Tag Archives: robert randolph

snowballed

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Now that festival season is in full swing, I am having just as much of a hard time writing about shows as I am daydreaming about going to more.  I think this is a side effect from being #snowballed.

March 8-10 2013 marked the insane weekend of music, free spirits, and snow at SnowBall in Winter Park, CO.  If you haven’t been to a four-day festival and camped, skip the blacktop day-hops in major cities and “rough-it” in a field like at Bonnaroo.  If you have only been to a festival in sweltering summer heat, bundle up and head to “Mountain Time” for SnowBall.  There are different crowds, different sights, different experiences, but the same good music that you just have to hear.

Winter Park, a small mountain town home to Winter Park and Mary Jane mountains, was incredibly accommodating, as thousands of us painted the town in glow-sticks for three solid days.  SnowBall, aside from website issues, did a great job working with the town to score us discounted mountain passes, shuttle services, lodging information and other sweet deals.  Inside the venue, which was an open ice/snow-covered field in the middle of town, the staff was friendly and down to dance with the rest of us.  Speaking of…the key to surviving SnowBall is to dance.  Bundle up like snow bunnies, your parents from the ’80’s, or like Scully from Monsters, Inc., grab a Sierra Nevada and a friend, and d a n c e !

Every act I caught was awesome, but a few favorites were Robert Randolph who jammed to Jimi’s “Purple Haze” in the sunshine; Portugal. the Man who covered Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger;” Big Gigantic, Kendrik Lamar, Grizmatik, Flying Lotus, STS9, and Pretty Lights blew my head off.  Did I mention the lights, fireworks, balloons, snowboarders, turkey legs, beers, and dancing?  Yeah…

I feel like it’s a cop-out to leave you with some videos, but my words still don’t do the festival justice.  Put SnowBall on your bucket list because it was a TIME crossing it off mine.

-j

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o m g t y

While everyone was dancing around in the trendiest boho threads in the Californian sunshine at Coachella on April 12-13 weekend, I was doing some East Coast dancing of my own at Madison Square Garden.  I don’t understand why this quasi-festival didn’t get more press, other than the pathetic pbandjams post I hopelessly wrote months ago.

Eric Clapton’s (epic) annual Crossroads Festival featured more than thirty legen…dary guitarists whose celebrity spans decades.  The creator himself says, “the Crossroads Festival is the realization of a dream for me, to gather a group of amazingly talented musicians to perform on one stage…the crossroads performers are all musicians I admire and respect.”

Friday, April 12, the first night of the two-day “festival,” had a line-up that included: Eric Clapton himself, who performed some favorites including “Lay Down Sally” and “You Look Wonderful Tonight,” Any Fairweather, Booker T, Vince Gill, Matt Murphy, Albert Lee, Steve Cropper, Blake Mills, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Cray, who was joined on stage by good (87 year) old B.B. King and Jimmie Vaughan.  The last three performed with a lot of life, “Everyday I Have the Blues.”  The night continued with Doyle Bramhall II, Citizen Cope, who played “Bullet and a Target” and “Son’s Gonna Rise” with Gary Clark, Jr.  I was part of the minority who was standing during this set…

Between sets, there were performers who played small sets on side stages.  Some of these performers were Philip Sayce who let real loose and absolutely destroyed his solo, Gary Clark Jr., who impressed the hell out of me by simultaneously sang and played the drums and guitar, and Los Lobos.  John Mayer, who I admit has reaaaaally grown on me, was outstanding on stage with Keith Urban when they played “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Beatles.  Although Mayer was close second, Buddy Guy had the best performance of the night in my book.  He was joined on stage by a 14-year old prodigy Quinn Sullivan and the supa fly Robert Randolph.   The night didn’t wind down but the show had to end.  The Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal and Clapton teamed up on stage to “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?”.

Love and my ears were certainly not sad as I skipped down the halls of MSG to the Allman Brothers’s “Whipping Post.”  I can’t say anything more about Crossroads than what I already have.  This may not have been the best concert I’ve been to, but it was/is by far, the best music I have ever heard.  TY.

View Photos.

-j

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