They weren’t looking for gold or a spiritual revelation, but for These United States, renowned for their frenetic touring pace, the road almost serves as a bodily function- it just happens. What also happens in their loose limbed brand of rock is a whole lot of wailing, banging, screaming, rocking, stomping, aching that combines the raunchy blues of Exile in Main Street with the modern rock folk of Deer Tick.
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…
We’re barely a week into 2011 and we’ve already got our first major summer festival line up announcement of the season that has us excited for the warmer months ahead. Earlier today the fine folks behind the Wakarusa Music Festival dropped a monster list of bands that will take to the variety of tents and stages over the weekend of June 2 -5 at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas.
Now in it’s seventh year, the jam-friendly festival will be headlined by the mighty My Morning Jacket, who are joined at the top of the bill by Ben Harper & Relentless7, Thievery Corporation and STS9.
Other acts set to head to Mulberry Mountain this year will be HT faves Umphrey’s McGee, Mumford & Sons, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Galactic, Dark Star Orchestra, Perpetual Groove, Those Darlins and These United States.
A variety of ticketing options for the four day festival are currently on-sale, which include an early bird full event pass for the low price of $139.
READ ON for the full initial Wakarusa 2011 line up…
Words: Jonathan “Kos” Kosakow
Each year, the CMJ Music Marathon descends upon New York City for five days in October. For bands, it is a chance to be discovered. For journalists, bloggers, photographers and the recording industry, it is an opportunity to stumble upon the next big thing. And for the fans, it is a chance to discover new music, a chance to witness the origins of a band, and perhaps more importantly, a chance to run around New York City for five days without a plan or a clue as to what they will find.
There is no “right” way to get through CMJ. Of the almost 1,100 musical acts who performed over the five days at this year’s marathon, even those fans heavily immersed in the music scene were familiar with only a small percentage. Some choose to see only the bands they already know and are familiar with. Some choose to pick a venue and stick with it for an entire evening. Others choose to pick bands based on their names, and still others just go to an area with the highest concentration of shows (generally the Lower East Side of Manhattan), and bounce around between venues. But no matter what method you choose, you are bound to find something you love, something you hate, or something completely weird.
As I am just one man, I was only able to see a (very, very, very) small percentage of the music played. But of the bands I was able to see, here are my recommendations.
These United States bring a sound similar to a combination of The Black Crowes and The Band, with vocals slightly reminiscent of the Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz. Comparisons aside, this quintet had a sound too big for Piano’s, the small bar that played host that evening. By adding a steel pedal guitar to the classic southern rock, they are allowed much greater diversity of sound and can bring in many more influences. And that may be their only true drawback – the lack of a definitive sound. Give them a little bit more time to find their true sound, though, and I’d put some money on seeing these guys in much larger venues.
READ ON for more of Jonathan’s recommendations…