As this so-called winter fades to spring, and it warms up in places, other than here - that need warming up, hippies everywhere start making road trip plans. Because from March thru August, outdoor music festivals are happening across the country from Newport to Galveston, Austin to Wilkesboro, Manchester to the Everglades. i'm not gonna try to act like i've been to any of these outside of Texas, but i will in due time. Here's a little info on some of the festivals that i wish i could go to:
Langerado Music Festval ~ March 6-9, 2008
Big Cypress Indian Reservation - South Florida (6th Annual)
The unofficial 'kickoff' to festival season, Langerado brings the Jam Band centered large outdoor festival scene to South Florida.
Headliners: Beastie Boys, R.E.M., 311, Matisyahu, Ben Folds
Don't Miss: Avett Brothers, Wood Brothers, Josh Ritter, Robert Randolph, The Felice Brothers, of Montreal, Blind Melon, Arrested Development, The National
mp3: Josh Ritter - Girl In The War ~ from The Animal Years (2006)
mp3: The Felice Brothers - Roll On Arte ~ from Tonight At the Arizona (2007)
South-by-Southwest Arts Conference & Music Festival ~ March 7-16, 2008
Austin, Texas (21st Annual)
Unlike the rest of the festivals on this list, SXSW's objective is to provide exposure for obsure, unsigned, and relatively unknown bands. It takes place inside the city limits of a big city. For that reason, bands simply perform at various venues around Austin. Showcasing some 10,000 acts from around the globe, the event can be a little overwhelming, so don't plan on catching everything - shoot for about 5%.
Notable Shows: Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet (with Bela Fleck), The Acorn, Ryan Bingham, The Black Keys, Deer Tick, Jakob Dylan, Justin Townes Earle, Joe Ely, The Felice Brothers, James McMurtry, Tift Merritt, Ian Moore, Okkervil River, Reckless Kelly, Bruce Robison, Carrie Rodriguez
mp3: Abigail Washburn - Eve Stole The Apple ~ from Song of the Traveling Daughter (2005)
mp3: Deer Tick - Ashamed ~ from War Elephant (2007)
mp3: James McMurtry - See The Elephant ~ from Childish Things (2006)
mp3: Carrie Rodriguez - 50's French Movie ~ from Seven Angels on a Bicycle (2006)
Stingaree Music Festival ~ April 18-20, 2008
Crystal Beach - Port Bolivar, Texas (2nd Annual)
Hayes Carll wanted to bring a taste of Americana music to his adopted home on the Texas Coast. He did so in a songwriter-based weekend festival that brings out the laid-back attitude of Bolivar Island.
Notable Shows: The Band of Heathens, Hayes Carll, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Dedringers, Corb Lund, Mando Saenz, Darrell Scott, The Sideshow Tramps
mp3: The Band of Heathens - Bumblebee ~ from Live From Momo's (2006)
mp3: The Dedringers - Dr. Jennings ~ from their MySpace page
mp3: Mando Saenz - When I Come Around ~ from Watertown (2004)
Merlefest ~ April 24-27, 2008
Wilkes Community College - Wilkesboro, NC (20th Annual)
Bluegrass Legend Doc Watson started this festival in '88 as a tribute to his late son, Eddy Merle Watson. It has grown from two flatbed trailers into 13+ stages and 80,000 participants. It features showcase concerts, bluegrass pickin'/jam sessions, and guitar workshops.
Notable Shows: The Avett Brothers, Tift Merritt, Old Crow Medicine Show (whom Doc is credited as discovering), Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Waifs, Abigail Washburn, and, of course, Doc Watson.
mp3: Old Crow Medicine Show - We're All In This Together ~ from Old Crow Medicine Show (2004)
mp3: The Stanley Brothers - Angel Band ~ from O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack (2000)
mp3: The Waifs - Lighthouse ~ from Up All Night (2003)
**check out Martha's Vineyard Radio to
stream tons of shows from past Merlefests, SXSW's, and Newport Folk
Bonnaroo Muisc & Arts Festival ~ June 12-15, 2008
Manchester, Tennessee (7th Annual)
Rolling Stone Magazine named Bonnaroo one of the 50 Moments that Changed Rock & Roll History. Held on a 700-acre farm in Tennessee, the 4-day event features tons of concerts - ranging from Jam Bands, to Bluegrass, to Reggae, to Hip-Hop and Electronica. The festival even has an on-site cinema, beer garden, arcade, and comedy club.
Headliners: Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Kanye West, Willie Nelson
Don't Miss: The Raconteurs, Iron & Wine, Rilo Kiley, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Avett Brothers, Abigail Washburn, The Felice Brothers
mp3: Iron & Wine - Boy With a Coin ~ from The Shepherd's Dog (2007)
mp3: Rilo Kiley - The Moneymaker ~ from Under The Blacklight (2007)
Newport Folk Festival ~ not yet announced (Early August)
Newport, Rhode Island (49th Annual)
The setting for one of the most infamous concerts in music history - when Dylan went Electric in 1965 - The Newpot Folk Festival is one of the longest running music fests in the country.
Notable Shows from 2007: Allman Brothers Band, Allison Krauss & Union Station, Emmylou Harris, Alejandro Escovedo, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
mp3: Bob Dylan - Maggie's Farm ~ from 1965 Newport Folk Festival
also check out:
The Other Side of the Mirror
- a great documentary about Dylan's evolution from a lanky, folk-singing kid in '63 to a rock & roll icon when he suprised, and infuriated, many by plugging in at Newport in '65.
Listen to the odd mix of cheers and boo's when he finishes his fist song of the night with Paul Butterfield's Blues Band in the MP3 above.