Sparkleberry Lane http://sparkleberrylane.com Wed, 09 Apr 2014 01:22:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Blue Grass and Green Mountains: a Preview for Delfest 2014 http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/blue-grass-and-green-mountains-a-preview-for-delfest-2014/ http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/blue-grass-and-green-mountains-a-preview-for-delfest-2014/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:34:55 +0000 Alex Kratzert http://sparkleberrylane.com/?p=8494 Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland, MD May 22-25, 2014           For quite a while, the bluegrass scene had been a foreign sound in my mind, a faction of the music community to which I had little-to-no experience firsthand. I simply had not given it the time, and the bulk of my listening was fixed upon electric instruments, distortion, wah pedals and psychedelic jams. Nothing like Jerry, Jimmy, or Jimi, I thought. Those styles, anyway. But somewhere in my travels, barefoot on the matted grass of a late-spring or summer day, the rapid plucking of a banjo and the slap of a stand-up bass proved more than able to get the feet stepping. Despite any preconceptions or musical taste, the bluegrass style never fails to provide energy and a hell of a time, which will certainly be plentiful at this year’s Delfest. This Memorial Day weekend, Delfest will be back for its seventh year at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. The Appalachian Mountains, or any mountain range for that matter, have been a party to many different music festivals, making for a terrific setting to exhibit the freedom of life and music. From May 22-25 the...

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delfest_logo

Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland, MD

May 22-25, 2014

          For quite a while, the bluegrass scene had been a foreign sound in my mind, a faction of the music community to which I had little-to-no experience firsthand. I simply had not given it the time, and the bulk of my listening was fixed upon electric instruments, distortion, wah pedals and psychedelic jams. Nothing like Jerry, Jimmy, or Jimi, I thought. Those styles, anyway. But somewhere in my travels, barefoot on the matted grass of a late-spring or summer day, the rapid plucking of a banjo and the slap of a stand-up bass proved more than able to get the feet stepping. Despite any preconceptions or musical taste, the bluegrass style never fails to provide energy and a hell of a time, which will certainly be plentiful at this year’s Delfest.

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Del McCoury Band

This Memorial Day weekend, Delfest will be back for its seventh year at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. The Appalachian Mountains, or any mountain range for that matter, have been a party to many different music festivals, making for a terrific setting to exhibit the freedom of life and music. From May 22-25 the Appalachians will once again harbor such a gathering, this time around the energetic sounds of bluegrass. This year’s lineup includes the infamous String Cheese Incident (two sets), Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder and, as always, The Del McCoury Band, along with many others. The daily schedule can be found here.

General admission four-day passes are at $184.50 (along with a $15.91 fee), with teen and children passes at a cheaper rate (all rates found here). If you aren’t arriving by foot you will have to buy either an on-site or off-site FestivalWayparking pass. Unless you are arriving by RV, which will also require a separate pass, camping will be away from your vehicle. From the Delfest site, “You won’t be too far from your vehicle, but do not expect to camp right next to your car as we need to maximize parking space, and park efficiently.” Check out this link for more festival info on directions, accessibility, activities, volunteering and other inquiries.

A promising aspect of this festival is the Delfest Foundation, a program created “to nurture a strong community, raise awareness of social justice issues, and support a healthy environment” (DF home page). Music festivals began not only in the accordance of a good time and a great jam, but mainly with the notion of coming together for peace, community, and a conscious way of living. It seems that this event will carry much of those very same principles, a necessary feat for any festival to be great. Volunteers are welcome at the Delfest Foundation; visit the link above in order to learn more and get involved.

With the close of this long winter comes all sorts of festival lineups, road trip plans, lower heating bills, and all the like. Memorial Day weekend will be the time for several wild festivals across the country, among many other various forms of celebration. For those of you with a mind for bluegrass, a curiosity for something new, or simply a need for a spot to enjoy the holiday weekend, Delfest will certainly grant you an exciting time and a new sort of experience. Grab your passes, make your plans and keep spreading that sparkle; I hope to see you all out on the lawn.

Crowd

Written by Alex Kratzert

Photos courtesy of Delfest

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Festival Preview: Universe, Lucidity’s 3 of 6 http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/the-universe-of-lucidity-a-festival-preview/ http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/the-universe-of-lucidity-a-festival-preview/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 05:00:03 +0000 Abbey Beal http://sparkleberrylane.com/?p=8470 Lucidity Universe Live Oak Campground – Santa Ynez, California April 11-13, 2014 The Lucidity production team and community provides nothing short of an awe-inspiring compilation of music, art, food, energy, workshops, sanctuaries, and unique village environments, igniting the perfect platform for co-creation. It is their open-sourced philosophy that truly awakens the unified Lucid Dream and allows for individuals to immerse themselves in the experience. The presence the Lucidity family has created in Southern California and across the country is a true testament to the beauty and community that has been born since its inaugural year. In it’s third year, the line-up of visual and auditory alchemists, merchants, healers, wisdom keepers, and culinary artists will be sure to continue the festival’s bliss and magic. The expanse that the Lucidity spirit has reached is inspiring, uplifting, passionate, and authentically collective. I am so elated to contribute film, words, vibes, energy and love with the Lucidity family and beyond. This journey through the Lucidity Universe will be one of self-love, interpersonal transformation, and creative connectedness. Whether you are in need of musical therapy, spiritual sanctuary, energy or soul work, herbalist medicinal healing, reflexology or sheer inspiration, there is a place for every Star...

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Lucidity Universe

Live Oak Campground – Santa Ynez, California

April 11-13, 2014

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Artist: Amanda Sage

The Lucidity production team and community provides nothing short of an awe-inspiring compilation of music, art, food, energy, workshops, sanctuaries, and unique village environments, igniting the perfect platform for co-creation. It is their open-sourced philosophy that truly awakens the unified Lucid Dream and allows for individuals to immerse themselves in the experience. The presence the Lucidity family has created in Southern California and across the country is a true testament to the beauty and community that has been born since its inaugural year. In it’s third year, the line-up of visual and auditory alchemists, merchants, healers, wisdom keepers, and culinary artists will be sure to continue the festival’s bliss and magic.

Lucidity lineup 2

The expanse that the Lucidity spirit has reached is inspiring, uplifting, passionate, and authentically collective. I am so elated to contribute film, words, vibes, energy and love with the Lucidity family and beyond. This journey through the Lucidity Universe will be one of self-love, interpersonal transformation, and creative connectedness.

Whether you are in need of musical therapy, spiritual sanctuary, energy or soul work, herbalist medicinal healing, reflexology or sheer inspiration, there is a place for every Star Seed at this beautiful gathering of love and light. This year’s musical line-up showcases some Sparkleberry favorites! It includes Tipper, Kalya Scintilla, The Human Experience, Quixotic, the talented Cello Joe, and many other brilliant local musicians.

We will be creating a short documentary of our Sparkleberry festival experience! Stay tuned for some optical stimulation and visual inventiveness!

Don’t forget to channel your inner Spirit Animal! “With this profound realization, you, lucid dreamer, are now initiated into the ranks of astral rangers and galactic light beings that traverse the etheric realms.” –Lucidity Universe

Sparkleberry Lane at Lucidity 2013

Sparkleberry Lane at Lucidity 2013

3-Day passes are Souled out online but can be purchased at Hard Copy Ticket Vendors: 

3-Day passes with a Lucidity Giclee Canvas Print painted by the talented Mark Goerner are also available! Buy Tickets Here

See you there, Sparkleberries!

Abbey the Lioness and Evan the MeerKat

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Life at a Sustainable Community http://sparkleberrylane.com/mind-body-and-earth-wellness/life-on-a-sustainable-community/ http://sparkleberrylane.com/mind-body-and-earth-wellness/life-on-a-sustainable-community/#comments Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:53:39 +0000 Sparkleberry Contributor http://sparkleberrylane.com/?p=8434 I began studying Horticulture in Charleston, SC about two years ago because I was becoming more and more aware of the atrocities of the government regulating the FDA. I also spent some time on a medical marijuana farm in California right before I went back to college and was inspired by the efforts of the land owners to use all available resources and cut back on utility cost and land damage. They implemented practices such as harvesting rainwater, raising chickens, detailed recycling regimen re-insulating the houses, building a well and growing a legume (bean) crop outside right before the first outdoor planting for food and an organic nitrogen soil amendment. I yearned to revisit this light-footed lifestyle. Several weeks ago I moved from Charleston, a nice city on the coast of South Carolina upstate and onto Lake Hartwell to continue my studies in Horticulture at the fine University of Clemson. I was extremely lucky to stumble into a supreme living situation involving seven wonderful people, about fifteen chickens and roosters, three dogs, rabbits, and very friendly ducks.  I cannot believe I actually found this gem on Craigslist when my search for a home in Clemson began. I moved into the...

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This is the “tiny home” studio with attached greenhouse

This is the “tiny home” studio with attached greenhouse

I began studying Horticulture in Charleston, SC about two years ago because I was becoming more and more aware of the atrocities of the government regulating the FDA. I also spent some time on a medical marijuana farm in California right before I went back to college and was inspired by the efforts of the land owners to use all available resources and cut back on utility cost and land damage. They implemented practices such as harvesting rainwater, raising chickens, detailed recycling regimen re-insulating the houses, building a well and growing a legume (bean) crop outside right before the first outdoor planting for food and an organic nitrogen soil amendment. I yearned to revisit this light-footed lifestyle.

Several weeks ago I moved from Charleston, a nice city on the coast of South Carolina upstate and onto Lake Hartwell to continue my studies in Horticulture at the fine University of Clemson. I was extremely lucky to stumble into a supreme living situation involving seven wonderful people, about fifteen chickens and roosters, three dogs, rabbits, and very friendly ducks.  I cannot believe I actually found this gem on Craigslist when my search for a home in Clemson began.

The tree house which is built 30 feet in the air attached to the main house overlooking Lake Hartwell

The tree house which is built 30 feet in the air attached to the main house overlooking Lake Hartwell

I moved into the Seneca Treehouse Project on Lake Hartwell about fifteen miles from campus and have already made some amazing friends (human and animal alike) and am excited to be able to work on a permaculture and sustainability initiative while I am studying in school for similar things. The mission of the Seneca Treehouse is to help others live sustainable lifestyles through educational programs and a small scale functioning demonstration.  The Treehouse is in the process of creating a sustainable community learning center geared towards helping people live ethically with the environment and each other.  We are transforming a typical home and property to provide food, water, shelter, energy, and a service for humanity.  The Treehouse is a service through hands on workshops, field trips, tours of the project, and free downloads of video documentation.

The home is a location that brings together residents and guests with positive ideas and a commitment to community, education, and eco-living. These creative individuals collaborate through shared interests and the principles of sustainability to develop permaculture and healthy living.  Here, people can develop interest and skills to share with the world later.

Baby bunnies we are raising to eat

Baby bunnies we are raising to eat

The Treehouse is in a transition from standard to sustainable.  Some things we will focus our energy on include: resource conservation, sustainable and efficient food and land use, growing diverse food crops using permaculture principles, building sustainable and inexpensive alternatives for shelter using natural and recycled material, energy efficiency and production, and leveraging human capital. Scott Bunn, the owner of the Treehouse, has been working on this project ever since he was also in school at Clemson. He is the most excited about turning our Treehouse into a sustainable living learning conservatory

Currently, there are six roommates in the house -a few students, a few people in the work force- that are all very unique and talented.  We try to meet once a week and cook and chat together if possible and work on planning and distributing upcoming projects. One thing I was worried about as a 26 year old undergraduate was meeting people closer to my age with similar interests and like-mindedness. I really lucked out with this bunch of people because not only are they amazing but also, I keep meeting more and more awesome “friends of the Treehouse.”

My homeduck Noah!

My homeduck Noah!

Last night some friends of the project threw a birthday party like I had never experienced before. The celebrations involved moving a chicken coop, mashing apples for cider (nearly thirty bushels,) fermentation cultures for the cider, and every type of meat imaginable farmed fresh and on the smoker. Laughs were shared as a bonfire roared outside to keep partygoers and volunteers warm once the sun went down and into the wee hours of the night. That following morning I woke with a sunrise over the lake outside of my balcony. This is such a wonderful thing to awaken to, especially when I have to be up throughout the week at eight for my morning classes. The roosters make sure I am up as well.

In the future of Seneca Treehouse, there are plans to construct various buildings on the lakefront property in the near future such as a yurt, an “Eco-Barn”, and another type of earthen multi-use structure. More about the building designs can be found here. The garden is to be expanded when planting season begins in a few months and I have plans to start a small homemade humidity chamber to get some seedlings started. Warm weather cannot come soon enough here at the Seneca Treehouse, I know everyone is itching to get things in the ground for the season.

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Many types of chickens at the Seneca Treehouse

I urge everyone to look at the project website Seneca Treehouse Project and learn more about what I am involved with out here by Clemson University. If you are interested in coming up and volunteering for any amount of time we need help and would love for you to get in touch.  There are also many other sustainable living/permaculture projects around the world that you can learn about or get involved with to begin leaving less of a personal impact.

You can begin cutting back now with things as simple as re-using plastic ziplock bags and bypassing the use of trash bags and paper towels. There are also FREE permaculture design online courses available. I like the Regenerative Leadership Institute.

I plan on writing more posts throughout the semester and hope everyone hast started off a happy and healthy new year!

This article was written by our good friend Sally Watkins! Got something you wanna share? Go ahead, email us at Sparkleberrylane@gmail.com!

 

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Hulaween @ Spirit of the Suwannee ! http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/suwannee-hulaween/ http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/suwannee-hulaween/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 03:48:54 +0000 Sparkleberry Contributor http://sparkleberrylane.com/?p=8404 I cannot think of a better way to spend Halloween than at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park jammin to some of the best musical acts our festival scene has to offer. Not to mention being surrounded by thousands of my brothers and sisters in their best costumes and Halloween attire ready to get down! This is Halloween for adults at its finest, my friends, this is the first Suwannee Hulaween! The festival takes place from October 31st – November 2nd at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. The Suwannee is hands down my favorite festival venue. It is truly an enchanted forest, complete with a river for swimming and relaxing on the beach during the day, and a lake which usually has a stage nearby and areas to camp. One of the stages is built at the bottom of a natural amphitheater. The ground slopes down amidst trees where people tie up their hammocks to view the stage at the bottom. The camaraderie between attendees is always so prevalent at the Suwannee. I always find myself making friends with people after hitchin rides on the many decked out golf carts crusin around the...

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I cannot think of a better way to spend Halloween than at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park jammin to some of the best musical acts our festival scene has to offer. Not to mention being surrounded by thousands of my brothers and sisters in their best costumes and Halloween attire ready to get down! This is Halloween for adults at its finest, my friends, this is the first Suwannee Hulaween!

The festival takes place from October 31st – November 2nd at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. The Suwannee is hands down my favorite festival venue. It is truly an enchanted forest, complete with a river for swimming and relaxing on the beach during the day, and a lake which usually has a stage nearby and areas to camp. One of the stages is built at the bottom of a natural amphitheater. The ground slopes down amidst trees where people tie up their hammocks to view the stage at the bottom. The camaraderie between attendees is always so prevalent at the Suwannee. I always find myself making friends with people after hitchin rides on the many decked out golf carts crusin around the grounds. But enough of my reminiscing. If you have never been to a festival at the Suwannee, you need to experience it for yourself. It is a magical place indeed.

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Spirit of the Suwannee

The lineup is amazing and they keep on adding more stellar acts as the festival approaches! The String Cheese Incident is hosting the event and will be playing all three nights including a special three-set show on Halloween night. STS9 and Big Gigantic are also headlining and will both will be playing late night sets. These acts will be joined by Emancipator, Conspirator, Future Rock, Up Until Now, Moon Taxi, Elliot Lipp, Applebutter Express, Steve Kimock and Friends, Jennifer Hartswick, Van Ghost and more to create an eclectic mix of genres showcasing some of the best talent in the scene.

And that’s not all! Suwannee Hulaween will introduce the first rendition of the Spirit Lake Promenade. This is a never before seen visual arts spectacular that will transform the Spirit Lake waterfront and surrounding forrest into a fantasy dream world. Attendees will be dazzled by hypnotizing lights, installation and performance art, and contributions from the Southeast’s most talented sculptors, fire/metal workers, and painters. The Spirit Lake Promenade will also host a Silent Disco and other Hulaween surprises!

Suwannee Hulaween

General Admission tickets are currently $189 and are available at www.SuwanneeHulaween.com. There are also options for Friday and Saturday night only ($155) as well as day passes ($80). Or you could upgrade to one of the five Ultimate Incident VIP Experience Packages and enjoy a wide array of special amenities. For those also interested in attending November’s funkadelic festival Bear Creek (also at the Suwannee), there is a combination package available that would get you into BOTH festivals ($314). With so many options available, it would be a shame to miss out on this amazing Hulaween extravaganza at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park! See you there!

1011794_10100890784752117_1550125907_n-245x300<This awesome preview was written by the lovely Stephanie Blick.

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Ramble On Rock: a Review of Lockn’ Music Festival 2013 http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/ramble-on-rock-a-review-of-lockn-music-festival-2013/ http://sparkleberrylane.com/musicblog/ramble-on-rock-a-review-of-lockn-music-festival-2013/#comments Sun, 22 Sep 2013 19:20:22 +0000 Alex Kratzert http://sparkleberrylane.com/?p=8365 “They’re looking for magic. There’s a moment when you see something like that, there’s a crack in your mind, and you know it’s a trick but you can’t figure it out. And that crack lets in all the light, it opens up all the possibilities. When that little split second thing happens when the Dead are playing, everybody in the audience goes, ‘Wow! Did you see that?’ That’s the moment, and kids will watch five hours of mediocre music to have that one click happen because, that puts them in touch with the invisible.” –Ken Kesey                   The first time I went to a festival on its birth into the world, I worked for the Solar Café at The Magnetic Gathering, a party in the hills and mountains of northern New Hampshire. It was expected to have close to three thousand attendees (if I remember correctly), but after two days of sitting around emptying blenders full of melted smoothies, it seemed that they would be lucky to get more than five hundred. This is to be expected on the first year of a festival: setups are disorganized, budgets are low and headliners are scarce. These gatherings take time to build...

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“They’re looking for magic. There’s a moment when you see something like that, there’s a crack in your mind, and you know it’s a trick but you can’t figure it out. And that crack lets in all the light, it opens up all the possibilities. When that little split second thing happens when the Dead are playing, everybody in the audience goes, ‘Wow! Did you see that?’ That’s the moment, and kids will watch five hours of mediocre music to have that one click happen because, that puts them in touch with the invisible.”

–Ken Kesey

                  The first time I went to a festival on its birth into the world, I worked for the Solar Café at The Magnetic Gathering, a party in the hills and mountains of northern New Hampshire. It was expected to have close to three thousand attendees (if I remember correctly), but after two days of sitting around emptying blenders full of melted smoothies, it seemed that they would be luckIMG_0465y to get more than five hundred. This is to be expected on the first year of a festival: setups are disorganized, budgets are low and headliners are scarce. These gatherings take time to build and grow into something large and known, where people will spend hundreds of dollars on a ticket, despite how financially irresponsible it may be. I don’t know how, perhaps by the help of Jimi, Jerry or the big man, but this year the crew of the interlocking music festival, Interlocken- a.k.a, “Lockn’”- made their presence known to the world with one of the most incredible lineups that 2013 has seen, bringing upwards of 25,000 people together on the vast, red-clay earth of Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Virginia.

The process of entering the festival was an issue for many. I spoke to folks who complained about sitting in line for hours on end, a massive cluster fuck of eager heads, flustered volunteers and, of course, Mr. Johnny Law, all counting down the minutes of missed music and misspent time. My experience consisted of shouting obscenities at my GPS after a nine-hour or so car ride while lapping the Arrington area for another grueling couple of hours, trying to figure out where to go as well as what to 031use to get the three-inch long horse fly off of our dashboard. Tensions were high and the music had begun when we finally entered the campground, but after one glance over the tent sea that flowed downward toward the heart of it all, with the sun falling gently behind the shadowy peaks of the Appalachian trail, there was no doubt that each second of frustration and anxiousness would prove entirely worth-while.

Our neighbors in our little tent city were named Steph and Heath, two friendly Virginians who were quite familiar with the Arrington area. We asked him about the town and the mountains, and he pointed out the names of each surrounding peak, and also told us a little about how this festival got going. He said that back in the ‘70s, a bunch of hippies moved to the area, and since then Arrington has maintained “a really cool dynamic.” It made sense that such a town would host a gathering such as this. My brother told me that when he was bringing the car over to the camp site, he asked one of the volunteers if it was cool to do that. He responded, “You can do whatever you want, man.” A cool dynamic, indeed.

IMG_0473Keller and the Keels kicked off the weekend to a thin audience due to that heinous line that stretched far down route 29. We set up camp as quickly and frantically as possible, but regrettably so, I missed their set as well as Warren Haynes Band’s. Along with their original tunes, WHB played several covers including Jimi Hendrix’s “Spanish Castle Magic” as well as Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic” with a little “All Along the Watchtower” somewhere in the mix. While the sun illuminated the sky with a deep, orange glow, testaments to classic rock were already being summoned. It seemed clear that these musicians would aim to recreate the old ways of getting down, while simultaneously creating a new, creative experience that reminds people of all ages why this music is so timeless. I’m righteously bummed having missed these sets, but luckily, our “patience” and persistence was graced with another appearance of Warren Haynes with Gov’t Mule, as well as a surprise appearance from Keller during String Cheese’s first set.

That was my first experience with Cheese, and Keller too. I was ecstatic to hear them collaborate on a 21.5 minute-long “Best Feeling,” a favorite of many Keller fans. Just before this tune they played “Song in My Head,” and at the peak of this bluegrass, rock jam, they turned to an “I Know You Rider” tease, which for this writer has been a frequent occupier of the space train of thought. The organ bellowed and ripped, guiding the jam faster and faster, higher and higher above, forcing each spectator to reach for the sky and sore off with the sounds of joy, smiles scattering and beads of sweat already plummeting to the solid earth. I couldn’t believe that this would be the first of four SCI shows, and it almost didn’t register that there was much else to come.

And in those four days, the music, the life, the cheer, it all came and went like a wave rolling up the damp shore, only to break back until whenever that next crash would come. That next wave after Cheese’s first show was Gov’t Mule, and Grace Potter graced us with her presence for multiple tunes, starting with a cover of “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles. After that, they shifted to a cover of “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac, and after that, “Whisper in Your Soul,” which was the first time they ever played it. Grace Potter’s081 beautiful voice accompanied by Warren’s ripping lead and slide created an energetic and soulful collaboration that soon led to an interesting couple of covers, one into the next. As Grace continued to belt her pipes, they moved to a cover of “Find the Cost of Freedom” by Crosby, Stills and Nash. With the disappointment of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s cancellation still swelling, the set came to an incredible rendition of “Southern Man,” giving the crowd a taste of Neil’s lyrical genius. To finish off the set, with four totems of the sixties and seventies echoing in the cool, early September breeze, the members of Warren Haynes Band joined Gov’t Mule in playing “Soulshine” by Larry McCray.

079                  These sorts of classic covers (rock, blues, reggae and all the like) were scattered throughout the weekend. Jimmy Cliff played “Wild World” by his friend Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, and The London Souls, who remain one of the best performances of the weekend in my mind, ripped “Long Way to the Top” by AC/DC as well as “Magic Bus” by The Who. Just a drummer and guitarists, fully in the style of the historic Hendrix/Mitch Mitchell combo, they carried as much, if not more, energy and skill as damn near every performance. While their set was an early-day show that drew a relatively small crowd, they successfully drew spectators in to groove and romp with every bit of energy, despite the burning heat of the Virginia sun. They are touring with the infamous Umphrey’s Mcgee this fall, and I highly recommend spending the cash and showing up early to see these cats jam; it is well worth it.

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Widespread Panic – Saturday Night

Virginia in early September is a prime setting for a music festival. The sun was hot, no doubt, but there was a consistent cool breeze that would fight the rays and keep you grooving. With a thick coating of SPF 30 or higher, getting down at 2pm wasn’t a problem. Then, 7:30 would roll around, the sun would be low and warm, with the breeze picking up and with that would come an eruption of dancing bodies and melodious music. Stars slowly began to gleam into the vast, colorful sky, and there was not a more perfect setting for a music festival. Embrace the mud, embrace the rain, embrace your pains, because they make perfect that much better.

And so the list goes on. String Cheese played “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin, “Use Me” by Bill Withers, as well as “Could You Be loved” by Bob Marley as the encore of their Zac Brown Incident show. Suddenly, in the middle of the ZBI set, the bass crept in and heads turned and tuned, beginning a funky, ripping and rocking cover of Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” one of the most passionate, groovy and fun experiences of the entire weekend. In their day set on Friday, they conducted the crowd with their blissful “Joyful Sound” which eventually led to their well known cover of “This Must be the Place” by The Talking Heads that jammed into their original tune “Restless Wind.” It was a series of absolutely cheerful tones and grooves that brought the crowd to a joyous moment of celebration, and as the vibrations coursed through from toes to fingertips, the world seemed to be righteous and maddeningly fun, despite what fleeting troubles could be taking their grim place.

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Dirty Dozen Brass Band

There were several other classic covers including Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” performed by Trey Anastasio as well as Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” performed by Keller and the Keels. Widespread Panic’s incredible Saturday set with John Fogerty of CCR included a groovy cover of good old “Suzy Q” as well as a rendition of CCR’s “Fortunate Son” to finish their set. So much revisiting of these classic styles and tunes, but it was all built around the shows that drove the majority of people to ramble on down to Virginia. I am of course speaking of Furthur, our closest connection to the minds and sounds of the sixties, the guys that are keeping the Haight Ashbury dream alive and well.

Furthur’s sets portrayed a wide spectrum of the Dead sound. They jammed, they spaced, they did all that I had imagined the Dead being, and then some. After their last Saturday set, my brother and I retired to the media tent to grab cold water and a sturdy chair to regroup before making the long trek through the tent labyrinth to our campsite. Two middle-aged fellows with GA bands on stumbled in looking for a place to sit saying, “we saw a light and thought we’d check it out.” We told them to pull up a chair and for a good half-hour we ranted and spat about the Dead, the scene, the music, the changes, the memories, and the experiences. When I asked them how and why they got into following the Dead, one of them who asked me to refer to him as “Awesome” (his notorious nickname on the high score lists of gambling machines) told me, “I did it to get laid!” The other, who I will refer to as “X” followed that by looking us sternly in the eyes, saying something along the lines of “it was the music, for me.” Awesome responded, and I’m paraphrasing from memory, “it was the music for me, too, but not at first. There was this girl who I was into that dragged me to my first show sometime in the eighties, 152and she was the wild type that bounced around, on the go at all times.” He continued to tell me that she gave him a copy of “Workingman’s Dead,” the album that Furthur had revisited just prior to our introduction (with Trey on stage from “Casey Jones” all the way to an incredible “Fire on the Mountain”), and she wanted to know what he thought of it. He didn’t see her for some two odd years before running into her at a show and picking up the conversation where he left off. “I liked it, a lot” he said, “and we spent the next eleven years together going to shows.”

It is interesting to see how such circumstances of life happen at these gatherings and experiences. The people you meet and the people you continue to see; there’s a connection that rests within every one of us. It is the experience, it is the search for that opening that Kesey talked about that keeps us coming back and running wild. Shooting the shit with these two kind, lively fellows was like a window into that life, the life that has remained true and much as it ever was. While this is no Grateful Dead as it was in its most true form, there was a nostalgic satisfaction in these two guys, and it seemed that talking to us on that cool September evening instilled a sense that such memories and life would continue and would always be there, even if the feelings remained a distant memory.

The last day ended with several collaborations including Bob Weir with Tedeschi Trucks Band, Derek Trucks with Widespread Panic, and Susan Tedeschi with Furthur. I try to forgive myself for missing Furthur play “Dear Mr. Fantasy” but I take solace in knowing that it all went down, spreading the light to so many friendly faces, so many out-there souls, if one would choose to grasp it. The music that weekend was some of the best that I have ever seen: everyone was so tight, so on point, and not an act that performed on those two interlocking stages failed to take music, both old a038nd new, to the next step of the experience. These musicians and the people who follow them created such an environment, such a scene at Oak Ridge Farm, one of great vibes, easy living, and very few, if any, emergency trips to the hospital. I am happy to say that I didn’t see one convoy of flashing blue and red carting someone off who overdosed on something like that bunk molly that I hear keeps circling around. The music was enough here, that much is for certain.

Lockn’ could have been improved in certain ways, but nothing more than complaints of difficulty entering the festival, and perhaps organization- if you’re the type who likes to be organized. If not, fuck it, we’re good then. I was, however, disappointed to see a gorgeous venue covered with a heap of trash at the end of the night, but these things are to be expected, and the Lockn’ crew came prepared to leave us with a spotless venue, just as soon as the sun was high and the music was starting. Cheers to the cleanup crew as well as the High Five Program team for keeping Lockn’ a clean festival while encouraging festival-goers to do much the same.

There is something in these shows and these festivals, and I think it is much more lasting than that one moment, that one crack. Simply knowing that it happened, knowing that our fellow wild ones were there to see it and feel it, leaves me with pride that I live among such out-there people. We are all searching for that opening of light, and lock13with the music guiding you and your friends, this moment will be found, and it will last until we lay down for our final rest. Be happy everyone, and for those of you who couldn’t make the experience happen, just know that it all happened well and good, and that it is well worth the ride. I am eager to see what Lockn’ and festivals all the like will have in store for us in the near future, and I highly recommend giving these shows a listen.  Maybe next year or the year after, you’ll find yourself in Arrington amidst the experience. As always, spread that sparkle, get down to some classic music every once in a while, and rejoice with those around you, for we are living some wild, weird and whacked out lives, and I’m digging the shit out of it. I hope you all are as well.088

Photos taken by Sean Kratzert

Special thanks to the Lockn’ crew, Sparkleberry Lane, and all you music loving cats out there who made such a place happen.

The post Ramble On Rock: a Review of Lockn’ Music Festival 2013 appeared first on Sparkleberry Lane.

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