May 11, 2012
Photos © by Bob Bayne/Memphis in May, taken from http://www.facebook.com/bealestreetmusicfestival
Beale Street Music Festival’s reputation preceded itself with the nickname “Memphis in Mud.” Given the rainy tradition, most fans embraced the sunny and unseasonably steamy weather of the 2012 installment. Given the utter marvelous ubiquity of music festivals these days, what makes Memphis special? The lovely lineup is what brought this Bonnaroo regular across the state for the weekend; and how this festival fulfills the Memphis musical legacy already inhabiting the banks of the Mississippi River kept us enchanted for three delightful days.
Needtobreathe followed by Florence and the Machine opened the weekend. The angelic soaring sonic blessing brought by Florence Welch took me towards that festival in the mind and heart. Full moon rising, mild Mississippi breezes caressing the dancers on the lawn—this is a perfect night, recovering from an unseemly hot day.
My Morning Jacket, though, are the band that motivate me more than most to take long rock n roll road trips. After opening with “Circuital,” the setlist dipped into B-sides and back catalog. Whatever the song choices, Yim Yames could sing to me on any Friday night. The soaring greatness of Carl’s guitar part and the sheer emotions of Yim’s vocals on “Gideon” never fail to destroy me.
The outta this world “Outta My System” is one of my clean & sober theme songs (just celebrated three years!), so it’s always great to hear that in a set. On “Wordless Chorus” and “Touch Me,” Yim’s freaky falsetto yummy yelps give me chills no matter how warm it is. An always brain-and-body-bending “Off the Record” riffs into our reggae-soaked “Phone Went West,” soulfully slinked to perfection. Quite simply, My Morning Jacket have become (or perhaps they always were) a quintessential classic rock band in the deeper sense that teenage boys dream about. Yim Yames is a warm-hearted light-worker, sending furry beams of fuzzy love across galaxies of realities in need of repair and revival. I am honored to have traveled to the sonic sanctuary that he and his mates have created on so many occasions.
As much as Friday fulfilled, Saturday sanctified, first with the rusty interstate rambles of Son Volt, with Jay Farrar fierce as poet-troubadour roots-rock frontman, a John Fogerty-meets-Jack Kerouac lyrics-and-guitar prophet. But it was later Saturday when we left the rock themes for a one-of-a-kind soul revival. The Reverend Green brought a band, his daughters as backup singers, dozens of roses to decorate the crowd with love. Green graced us with a medley of “Amazing Grace/Nearer My God” that slipped so perfectly into “Let’s Stay Together.” Late in the show, he became a human jukebox, power-packing snippets of several super-hits into just a few minutes. Broadcasting brightly on the frequency of love, Green’s soul sensuality and sanctified reality combine seamlessly and sacredly – as it should be. More than any festival I’ve been to since leaving downtown Detroit, the racial diversity in the crowd celebrated a sticker I saw on Beale Street: “Not Black, Not White, Just Blues.” The amazing Anthony Hamilton held the soul vibe high into the wee hours.
Sunday’s sets sealed the weekend in more sweat and sweetness. Under the blazing heat, Chris Robinson (of Black Crowes fame) kicked back for a hot and heavy hour of the hippie blues. Then there’s something that makes a festival a festival. Michael Franti and Spearhead wrapped all of Memphis in a mighty group hug of good vibes. Sticking more to recent tracks mostly from The Sound of Sunshine, Franti feels mellower with his message tilted from justice-movement politics towards straight shots of hope-and-unity. When you’re dancing at a festival, such genuine human warmth serves the politics of the good regardless. Some fans have bemoaned the softening of Franti’s sharper edges, but I welcome this latest evolution and look forward towards his next incarnation as well.
We wrapped up the musical quilt of our weekend with quieter duets of The Civil Wars. What Joy Williams and John Paul White have created evokes emotional reckonings and rustic moods, adding yet more to the alt-folk-roots revival that just keeps blossoming with new beauty. They serenaded our after dinner iced-tea hour and sent us walking towards the car with appropriate contentment to carry back to the middle of our fine musical state of Tennessee. —Andrew William Smith, Editor
Bonnaroo’s Decade of Dust & Dreams: Jacket’s Sonic Beauty, the Sightings of Ben Sollee, & So Much More
June 19, 2011
Trekking down to Manchester, Tennessee for another music festival touches the body and soul like embarking on a mission trip or a fishing trip or a combat mission – where music fandom stretches your physical limits to achieve a limitless emotional and spiritual experience.
The social barometer consulted by our neighbors in the mid-South sees us as suffering a mild form of insanity, but that doesn’t stop us from returning again and again – despite logic and basic boundaries as to what a human can endure. This year, in a late spring where the weather’s been remarkably wet and mild, our convergence weekend wore us out by being unusually hot and dry.
With an outer composure hiding an excitement that hasn’t subsided even in my sixth year attending and an inner howl of “Bonaroo-hoo” warming my blood, I headed off with a crew of coworkers and best friends for the tenth anniversary of a world-renowned and somewhat risky weekend of concerts, community, and collaboration.
Doing three days instead of four this year, I knew that Friday alone would be worth the journey. Making my first stop at our “home base” inside the Academy tent in Planet Roo meant stumbling into a mesmerizing and mellow chanting workshop led by the Rahasya crew from Athens, Georgia. In general, Bonnaroo doesn’t need to sell counterculture stereotypes or cultivate its jam band reputation because these notions tagalong regardless of how close they resemble reality. But in the case of these folks bringing the day by humming “Hare Krishna,” this welcome flashback to the early 1970s calibrated our inner spaciousness in a way that we could spread across the weekend. (Besides all the overt instances of jam band and classic rock that populated the schedule, the indy-Americana of Low Anthem came sweating into Saturday afternoon so steeped in retrophilia that a song like “Hey, All You Hippies” functioned as a sort of audio time machine for those who hadn’t already left the temporal realm by other means.)
Seeking my first serious headliner on Friday took me to The Other Tent at the edge of Centeroo for a rousing afternoon revival with the incomparable rockabilly hipster Justin Townes Earle. Like his father did in this same tent a few years ago, JTE reminded us how crazy we were for spending the whole weekend roasting in the heat with our fellow fans. His sizzling set brought our first Ben Sollee sighting of the weekend, as the Kentucky singer-cellist-activist came onstage to add cello to “Mama’s Eyes” and background vocals to “Harlem River Blues.”
As afternoons at Roo this year meant grilling one’s flesh like a burger in a global solar barbecue, we decided to seek refuge in the fabled and air-conditioned Cinema Tent. After cooking some more in line, we were able to score seats for the screening of Louisiana Fairytale, Danny Clinch’s documentary about the collaboration between My Morning Jack and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Immersion in the cool dark room as deep journey into dynamic devotional: a musical and cultural cross-pollination placed me in a religious mood that would last into the night. My Morning Jacket pay homage to the past as it lives in the present, presenting themselves to us as a tribal tributary that links heart and sound, sharing a roots reverence and popular lineage that taps history without cheapening it. At the movie’s conclusion, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band kicked it out live, much to the delight of the packed house of patrons.
Even though we were able to catch some of Ray Lamontagne’s set on Which Stage that included many of my favorite tracks from last year’s excellent God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise, his lack of conversation between songs combined with the day’s lingering heat, gave the performance a detached mellow and lazy mood that has historically been a real detriment to artists who’ve performed on Which Stage during daylight hours. Such was the steamy curse that I recall from a particularly alienating Animal Collective show in 2009 and that this time around afflicted the wispy waiflike work of Lamontagne and Amos Lee later in the weekend. Luckily, we’d see some folks defy the dusty odds and do their best to play their best even in the daylight.
Field of Dreams: the Jacket’s Victory Dance
As dusk quickly approached, though, we found ourselves on the crowded walk towards What Stage to grab a spot for the Jacket’s 8pm slot, seeking a particular piece of lawn where we could spread out and dance. Leaving the pit and the several rows after it to the patient folks willing to press, we really got a sense of the vastness of the main Bonnaroo venue by laying our blanket halfway back, with the VIP section just behind us and the waxing moon above. Seeing this band for about the tenth time brought layers and levels of emotion based on how their music meets me on a spiritual plane and in sheer anticipation of how they’d weave in the new songs that I’d been listening to for about ten days since Circuital had been released.
The opening one-two of “Victory Dance” and “Circuital” perfectly tones the crowd to connect with the new tunes – from the spine-chilling trumpet solo that kicked off the set as though “Taps” were playing in the belly of our common memory to Jim’s otherworldly wail at the end of “Victory Dance” to the comforting way the new record’s title track tracks our cellular responsiveness to the Jacket’s versatile jangle and sparkle.
Immediately switching gears to three soaring hits from 2005’s Z, the setlist immediately attracted anyone who wasn’t already reeling towards bliss. “Off The Record” opens slowly before slinking into lyric and hook and a danceable refrain that had the mass of thousands grooving along joyfully; then, suddenly, at midsong we meet the kind of whacked and wicked jam that makes the Jacket the Jacket, that stretches every player in the band to follow its tangly riffs into the manna of meaning as Bo Koster’s keyboards carry us to the misty mountaintops of rock and roll bliss. Followed by the fierce glory of “Gideon” and the playful abandon of “Anytime,” the party was fully underway, with James then greeting the “ocean of humanity” by announcing the occasion as an entirely surreal, mind-blowing, and “magical honor.”
At Roo, the everyfan’s festival, many bands forget their roots as fans, arrive just in time to do their set, and leave with similar haste. That’s not the case with My Morning Jacket who have been like pillars of the whole Bonnaroo project since its earliest years, always hanging out to catch other artists and really taking things to the next level with late-night sets of legend in 2006 and 2008. For two hours on Friday night, we got to give the Jacket their due by giving them such a premier place in the schedule, and the Jacket just poured the love back out on us.
Even though only a handful of tracks from 2008’s excellent but polarizing Evil Urges have remained in the set, the journey that injects “Smokin’ from Shootin’” into a snippet from “Run Thru” (a 2003 track) and then collapses into the arms of “Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, Part Two” undoubtedly torques listeners into a state of rotation and levitation that leaves little doubt that this band has no qualms about bending the tilt of the universe for the time that it’s onstage each night.
Intentionally or inadvertently, My Morning Jacket give a ton of credibility to the narrative that the moment of Circuital signals a retro movement all about returning to the band’s roots by playing more songs from the 2003 pre-breakout album It Still Moves than they do from either Z or Evil Urges. And even though I did miss hearing “It Beats for You,” “Wonderful,” Librarian,” “Dondante,” and “Evil Urges,” to name a few, neither the focus on the new album nor on the older, jammier jams from earlier in the century in any way diminished the devastating beauty of the entire evening for me.
From their funkiest and freakiest with newer tracks like “Highly Suspicious” or “Holdin’ On To Black Metal” to the culminating guitar-god pyrotechnics of “Dancefloors” diving into “One Big Holiday,” My Morning Jacket made my night and my weekend with what may have been one of their career’s most important sets to date. For me, it meant watching and dancing from a vaster vantage point, from a different distance and angle, from a more mature but no less appreciative perspective. As far as I can tell, the latest album embraces all these added textures in what is already a many layered rock and roll masterpiece of a musical vocation.
Festival Gospel and Living Greats
Nobody pretends that Bonnaroo is a gospel festival or that when most people use the term “religious” to define the weekend that they really mean it in any other than the figurative, symbolic, or mythopoetic sense. Nonetheless, in ways that might surprise people who have never caught one of these shows or are skeptical of such old-fashioned spirituality in general, Bonnaroo offers plenty of bonafide soul songs for people who want to get their Jesus on or feel the Holy Spirit moving in ways that don’t require chemically-induced imitations of infinity.
With Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens and then Mavis Staples, both Saturday and Sunday afternoons kicked off with healing services on main stages, giving us what Staples said would be the closest thing to church we’d find inside Bonnaroo. Complete with arm-waving ambiance and “Amen” shouts, the altitude and attitude of the sun-kissed masses shifted as we got a taste of the Son – whether that’s what we were looking for or not.
Later Saturday afternoon saw the sought after Mumford & Sons show overwhelm the capacity of the Which Stage field for a stunning 90-minute set that included several new songs and all-out closing jam of “Amazing Grace” with support from members of Old Crow Medicine Show and Apache Relay. As great of a show as the Mumfords was, we snuck away to catch some of a veritable legacy Loretta Lynn over at That Tent. In a similar fashion on Sunday, we decided to forgo Iron & Wine to watch Cold War Kids but then ditched CWK to hear a few tracks from living legend Gregg Allman.
Such is the reality of seeing shows at Bonnaroo: you don’t ever see all the shows you want, and you often stop short of seeing all of one show just to catch a moment of another one. Sometimes this decision making is based on which artists I have seen before and which artists I expect to have the chance to see again.
One set that stood out among the others as a “must see” and “might never see again” came Sunday afternoon with Daniel Lanois’s new project Black Dub, featuring Lanois on guitar, Trixie Whitley on vocals, Brian Blade on drums, and Daryl Johnson on bass. For years, I’ve followed Lanois as the legendary U2 co-producer, and this was my first opportunity to hear him with his own group. For some reason, This Tent wasn’t terribly packed for the set; we got a great spot in the center of it all, in front of the sound board, and just sank our toes into the sandy floor and soaked in the funky, jazzy, clubby, soulful, and pleasant assault on the senses.
Cheesy Does It & Our Late Night Danceathon
Sleep at Bonnaroo is both rare and precious, and the musical schedule both dares sleep-deprivation and defies what’s even possible. As I grow older into the festival, I’ve had to sacrifice some shows for others, and I’ve had to prioritize rest. Now, many people might think I was crazy to skip both Buffalo Springfield and Eminem (skipping Black Keys was no big deal, having seen them many times before, including a real disappointment at the Ryman last year). But as soon as the sun set Saturday, I took a nap in order to be able to enjoy one of the fabled Bonnaroo late nights (which are in fact very early mornings).
Rising from my rest around midnight meant enjoying shows under the cover of darkness, with thinner crowds and cooler temperatures. And we found it amazingly easy to make our way from tent to tent to stage, taking in bits of Scissor Sisters, Dr. John, String Cheese Incident, and STS9 – and still making it back to the tent long before dawn. I don’t what it is about slipping from the simply sleazy gay disco of the Sisters to the mojo-moving Louisiana hoodoo of Dr. John to the eclectic cheesy jammy-pleasing work of String Cheese or STS9, but I was able to get my dance on in every case and loved the last stroll home with Cheese ripping through their closer, an awesome cover of U2’s “Mysterious Ways.”
The Wild World of Ben Sollee
On Sunday morning, we were browsing some booths when we stumbled across Ben Sollee giving an impromptu unplugged concert outside the Oxfam American tent in Planet Roo. We heard his track “Electrified” and a cover of Cat Stevens’s “Wild World.” Having arrived at ‘Roo in 2009 by bicycle, Sollee required many golf-cart shuttles this time around to show up at just about everything.
Even though we missed his actual headline set, we saw him jam with Justin Townes Earle, My Morning Jacket, and Low Anthem. We caught a bit of his set on the Sonic Stage and this spontaneous Planet Roo set. We also saw him marching in a protest parade around Centeroo with the folks from Mountain Justice Summer, advocating an end to mountaintop removal coal mining. And when we were deeply enjoying the Black Dub show, we looked behind us to see Ben Sollee just digging the set as a fan.
In a musical and cultural world where borrowing is both blessing and necessity, it’s hard to call very many artists original anymore, but Ben Sollee’s invigorating and innovative blend of cello, songwriting, and singing sure comes close. Add to that his warm activist spirit, and we have a real force for good in the world, embodying the best of what we’d like a festival of Bonnaroo’s magnitude to be.
With an anchor in the arts, music, theater, spoken word, gardening, drumming, and dancing classes we taught back at the Academy and with as many shows as I could manage when not working, eating, or sleeping, another Bonnaroo came and went quickly. With attendance such a miracle in logistics and a marathon in persistence, each year I tell myself that it could be my last. We’ll wait for the lineup to be announced in early 2012 and for our Academy plans to coalesce. We’ll wait and see and recover and rest. In the meantime, we have dusty memories (as well as pictures, videos, and downloads) documenting our dreams all over the web. –Andrew William Smith, Editor
My Morning Jacket pictures by Jeff Kravitz; Black Dub picture by Morgan Harris; courtesy of Bonnaroo.com; all other pictures by Andrew William Smith. For more information: Bonnaroo.com
June 9, 2011
The steamy summer heat hits central Tennessee early each year. As the temperature rises to a regional hot-flash, people pack their bags. Some head even further south; others shuttle East; the smart ones trek north. But the best vacation for the rock n roll fan requires a little jaunt across a couple county lines.
The media buzz for the tenth annual Bonnaroo’s been building for months, but this year, the fanboy’s Christmas in June just kind of snuck up on me.
Even though this will be my sixth consecutive year volunteering creativity and time in exchange for my wristband, it requires a certain confidence in a higher power to conjure the carefree courage to suffer the punishing sunlight and celebrate the musical delight. Working at the Academy in Planet Roo anchors my Bonnaroo experience by providing a focus and a sense of service, with our diverse offering of gardening and arts classes. But during the hours when I’m not staffing the tent or supporting our staff, if I am not sleeping or eating, I am off exploring the festival grounds and catching as many concerts as I can manage.
The temporary city as cultural carnival—constructed in tents and motorhomes and countless other improvisations of functional art as life—defies logic and requires logistics of a heroic level. Back in 06 and 07, I needed the medical tent more than I want to admit, and in sheer amazement and need, I witnessed a team and facilities of stunning compassion, resources, and efficiency. All the Woodstock slurs and hippy stereotypes and permitted debaucheries asides, running this festival is a serious business, and the ‘roo producers possess a deep ethical and humanitarian ethos to provide such an excellent backend of support.
Planning and packing are a project in themselves, but the annual joyful anticipation comes from really studying the schedule and imagining what shows I might get to see. Making a playlist that progresses through the schedule helps plot my weekend and hones my longing, knowing of course that I will inevitably miss a show I wanted to see or stumble across something new that takes my breath away.
This year, I waited until a few days before to really ponder the offerings and the order in which they’re scheduled to unfold. Along with looking at the extended weather forecast, learning the schedule is a fan’s perfect pre-Roo pastime. Entire online discussion communities exist just to talk about this festival. My first few years, I lived on these boards for weeks, trying to grasp what awaited me.
Just to remind myself that I am a new and better person than the one who started coming to this festival in 2006, an added aspect of my more recent Bonnaroo experience comes from the clean and sober community that hosts a table and meets as a fellowship for sharing in meetings twice each day, always gathering near the yellow balloons near the Sonic Café where we might see stickers such as “One Show At A Time.”
Landing onsite on June 8th for the last pre-day before the 2011 festival kicks off today, I was amazed and grateful for how well-organized the intake and setup proceedings have become, stretching our human potential to construct a harmonious four-day music and arts society from the chaos that remains part of the larger reality inside and outside our warm, dusty, temporary zone of fandom and fun. –Andrew William Smith, Editor
April 29, 2011
Interference.com editor Andrew William Smith reports from closing night of the Railroad Revival Tour in New Orleans, Louisiana.
They come from the four corners. They could hear the train whistle blow. They bleed fandom and spit lyrics and live for the emotional salve that great art gives a wounded world.
Some brought children. Some decorated themselves in costumes. Some were the real hobos and had to stand outside the venue with their dogs and grimy faces, catching the show for free. Some dodged downpours and downed trees and took devilish detours through tornado-tortured Alabama just to get to the gig.
But by Wednesday night, we stood as one congregation, our backs to the hot dirty breeze of the Mississippi River breathing on our necks. Some of us remember where the word “revival” comes from in the American south, reverently noticing the report from Rolling Stone that the bands celebrated Easter on the train, singing hymns and reading verses from the Holy Bible.
The evening unfolded as spiritual celluloid on the big screen of our souls. We slipped into the French Quarter to feast on oysters, salmon, and shrimp. Thick muggy air never turned to rain, but it’s as if we could get baptized from the sheer moist density of it. The train late, we postponed going inside and hovered near the tracks with a gaggle of other fans. We’d been hearing boats blaring all afternoon, mistaking their waterlogged drone for the particular moan of a metal snake slithering down the rails.
Finally, the entourage arrived, instantly surpassing any hype and entering the realm of the hallowed. Antique Amtrak cars bear names of states. The words “California Zephyr” zapped a pit in my chest as I immediately wept inside for Jack Kerouac and momentarily longed for the song penned for On The Road’s author by Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard .
De-training with backpacks and duffles and suitcases, the artists hurried into the backstage area. There was no time to dawdle, as showtime lurked imminent. All night, warm breezes tickled the hairs on my neck. Long lines at porta-potties, the merch table, and the food-beverage tents were never too long. Large crowds watched for free from outside, and no one seemed to care.
We found a patch of grass, up close, off-to the side, near the stage but nearer the river with a little leg and elbow room to dance with abandon. Bright young kids from toddlers to pre-tweens danced and goofed around, fighting over a Frisbee or fondling a glowstick.
I’m not sure who the stage announcer was, but he seemed to take some joy in mis-naming the bands as he brought them on: Old Crow and the Medicine Show or Edward Sharpe’s Magnificent Zeros.
Thanks in part to this tour and to Old Crow Medicine Show, fast and furious old-time string band music—previously found at fiddling festivals and Appalachian fairs—has successfully infiltrated the jam band scene and now the perimeters of the mainstream rock world. Animated and energetic, Old Crowd reveled in our riverside digs as they kicked down several hybrid jigs. Some songs took on tender subjects like choosing corn liquor over cocaine while others traveled a higher ground like “Take Em Away,” where Marcus Mumford joined the band on lead vocals, belting this beatific chorus: “Take ‘em away, take ‘em away, Lord/Take away these chains from me /My heart is broken ‘cause my spirit’s not free /Lord take away these chains from me.”
Through patches in the clouds, we watched the sun sink slowly into the New Orleans skyline. “Wagon Wheel” was the wanted and expected first-set closer. It turned out each band would play a little less than an hour, and with relatively brief breaks between sets, the whole show stretched just a little more than three hours.
Giving this whole Railroad Revival thing an extra edge of counterculture cred, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are everything you’d heard and expected: thrown-down and thrown-together, a throwback gypsy caravan recently teleported from the planet of good vibes. Packing as many people onto the stage as possible like a high school musical on acid, with this band, all of our messianic hallucinations of Jesus hippies have been realized. Move over fans of Rent and Glee, we’re bringing back Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar with an improved and original soundtrack.
Amid this great and glorious set, lead singer Alex wore his road weariness a little too close to the brink, his vocals scratchy, screeching into incoherent rambles between songs. But he improved the further he fell out of himself and deeper into the songs, closing with an epic and euphoric rendering of the anthem “Home.”
From Lollapaloozas to Lilith Fairs, we’ve seen many attempts over the years to package the true road-rambling spirit of rock and roll for a mass audience. From each successful and failed festival, lessons are learned and then forgotten. But some surpass all previous attempts. If Glastonbury and Bonnaroo and Coachella have bettered on Woodstock, the Railroad Revial Tour did its best to top the all-but-forgotten Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin Festival Express. Distilling the dynamic mojo of true folk music and elevating the nostalgia industry past its obvious pretensions, the Railroad Revival Tour framed a moment in time, invoking Woody Guthrie’s art of the great depression to embark on a universal mission trip to nodes in our great recession.
Within the fragility of our souls, to paraphrase Marcus Mumford, we all secretly craved and waited for this experience—even though we only even learned about it a few weeks before it was to take place. It’s like it had been planned for subtle eternities by supernatural engineers, and each fan heard her own unique call from the innermost innards to follow the train whistle, no matter the cost.
So we found ourselves at the closing set of the closing night of a whirlwind week, the night dark but still balmy. After Mumford and Sons took the stage, it didn’t take long for them all to attain soaking sweats. Delivering songs with the joy and vigor that God intended, Mumford and Sons make sonic myths from simple mysteries, crafting spirited and spiritual songs about love and faith and failure and redemption that everyone can hear themselves in.
As I shouted each refrain of “Awake My Soul” at the top of my lungs much to the annoyance of fellow fans within my orbit, the song told me stories and taught me lessons about myself, of what I have lost and what I have gained by risking so much for adventure and pilgrimage over the years. But for the better part of three hours tonight, it went passed the burned bridges and the grace of new starts to a familiar place. This show took me to a place I’ve always been looking for but in reality have always been, if only I just noticed and gave thanks—the place of love and God and friendship and freedom.
Whether belting the familiar tracks from their bestselling album or crooning new songs “Lover of the Light” and “Lover’s Eyes,” Mumford and Sons owned the gorgeous Woldenberg Park. They owned the park and the night and the times when music like theirs is so obvious and necessary—they owned it all only to let it go and give it away to their fans and family of fellow-travelers on the tour.
It’s great to be growing older while watching a scene that’s growing up give the world some of the greatest popular music it’s ever known. The Railroad Revival Tour was all that and then some. Rock and roll history instantly rolled into legend, and for just one night, we got to live it with a community of fellow travelers.
–Andrew William Smith, Editor
All Photos by Jimmy Grotting, courtesy of http://nola.livemusicblog.com/
June 26, 2010
Amongst a spate of boutique festivals jostling for the attention of a restless and eclectic populace, California’s Harmony Festival is unique; it does not fit neatly into a category of what the “typical” music event ought to be.