After a Saturday jam-packed with music at the 15th annual All Good Music Festival, I was looking forward to Sunday’s lighter lineup. One of the biggest challenges of open field tent camping at a music festival is partying into the wee hours and trying to get adequate sleep, without being cooked alive in your tent in the morning summer sun like broccoli in a bamboo steamer.
After waking up in my own personal sauna and cooling off in the West Virginia mountain air I headed up to the stage area where Sunday openers All Mighty Senators were already on the main Dragon Stage. The Baltimore-based funk-soul quintet was working hard to bring their P-Funkesque sound to the noontime set; unfortunately, their set was one of the less well attended of the weekend, probably because so many folks had taken full advantage of Saturday’s final All Good late night sets – or they were still in their tents, being braised in their own juices.
Following the Senators on the Dragon Stage were Michigan-based stringsters Greensky Bluegrass whose Saturday Rock n’ Roll in Disguise playshop set at the Grassroots Stage showed one reason why they continue to garner attention. Unlike the previous day that featured covers of songs by Talking Heads, Prince and Traffic, Sunday’s set featured mostly originals and roots covers. A sizeable audience was on hand to see GB play mostly older tunes like All Four, the Reverend and No Idea which were supplemented by a strong cover of Townes Van Zandt’s White Freightliner Blues. Closing our their hour long set mandolin player Paul Hoffman took lead vocals on a newer original tune Don’t Lie (not to be confused with the Black Eyed Peas song of the same name) that demonstrated even greater maturity in their consistently skillful songwriting.
READ ON for more from Sunday at the All Good fest…
I made a point of getting up early on Saturday morning of the 15th Annual All Good Music Festival to catch some of the local talent at the Grassroots Stage. Having been told by numerous local media sources that they were a hot ticket, I made a point of seeing a bit of Fletcher’s Grove from nearby Morgantown. As usual, I was not as quick making the trek as I’d hoped and arrived about halfway through the fledgling jamband’s first set, just as they were finishing a very strong cover of Buddy Holly’s classic Not Fade Away.
The next few songs in the quintet’s inaugural All Good set proved once again that festivals are a great place to check out fresh talent. See more about Fletcher’s Grove in the All Good New Artist Spotlight below. As local favorites, Fletcher’s Grove brought a sizable audience to the campground stage that quckly cleared after their set. I waited around to see a bit of Chicago’s Lubriphonic whose funk and horns also proved danceable and fun, although it was a shame there wasn’t a larger audience.
Opening the main stage on Saturday was self-contained band Zach Deputy whose soulful vocals and looping guitar and beat lines made for a more relaxed set under the West Virginia hills’ intense mid-day sun. After Deputy, I caught only the first couple of songs by The Werks (which the audience seemed to enjoy) and headed back to the Grassroots Stage to see Michigan’s Greensky Bluegrass, where they performed only bluegrass covers of rock songs including Traffic’s Light Up or Leave Me Alone, Talking Heads’ Road to Nowhere, Arcade Fire’s City With No Children and Prince’s When Doves Cry.
READ ON for more thoughts and photos from Saturday at All Good…
The setting sun behind the rolling hills of West Virginia provided a fittingly bucolic backdrop for the opening performances of the 15th Annual All Good Music Festival. The mountaintop festival site was already well filled in when we rolled in just before noon, and by the time dusk approached, the party was in full swing.
Opening the weekend’s long roster of festival favorites was the West Coast’s Hot Buttered Rum. At most festivals I’ve been to, the audience attendance at opening act is somewhat lacking. Luckily, this was not the case at this year’s All Good, a festival that sold out their 4-day festival passes almost a week in advance of the event. Estimates of attendance at Thursday night are approximately 18,000. According to festival sources, last year’s festival was capped at an attendance of 25,000, and there’s some expectation that this year should approach or surpass last year’s total attendance.
This was only the second time I had seen HBR since their transition from Hot Buttered Rum String Band a few years, and I continue to be impressed with their direction from the straight-up bluegrass roots to a rhythm infused act more in line with Railroad Earth or String Cheese Incident of many years ago. Notable highlights from Hot Buttered Rum’s set included a hot cover of New Minglewood Blues, an enthusiastic and well received Limbs Akimbo, and Busted in Utah. In betweet sets, DJ Who laid down some beats and kept the party going while the main stage was cleared and set up for Beats Antique – a trio act merging members of Yard Dogs Road Show, Aphrodesia, with dance and drums for a mutli-instrumental, rhythm and heavy bass laden performance.
READ ON for more from Andrew about Day One of All Good…
The Warren Haynes Band is among six groups that have been added to the lineup for the 2011 edition of the All Good Music Festival. Other acts scheduled to join