a cast on his left hand, it proved to not be as much of a hinderance as you would expect. “Orange Blossom Special” brought the hoedown to the 1STBANK Center, and featured nice work on the violin from Michael Kang. SCI opened things up with “Best Feeling,” as the group sandwiched a cover of The Police‘s “Walking On The Moon” (with Michael Travis on vocals) before making their way back into a serious “Best Feeling” jam. And then “Howard” happened, and it was absolutely glorious, with everyone in the crowd going bonkers.For their New Year’s proper set, the gentlemen of SCI strolled out on stage all decked out in suits and tuxedos, making it a truly formal affair. “Youv’e Got The World” was the song that brought us into 2017, as a Cirque du Soleil style performance ensued, with acrobats streaming down from the rafters, dancing on platforms on the floor, and a huge silver ball opening up to reveal a Merry-Go-Round of performers riding horses. And lots of balloons and confetti!The dark, brooding build to the drop into “Rivertrance” had the crowd foaming at the mouth, as the fan-favorite brought out the tribal vibe that we were all anticipating the entire night, whipping the venue into a complete frenzy. A Keith Moseley-led “Sirens” was a welcome addition to the set, while “Beautiful” closed out the show. It’s one of the best new songs the group has come out with in recent years, and has become a major jam vehicle.For the encore, SCI covered Bob Dylan‘s “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)” before closing things out with “Sitting On Top Of The World”….which we were all doing on this very special night. Front to back, this show was absolutely stellar, with not one dull moment. It was a masterful performance through and through. The String Cheese Incident was at the top of their game on New Year’s Eve, and when that happens, there is no other place in the world to be.“Walking On The Moon > Best Feeling”:“Just One Story” New Year’s Ball Drop:“Rivertrance”“Sirens > Beautiful”:[all videos courtesy of PhatBeats 420]All photos courtesy of Jake Cudek; see a full gallery below.Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | 1STBANK Center | Broomfield, CO | 12/31/16Set 1: San Jose, Song In My Head, MLT, Who Am I, Outside and Inside > Hot ‘Lanta > DealSet 2: Close Your Eyes, Looking Glass > Orange Blossom Special, Get Tight, Best Feeling > Walking On The Moon > Best Feeling, Howard, You’ve Got The WorldSet 3: You’ve Got The World, Just One Story, Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance, Rivertrance, Sirens, BeautifulEncore: The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo), Sitting On Top Of The World
Earlier this year, The Disco Biscuits performed three nights at The Fillmore in their hometown of Philadelphia, PA, with opening music from Aqueous. To kick off their first set, the Biscuits opened appropriately with “Coming Home,” a not-so-subtle reference to their return to The City of Brotherly Love. The band also modified the lyrics of “Coming Home,” using the Philly-centric lyrics that were debuted during their New Years Run in 2002 stating “Philly, it’s always been home with a Happy New Year Biscuits coming home.”Of the many highlights included the second set opening “Overture,” which lasted over thirty minutes. This dropped straight into an inverted “Portal To An Empty Head” before swinging through “Overture” once again. The band has shared pro-shot footage from this epic jam, which you can enjoy below:Setlist: The Disco Biscuits | The Fillmore Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA | 2/2/17Set I: Coming Home-> I-Man-> Vassillios-> Abraxas-> Run Like Hell-> Coming HomeSet II: The Overture-> Portal to an Empty Head-> The Overture, Highwire-> I Remember When, Magellan-> I-ManE: Wet-> Run Like Hell[Setlist/Photo via Disco Biscuits Facebook]
Today, LOCKN’ Festival announced their “Super VIP” lineup and, as usual, it’s pretty damn exciting. The Super VIP sets are extremely intimate, exclusive performances held during the festival that are open only to those with Super VIP passes (which also get you access to special viewing areas for Main Stage shows, a separate campground, air-conditioned bathrooms and showers, catered meals, and more). LOCKN’s Super VIP program offers a fortunate few the opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences–the chance to see huge artists up-close-and-personal, on a small stage, in a small crowd, tucked away alongside tens of thousands of GA attendees.The announcement press release describes the LOCKN’ Super VIP sets as “a culmination of creativity, inspiration, and imaginative collaboration.” This is no exaggeration. On Friday, August 25th, Keller Williams & Friends will play the Super VIP stage. Sunday will see Jorma Kaukonen play a solo performance, and Friday and Saturday late-night, Super VIPs will be able to enjoy dance parties with DJ Logic. But the clear highlight of the LOCKN’ Super VIP schedule is “A Very Special Hour w/ Phil Lesh & Bob Weir on Saturday, August 26th.The two founding Grateful Dead members will also be performing an exciting set for the main festival crowd with the Terrapin Family Band (a one-time tribute to the Dead’s seminal 1977 album Terrapin Station), so the LOCKN’ masses will surely get their fair share of Phil and Bobby. And, of course, LOCKN’ is one of the year’s biggest festivals for a reason: With a ridiculous schedule of some of the best artists in the scene (that Thursday String Cheese > Umphrey’s > String Cheese > Umphrey’s > Biscuits lineup is almost too good to be true) and a host of other exciting artists and collaborations on the docket (Gov’t Mule, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Widespread Panic, John Butler Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, moe., The Marcus King Band, etc.), nobody is getting shorted on incredible music at this event. It’s a slam dunk.But the fact remains that on LOCKN’ Saturday, Phil Lesh & Bob Weir will play together on a piece of land that’s simultaneously occupied with thousands upon thousands of people who gladly would travel halfway across the world–let alone hike across Infinity Downs Farm–to see these two guys play together, and that majority won’t see the performance. It’s a topic on which people tend to have strong and differing opinions.That’s an inherent part of the increasingly prevalent market for high-end, super VIP, exclusive perks at music festivals. To provide an incredible, singular experience for some you have to, by definition, exclude the many. And that makes sense. Exclusive access is a marketable commodity. We’ve started to see it everywhere to varying degrees, and a few new events have even popped up that cater exclusively to the exclusive crowd charging outrageous sums to “party like rock stars.”They’ve been decidedly hit-or-miss. Last year’s inaugural Desert Trip capitalized successfully on the high-end live music market, selling tickets that ranged from roughly $450 – upwards of $1700 for 3-day tickets. Fans shelled out, and the event was a success, because the event lived up to the high-end experience it offered, with a ridiculous lineup of a generation’s greatest artists, amenities, and curated experiences that matched the ticket prices.But we’ve also seen the pay-to-play model backfire in disastrous fashion. Last weekend’s royally botched Fyre Festival sold extravagantly priced tickets to a purportedly extravagant event, but when attendees arrived at the event’s island locale they were met with no accommodations, lack of water and sewage systems, partially built infrastructure, feral dogs, and other general chaos. All flights to and from the island were cancelled. The event was cancelled before it started, and the organizers had been promptly hit with a $100M class action suit by Monday morning.Whether or not you like it, we live in a free economy, and any business in any industry in this country is driven by the golden rule: supply and demand. As long as the market for exclusive experiences exists, there will always be a vast majority that gets excluded–the proverbial “Phil-and-Bobby-are-playing-right-behind-that-fence-right-there-and-you’re-not-allowed-in,” if you will. And people will always have strong and differing opinions on the matter: “Pay-to-play” vs. “Equality for all.” Just watch…Whatever your thoughts on the high-end live music market, we’ll be in Arrington, VA from August 24th – 27th to join in one of the best parties of the summer. And if you’re heading to LOCKN’ but you’re not Super VIP–don’t fret, friend. We guarantee you’ll see more great music than you know what to do with that weekend. Enjoy it!For more information on LOCKN’, or to purchase tickets, head to the festival’s website. [Cover photo via Getty Images]
At the end of May, Summer Camp Music Festival kicked off the summer festival season in style with three days of near non-stop tunes. Ahead of Summer Camp’s official start, on Thursday night, the festival hosted a pre-party of epic proportions. One highlight of Thursday night’s festivities was Spafford, who shredded through their set and helped kick the festival off right. After opening with “The Postman,” the group moved into a stellar rendition of their funk-infused number “Mind’s Unchained.” Luckily for us, Spafford just released pro-shot video of this near-eight minute song, so we can relive the magic. You can check out the video of “Mind’s Unchained” below, as well as listen to Spafford’s full set from Summer Camp, courtesy of Dave Lewis.[Cover photo from Electric Forest: Patrick Hughes]Setlist: Spafford | Summer Camp Music Festival | Chillicothe, IL | 5/25/2017Set: The Postman, Mind’s Unchained, The Remedy, Backdoor Funk, Salamander Song, Electric Taco Stand > Dis Go In 5? > Electric Taco Stand, All In
Last summer, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, the band from The Muppets, made their live music festival debut at Outside Lands. This weeknd, the make-believe band performed their first full length concert series at the Hollywood Bowl in California. “The Muppets Take the Bowl,” a nod to the classic 1984 film, featured Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Animal, Sam Eagle, Pepé the King Prawn and the entire Muppet cast – some of who have not been seen in over 35 years – along with Thomas Wilkins, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.The three-night run was a great success for The Muppets, and featured a special guest appearance from Paul Williams for a duet with Kermit the Frog on “Rainbow Connection,” which Williams co-wrote for the 1979 The Muppet Movie. Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live) also joined in for “Rainbow Connection,” following his vocal performance in “Happy Feet” earlier in the set. The setlist also included covers of “Suffragette City” by David Bowie, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson. Each show culminated with a huge firework display.Thanks to YouTube users Synthetik Films and Chelsey Young, you can watch clips from The Muppets at The Hollywood Bowl below:
Elon Musk is a fascinating figure, acting as the CEO and lead designer at SpaceX in addition to heading a number of other companies including Tesla, Neuralink, and others. Today, SpaceX will launch of their unmanned rocket, Falcon Heavy, into Earth’s atmosphere for the first time. As told by CNN, if the launch is successful, Falcon Heavy “will become the world’s most powerful operational rocket. … With its 27 engines, the rocket will give off a thrust equal to 18 Boeing 747 jetliners … [and] will be capable of sending humans to the moon or Mars.” The launch is planned for 1:30 p.m. EST.According to The Verge, if the multi-stage launch is successful, the Falcon Heavy’s final booster will split in half and release its payload–a Tesla Roadster–into space on a hyperbolic route toward Mars (and beyond) at around seven miles per second. As Musk claimed in a tweet back in December, the Tesla “will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.Elon Musk also said in the tweet that the Roadster’s stereo would play David Bowie‘s “Space Oddity” as it makes its way toward a Mars orbit. Yesterday, ahead of the launch of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX released an animation of the anticipated launch backed by Bowie’s “Life On Mars?” You can watch the animated video below:[Video: SpaceX]While no sounds can be heard in the vacuum of outer space regardless, there’s something satisfying about knowing that SpaceX’s Mars-bound car will be blasting David Bowie as it flies through the solar system. The Starman would be proud…[H/T Pitchfork]
Earlier in May, Night Lights Music Festival was announced, which will return to The Heron in Sherman, NY, for its eighth year from August 23rd to 25th. In the initial phase lineup, the festival announced that it would host electronic rock innovators Lotus and funk outfit The Motet, as well as performances by Aqueous; Octave Cat featuring Jesse Miller (Lotus), Eli Winderman (Dopapod), Charlie Patierno; jazz/funk fusion producer Anomalie; Tropidelic; Bumpin Uglies; lespecial; Upstate Rubdown; Boss Tweed and the Carpetbaggers; as well as an acoustic set from Pappy (Cabinet, Gatos Blancos).Today, the three-day music and camping festival has added a special one-of-a-kind late-night set, Fearless, a Pink Floyd tribute. Fearless will feature Chuck Garvey (Moe.), Mike Gantzer (Aqueous), Evan McPhaden (Aqueous), Eli Winderman (Dopapod/ Octave Cat), and Matt Kellen (Mungion). The festival also announced that Sophistafunk will pay tribute to ’90s hip-hop in 2018. Soul Roach featuring Todd Eberwine and The Buffalo Brass Machine were also added onto the bill.Tickets for Night Lights Music Festival—scheduled for August 23rd through 25th at Sherman, New York’s The Heron—can be purchased on the festival’s website here.