Posts Tagged ‘The String Cheese Incident’

My 1992 Sony CD Player :)

My 1992 Sony CD Player 🙂

I got my first CD player during Christmas 1995. I was 13. Up until this time, music to me had been limited to whatever I could find on the radio (which I couldn’t rewind), Disney princess movies, other fluffy movie and show soundtracks.

My grandmother had season tickets to Broadway musicals and Classical Series and so I drowned in those, willingly. That music also made up the majority of my tape collection. On the way to school I was able to hear the radio but my mother preferred country against our “harder” choices. We would bond over many of the bands from her time but I still never had what I considered true musical freedom until Christmas 1993 with the arrival of my first CD player.

Mariah Carey's Music Box Album Cover

Mariah Carey's Music Box Album Cover

I see this as a definitive moment in my musical development and the start of a major addiction. I was 15, had allowance and I needed things to spend my money on.  I would eventually join Columbia House, BMG Music (both no longer in existence as CD selling companies)and all the other companies that gave me music on the cheap.  I would scam them using multiple names, ending up with tons of CDs and not enough time to devour them all.  It was the start of my searching; searching for music that filled a hole.

I was given two CDs with my new CD player.  My parents, knowing my love for singing and pop culture, gave me Mariah Carey‘s Music Box.   My Uncle John (unsure of his motivation) gave me Simon and Garfunkel‘s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel

I would come to memorize every one of the songs on both CDs within days.  I fell IN LOVE with Simon and Garfunkel while Mariah Carey disappeared in the back of my CD case after a few months and eventually from my memory.

I was immediately turned on emotionally and spiritually by Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  I was 13.  I struggled with anger and teenage angst and this CD connected with me on so many levels. The voices, the lyrics, the music.  A simply stunning CD. More importantly, it opened me up to a time period in music that I had missed…the 70’s. A  few months later, I would find Jerry and the musical hole within me would be filled.

There is so much to say about it but I won’t bore you with my run-on stories.  My point is that my connection with Simon and Garfunkel runs deep.  Paul Simon is sort of my Bob Dylan.  I can hear you all screaming now but it’s true.  He may not win in your books for the highest award of lyrical and/or song construction but in my book, he is #1.

The Auditorium Stravinsky stage, described in full in my Overview of Montreux Jazz Festival Post, was littered with musicians. I noticed an accordion, a xylophone, a piano, three guitars, a percussion section, one bass, two drummers, a piano and keyboard, horns, and a violin (I think).

Paul Simon’s desire to incorporate multiple multi-cultural instruments is a huge selling point for me being someone who likes to see change and diversity in her musicians.  Simon ranks up there with Bela Fleck for going out in to the world to be the hungry learner, the constant musical hunter. I find so much beauty in musicians like that. We need more musicians like that.

Paul Simon @ Montreux Jazz Festival

This would be my first time seeing Paul Simon live.  This was an epic moment  for me. I felt giddy, like a school girl (pun intended) going to see her first musical crush.  I imagined seeing Paul Simon many times in my life but I never thought the first time would be in this amazing auditorium in Switzerland.   I had to cross the world to make it happen and I couldn’t be happier.

The show was in The Auditorium Stravinsky and we were in the #3 box seats instead of #4 from the night previous. I wondered if any stars would surround me again.  Esperanza Spalding and Paul Simon had been my box neighbors just a night earlier as I watched The Miles Davis Tribute.

Tonight’s show would consist of multiples titles off Simon’s latest CD, So Beautiful or So What.   The CD is built around his acoustic guitar and as the title suggests, the songs consist of views on extremes. However, his projections find themselves somewhere in the middle. His songs lie between the worlds of love and indifference, good and evil, hope and heartbreak.  He speaks on everything from Christmas shopping to suicide bombers to Global warming.  It speaks of his nephew, who has been on multiple tours of duty to Iraq to Jay-Z and Jesus.

The Making of So Beautiful, So What

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon was listening to a box set of old American recordings one day. Among the songs, he found a Christmas sermon bearing the voice of Atlanta’s Rev. J.M. Gates, a hugely popular preacher in the 1930s and ’40s. That sermon stayed with Simon, who turned it into a song.

“It really struck me, not only because it was really an unusual way of having a Christmas sermon, because it’s very dark, it’s like a warning,” Simon tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, “but also … there was a real rhythmic pulse to it … it sounded so natural. I lived with that for a while, and then I thought, ‘I could write a song called “Getting Ready for Christmas Day,” and find a way of making verses that lead up to the sermon and then follow the sermon.’ “

~ Excerpt from NPR’s interview with Paul Simon (04/12/11)

Boy in the Bubble
Dazzling Blue
Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover
So Beautiful or So What
Slip Sliding Away
Peace like a River
The Obvious Child
Only Living Boy in New York
Learn To Fall
Questions for the Angels
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
Sounds of Silence

Kodachrome from 1973
Here Comes the Sun
Still Crazy After All These Years
Call Me Al

Simon started his set with “Boy In The Bubble,” the opening song on his 1986 album Graceland. Simon’s lyrics deal with the complex human consequences of modern technology. Do you recall the Boy In The Bubble from the 1980s?  Ironically, this was a perfect start to a show that would continue on with songs highlighting intense issues.

Dazzling Blue” followed and was the first song performed off Simon’s latest album.  The song has a heavy African vibe; the stage was cast in a blue curtain of light with the majority of light on Simon alone.  Beginning with a talking drum from India, the audience was immediately given access to the love that Simon has for different styles and texture of sound found in various cultures around the globe.

Miles apart, though the miles can’t measure distance
Worlds apart on a rainy afternoon
But the road gets dirty and it offers no resistance
So turn your amp up and play your lonesome tune

Maybe love’s an accident, or destiny is true
But you and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue

~ Lyrics from “Dazzling Blue”

American rock drumming initiated the beginning to “Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover,” a 1975 hit song from his album Still Crazy After All These Years.  The stage was filled with green light and Simon sang about the song’s mistress and her humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship.

Fun Fact: G. Love covered the song on his album Fixin’ To Die (2011) which he recorded with the folk-rock band The Avett Brothers. ~ Thanks Wikipedia

And then Paul spoke…

“Hello my friends. I am so happy to be here.  This is my fourth or fifth time here.” ~ Paul Simon to his audience

The bluesy title track, “So Beautiful or So What,off Paul Simon’s latest album, began with two wooden bars being clapped together. The song verbalizes a lesson about life being what you make of it.

Bemoaning human frailty:

Ain’t it strange the way we’re ignorant
how we seek out bad advice
How we jigger it and figure it
mistaking value for the price
And play a game with time and love
like a pair of rolling dice.”~ Lyrics from “So Beautiful or So What”

I swear I heard a telephone ringing as part of the chorus. It was totally prevalent but I am not sure it was part of the song.  At the time, it didn’t surprise me but it made me curious. I loved this song, with its full sound and rock sensibilities.  There was a spoon on metal solo, accordion overlay, beaded shakers kept the beat and Paul showed his picking skills. One thing about Paul’s music, the sounds he conjures out of the various worldly instruments he employs in his music is what truly sets each song apart from the next.

Using his mouth in an unusual way to intro the song, Paul Simon chose another oldie, “Slip Sliding Away.” The best way I can describe these mouth sounds would be like when the drawings in the cartoons would take two coconuts to make the sound of a horse walking.  It was gorgeous…until there was an equipment malfunction.  Paul paused, tapping his fingers on his guitar until his other guitarist strapped in.  Flutes and harpsichords were being played but I couldn’t figure out who was playing the beautiful sounds. Simon accompanied the beauty with whistles and the song ended with acoustic scaling and whistling by Simon.

Peace like a River,” the 7th song of his 2nd studio album, highlighted the piano.  Paul’s voice cut right through me.  There is something so calming and soothing about his sound. The softness is romantic yet there is fierceness in his delivery that comes off as pure professionalism and eagerness to be different.

I found an eight minute video of the performance which shows nothing, but you can hear Simon on stage clearly and that is what matters:

Four drumsticks counted off as both drummers began the lead into “The Obvious Child.” This song is defined by it’s Latin-inspired rhythms and is off The Rhythm and Saints album released in 1990.  Reminiscent of a Big Band feel, we started moving in our seats.  Paul Simon knows what I like, he truly does.  Bright red lights blew up the stage as Josh was so moved he got up to dance.

Did Paul know his favorite fans were in the audience from NYC? Did he know that the NYCers who were there loved this next song? Perhaps not! But I like to think he did as he broke into “The Only Living Boy in New York.” This song touched me deeply as it was the only song sung off  Simon and Garfunkel’s 1970 release, Bridge Over Troubled Water, one of the greatest albums to ever grace this planet.

The irony was not lost on me that on the album it is Art Garfunkel who sings the song while Simon takes a secondary position in the delivery. Not this time.  Not tonight.

Bridge Over Troubled Water fun facts:

  • Fifth and final studio album by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970
  • Won 1971 Grammy Award for Album of the Year
  • Won 1971 Grammy award for Best Engineered Recording
  • Title track won the 1971 Grammy Award for Record of the Year
  • Title track won the 1971 Grammy Award for Song of the Year
  • Won Best International Album at the first Brit Awards in 1977
  • #51 on The Rollings Stones ‘Greatest Album of all Time’ List

The tears trickled down my cheeks freely now. It had only been a matter of time before I knew this would happen and I did think it was going to happen sooner then it did.  It took eight songs to rip into my heartstrings.  I was immediately transported back to being 12 and hearing his voice for the first time and I prayed that he would sing more songs from this album but it never happened.

Learn How To Fall” was full of horns and fierceness. It was jubilant yet with a serious message of needing to “Learn How to Fall” before you can “Learn How to Fly.”

Then perhaps my favorite song of the performance was next, a song I had never heard before. A song off the new album called “Questions for the Angels.”

On “Questions For The Angels,” a middle-aged man strolls across the Brooklyn Bridge searching for heavenly help, only to be confronted with a Jay-Z billboard for a reply.

A pilgrim on a pilgrimage
Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
His sneakers torn
In the hour when the homeless move their cardboard blankets
And the new day is born….

…..Downtown Brooklyn
The pilgrim is passing a billboard
That catches his eye
It’s Jay-Z
He’s got a kid on each knee
He’s wearing clothes that he wants us to try

~ Lyrics from Questions for Angels

Can I just give props to Paul Simon for picking on Jay-Z?  I don’t want to condone any negative tension but I find it hilarious, although not surprising,  that Paul Simon chose these lyrics. It makes me recall the feud between NAS (who I am seeing tonight with Damien Marley) and Jay-Z.  Would this bring Jay-Z down on Simon? Will there be retaliation through lyrics? Can you imagine that going down? Now, that is some musical drama that I would be interested in seeing take place…just saying.

Speaking on religious material making it’s way into the album:

“It’s not so much that it pops out in a larger way … it’s more frequent. I really had no plan to do that,” Simon says. “They begin as stories, and where they go is just a path I follow. Sometimes spiritual or religious imagery will be part of the story. It’s seldom the point of the story, but it’s a presence that lingers.”

~ Excerpt from NPR’s interview with Paul Simon (04/12/11)

It was back to the old school, this time with songs from Simon’s most famous album, Graceland. At this point I just couldn’t take notes anymore. I had to dance this out.  Other members of the audience felt the same way as they were lifted out of their seats during the dueling drummers solos during “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes.”  The song is a pure classic about a short relationship Paul Simon had with a diamond mine owner’s daughter, while recording in South Africa. She was very rich and privileged, yet she acted very down to earth, like a poor girl. The drummers were amazing playing off each other and I longed for a concert of just drummers.  Can you imagine? I can.

The Lady Smith Black Mombazo inspired song “Gumboots” kept the dance party going.  This song reminded me String Cheese meeting Bela Fleck.   There was picking on the guitars and a violin entered the mix.  The piano player got up and played the inside of his piano. There was such a wonderful mixture of sound and it kept us all on our feet.  It’s a beautiful song inspired by The Gumboot Dance which is an African dance that is performed by dancers wearing Wellington boots. In South Africa these boots are more commonly called gumboots.

The rest of the band joined the stage for “Kodachrome from 1973”   This song left the hall so full of sound. Great sound. My friends and I were all up dancing in our box. There was no calming us down.

There you have it 🙂 The end of the set. Exiting the stage to monstrous applause, the entire band left. The entire audience began clapping in unison without letting up.  Shortly after, Paul came out alone on his acoustic guitar.


When the notes trickled from the stage and the audience heard “Sounds of Silence,” the Auditorium went silent.  You could hear a pin drop. “Hello darkness my old friend”…and with that, the tears flowed freely again.

This was definitely the most intimate song of the night.  It tore at the heart strings, it made people smile, scream and feel something inside of them stir.  Paul’s music does that to you.  It’s such a classic song that everyone on the planet knows and is touched by it.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

~ Lyrics from “Sounds of Silence”

Then the audience joined in by humming the lyrics. A single man and his guitar was standing alone on one of the world’s most famous stages and had the entire placed entranced. It was magic.  It was awesome. It was music at its simplest. Music at its best.

Here Comes The Sun” was the second choice with accordions and two guitars with Simon backing the melody.  And with that, the stage emptied again.

The following video has “Sounds of Silence” into “Here Come The Sun.” Enjoy!

!!!!!!!!!! ENCORE #2 !!!!!!!!!!

Everyone walked off stage and for a few minutes the audience just chanted in unison. Paul Simon came out yet again for a second encore. There was no end in sight and that was awesome.

I took out Josh’s Iphone and video taped “Crazy Love” in it’s entirety with GREAT quality.  Enjoy!

“Still Crazy After All These Years” was next. Paul didn’t have an instrument for these songs. Just his voice.

“We’re living in a certain time, and we’re aware of it. And that’s part of what we’re aware of, along with our own personal aches and pains,” Simon says. “The dialogue between what’s going on in the world and what’s going on internally seems to be a natural thing — well, it’s natural to me, anyway, to have these thoughts.” ~ Excerpt from NPR’s interview with Paul Simon (04/12/11)

Call Me Al” ended the set.  Everyone was finally up dancing now. Dancing down below me and clapping. The flute player moved to the  keys. There was a major bass rage. Only a few seconds but so funky! You know the bass line I’m speaking of??

“One of my favorite poets is Philip Larkin,” Simon says. “Philip Larkin didn’t write for several years before his life ended. And when he was asked why he didn’t write, he said the muse deserted him. It sort of scared me. That’s why I think I have no right to assume that some thought is going to come. … But I think, in my imagination, if it is it, there will probably be something else I’m interested in.”

At 70 years old, Paul Simon shows no signs of slowing down.  He is a master of his art, with a soft, intelligent voice, that attains an unmatchable sense of melancholy and tenderness. Regarding his latest cd, anyone who can take a sermon and build an entirely new outlook on life through it by music is stellar.  I was moved  and inspired by this show and I hope that this article touches you in some way that makes you go out and purchase the new album or perhaps invest in seeing him live. Simply Phenomenal.

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Click here to read: Camp Barefoot 4: Thursday (08.19.10)

Camp Barefoot 4 | August 19-21th, 2010 | Camp Hidden Meadows, Bartow, WVGood Morning Barefoot 4…Oh Wait...

I wish I could say Good Morning but I never went to bed…and for GOOD REASON!!  There are so many great things I would love to write about for Camp Barefoot 4.  It was just such an eventful, wonderful good time.  Even though this was the smallest festival I have attended this year, it was the biggest in terms of adventure and just pure fun.

I was not prepared for the weather on that mountain.  The drop in temperature was quick and fierce Thursday night.  By the time 5am Friday morning had rolled around, I was covered in a sheet of dew and running around the camp site with my new friend Tyson and my buddy Paul, gearing up for Kickball.

A gorgeous stream that passed under a quaint bridge on the gorgeous grounds
A gorgeous stream, passing under a quaint bridge on the gorgeous grounds


Team Whiskey vs. Team Spunyun

Three kickball games were supposed to take place over the course f the Barefoot weekend. The first went down Friday morning at DAWN!!  Hillary Dovel, the Queen Bee of Festival Kickball, had organized Kickball the previous year at Camp Barefoot 3 so there was already a following.  Camp Hardcore also made sure to help spread the word Thursday night before everyone passed out.  The teams were to consist of those who had been awake all night vs. those who passed out.  I, of course, wanted to be on the team that stayed awake so I could take Hillary’s team out.

At this point it’s about 6am.  Paul and I have made our way back to the campground and are contemplating passing out, my eyes heavy.  Paul decided to head to his campsite and passes out leaving me as the only member of Camp Hardcore awake.  I refused to sleep because I had missed Jam Cruise Jamaica Kickball by passing out a mere minutes before the game was called back on.  I REFUSED to miss Camp Barefoot Dawn Kickball.  However, I knew this game was a MAYBE situation, depending on when Hillary woke up…was Dawn kickball going to happen?

All of a sudden, eager wookies begin appearing from the mist and shadows of the dew-filled air, filling available seats within Camp Hardcore.  Our resident Camp Clown, Stevie P., pops out of his big red truck with a blow-horn and a smile.  Wookies started whispering on all sides of Hillary’s bed…KICKBALL!!  KICKBALL!! The whisper’s gained momentum.  Hillary emerged from the VW bus and so it began.

The field, in front of the main stage!
The field, in front of the main stage!

Stevie hopped on our friend’s fold-up bike, placed the disco ball helmet on his head and proceed to ride around the festival grounds recruiting.  Hillary and I attempted to wake Paul (that wasn’t happening) and then walked the grounds for our own wave of recruitment. (I was just hoping to be miracled a mimosa at this point and this comes into play later!)

As we wondered the festivals grounds, I heard: “KAREN! Go to bed!”  The lovely owners of Beandawg Artworks, a gorgeous tye-dying company, were awake and beginning their day.  “I don’t know what that means,” I holler back.

View of vendor area from road.

View of vendor area from road.

As Stevie comes flying down the hill towards us, he hits one of the many rocks in the ground and takes a tumble over the handle bars, face planting into the hill as the bike goes flying to the left.  He jumps up, with a huge smile on his face. “Thank god for helmets!” He had done his job as we made our way to the field in front of the stage to find at least 30 wooked-out hippies raging to play.  There was no Awake vs Asleep this time.  Everyone but Hillary seemed to have been awake throughout the night.  So, now it was Team Whiskey vs. Team Spunyun.

Setting up the bases...

Laying out the bases! (Ps: You want her on your team!)

There are no pictures of this fiasco as I was playing the entire time.  Hillary and I were on Team Spunyun and we were getting killed 1 to 6 until one of our members called for a huddle.  “This is serious!  We need something to help us focus.  If you got it, smoke it.”  And as Team Whiskey yelled at us to hurry up, we all commenced with the “TEAM MEETING.”  It was hysterical…and genius…because we came back and beat Team Whiskey 8 to 6.

We have this in blanket form..a gorgeous pattern!
A gorgeous pattern!

I ate breakfast during Barefoot Wade, a Zach Deputy-type with Caribbean flare. Another member of Camp Hardcore made sure to check him out and brought back seashells that B-Wade was handing out.  B-Wade was also handing out Popsicles.  How thoughtful is that…seashells and Popsicles. He made my friend Beau very happy and the ladies in the camp appreciated the gifting of the shells by Beau after the set 🙂

I toyed with the idea of trying to catch some rest for a few hours before checking out Pants for Bears but playing kickball had given me my third wind.  There really is something to playing a quick sporty game to get your blood going.  The sun was shining on us but it was cool out because of the morning dew.  The sun would be taking over in a little under an hour.

Pants For Bears

Ben Geiser – Guitar
Lee Hartman – Bass Guitar
Praveen Chhetri- Guitar
Brad Corallo- Drums
Avery Fary – Percussion, FX, Theremin
Adam Miller – Vocals
Josh Horst – Keyboard, Percussion, Synth

Sadly, I passed out at a pretty crucial time.  I was looking forward to catching a close friend’s band, Pants for Bears.  I tried so hard to make it to their 1pm set but ended up utilizing the hammock for the first time that weekend around 12pm, missing the Pants for Bears set. Happy to report, I had friends who did see the set.   General consensus was “they were jammin’.”  Coming from my friends, who I consider to have great taste in music, that is a huge compliment.  This made me feel worse but I was so happy they were impressed.


Larry Alen Jarrell-drums
Jason Jarrell-basses
Dave Klemencic-keys

I missed LarJar and I keep wondering about their name.  There were not many videos of anything from Camp Barefoot 4 but there was a LarJar video so I felt I should include it.

The Mantras

Keith Allen – Guitar/Vocals
Marcus Horth – Guitar/Vocals
Justin Loew – Drums
Brian Tyndall – Bass/Vocals
Brent Vaughn – Percussion/Vocals

I woke up around 4:30 from my “nap”.  I had missed Pants for Bears and was kicking myself.  I made a point to catch everyone else so long as I was awake.   The Mantras, from Greensboro, North Carolina, were playing and I was immediately perked up by their sound.  I grabbed a Veggie Burger from one of the vendors and walked over to the stage.

The Mantras

The Mantras

Keith Allen

Keith Allen

The Mantras!! Now say it again and remember it.  MAN!! I just LOVE being introduced to new music.  I like it even better when I LOVE what I am listening to.  With three guitars on stage, I sometimes got lost in their sound as a whole, not focusing on individual talents as I generally do.  Eventually though, I ended up transfixed on Keith Allen and the fury of his guitar for the most of their set.  Playing a few new songs from their newly released cd, Dharland, The Mantras were tight and full of rock ‘n’ roll-vibin’ jams.   I’ve been listening to them ever since seeing this set.

I don’t want to elaborate on this band any further as I hope to one day (very, very soon) catch them in the NYC or the surrounding areas and write a big fat positive review on their music.  Come to NYC soon Mantras…come to us soon.

Setlist: Improv ->, The Prelude ->, Five Roads, Cross The Divide ->, Abacus ->, Further ->, Boy In The Bubble* ->, Popna, Crowd/Banter, Hobo Ken ->, Song For You -> Barefoot Jam, Funky Jank Patrol**

* Boy In The Bubble (Paul Simon)
** w/ Bobby Muncy (Funk Ark) on baritone saxophone and Joe Hererra (Funk Ark) on trumpet

Download: The Mantras Live at Camp Barefoot 4, Bartow, WV on 2010-08-20 (August 20, 2010)

DJ Williams Projekt

DJ Williams Projekt

DJ Williams Projekt

DJ Williams – Guitar & vocals
Gordon Jones – Sax & vocals
Dusty Simmons – Drums
Todd Herrington – Bass
Mark Ingraham – Trumpet & Borine
Joey Ciucci – Keys

DJ Williams Projekt

DJ Williams Projekt

The next band that blew me away was Richmond-based DJ Williams Projekt.  Being that I am from Williamsburg, Virginia, for a moment, while listening to this group, I actually felt I could move back to my hometown because there would be some dope music only 20 minutes away.

The Funky horns of DJ Williams Projeckt

The Funky horns of DJ Williams Projeckt

DJ Williams, a spindly, attractive, studious-lookin’ lead guitar player has the spark of Jimmy Hendrix flowing through him.  Where some guitarist’s are full of flare and movement when they play, DJ Williams was stoic and stood planted in his spot most of the time and the corresponding  sound coming from his guitar might have well been coming from a schizophrenic flipping out all over stage.  I mean, just chaos and raging guitar sounds out of someone who barely moved.  And then when he did, his smile was so wide, his legs were trying to break free like his fingers.

DJ Williams Projekt

DJ Williams Projekt

Todd Herrington

Todd Herrington

Todd Herrington, of Modern Groove Syndicate, was phenomenal, thumping his bass over every beat the drums threw down.  I looked over to my left and the Pants for Bears bassist was just staring with his jaw open.  He later would dance over to me exclaiming: “That bassist is amazing” and mention something about hoping being on his level one day.

My focus kept shifting between DJ Williams and Todd Herrington.  Wow.  What a duo.  What a great group. What a pleasure to be seeing some sick ass funky music come from my old hood.  Now, I could only pray they would make it to my new hood, NYC.

Enjoy this clip of a fabulous wookie raging to the DJ Williams Projekt:

Poor shot but you get the point...

On occasion, I take a step back from the rail... 🙂


Doug Carter – Guitar
Carl Blackwell – Drums
Brian Werner – Keys
Leo Kishore – Bass

Special Guest: Keith Allen (The Mantras)

We picked up a friend from the Beandawg Artworks tent and made our way up the hill to the SKU tent for FunkUpOnYa.  My friend, AB, had boasted heavily about this group and so we weren’t to miss them.

FunkUpOnYa (SKU Stage)

FunkUpOnYa (SKU Stage)

Calling themselves “Certified Organic Funk”, I was hoping they lived up to their self-proclaimed branding and they certainly did. This band brought a little maturity to the festival as they appeared to be seasoned musicians. I wondered why they were raging the side stage but found out they had a main stage booking tomorrow.  Bassist Leo Kishore stood out heavily.  Keys player Brian Werner appeared to be utilizing some interesting techniques to make his sound, smacking the keys as fast as lighting like he was swatting a fly.



As I stood there dancing, they started playing a familiar tune by Soulive.  They were covering 76.  Could it be that I couldn’t get away from Soulive even traveling miles away from them?  It was true. In my frame of mind, I was completely confused for a minute trying to place the song.  I look at my friend and he confirms my confused look with a simple ” Yes!” Well, this made me love FunkUpOnYa even more as Soulive can do no wrong in this New Yorkers book.  They also covered Stanton Moore’s Blues for Ben at some point.  It was raging.

FunkUpOnYa Debut Cd

FunkUpOnYa Debut Cd

A few songs in and I noticed a gentleman in front who turned around and smiled.  He went back to dancing and then did it again.  After the third time, he leaned over and said: “You like this?” I responded, “Most certainly do.”  And with that he handed me FunkUpOnYa self-titled debut cd, still in its shrink wrap.   They were wonderful and I just popped in the cd as I write this 🙂

It was also during this set that Instant Mustache reps handed out various mustaches on a convenient little stick.  Seriously, it was fun for all ages.  And with the crowd that was raging the stages late night, it provided countless hours of manipulation of faces, voices and attitudes when the staches got into anyone’s hands.  Excellent idea 🙂

Keith Allen joins FunkUpOnYa stage

Keith Allen joins FunkUpOnYa stage

Keith Allen of Mantras

Keith Allen of Mantras

Finally, one of the best parts of the set was when FunkUpOnYa invited up Mantras guitar player, Keith Allen.  Wow.  Talk about rippin’.  The banter between artists and their respective instrument on the stage at during those few songs was palpable.  Keith, clearly having a great time with his friends as we all watched in on the art taking place before us.

Sadly, but for a positive reason, I was playing in the Charity Kickball game during FunkUpOnYa‘s main stage set the following day.  I shall leave you with a video from that set….they rage 🙂

The Kyle Hollingsworth Band

The Kyle Hollingsworth Band

Kyle Hollingsworth Band

Kyle Hollingsworth Keys & Organ
Garret Sayers – Bass
Dave Watts – Drums
Dan Schwindt – Guitar

Special Guests:

Kris Jensen (Kung Fu)
Jordan Giangreco (The Breakfast)
Cory Potrafka (Jackass Flats)

Another RIPPIN SET!!!  This time with a few familiar faces from Jam Cruise. With Garret Sayers and Dave Watts of the Motet backing Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident, we were bound for some dancing action and a taste of the West Coast.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band

Kyle Hollingsworth Band

Kyle Hollingsworth‘s slick voice flowed nicely behind his phenomenal bass influx of Garret Sayers. SO GOOD!  Covering Led Zeppelin and Guns ‘N Roses, the set was full of crushing solos and jamming fun and smiles from the entire band. By the end of their set, the stage was filled with members of various bands who were all having a blast.

The Kyle Hollingsworth band + some :)

The Kyle Hollingsworth Band + some 🙂

Kyle and Me!!

Kyle and Me!!

There was definitely an energy at Camp Barefoot that I hadn’t experienced in years and again I was happy to be back in the mountains, reliving my college days with some of my favorite people.  I ended the set sitting down on the side stage backstage.   Lack of sleep, playing sports and dancing all day and night was starting to take its toll.

After their set, the band exited the stage and they were bombard by genuine fans from other bands.  I made eye contact with Garrett and just said “Jam Cruise!,” with my fist in the air.  His eyes perked up immediately and he steered my direction, repeating “Jam Cruise!” with a smile.  Chatting it up with Garrett was a highlight of my weekend in terms of backstage entry.

Setlist: Bam!, Too Young, Yo Se, Way That It Goes, All Inside ->, Kashmir ->, Boo Boo’s Pik-a-nik ->, Sweet Child O’ Mine ->, Boo Boo’s (end), Piece Of Mine, Let’s Go Outside, Seventh Step, Naive Melody, Peregrino

Encore: ‘Round In Circles

Download: Kyle Hollingsworth Band Live at Camp Barefoot 4, Bartow, WV on 2010-08-20

View of Kung Fu from my side stage seat

View of Kung Fu from my side stage seat

Kung Fu

Todd Stoops (Keyboards)
Adrian Tramontano (Drums)
Kris Jensen (Sax)
Dave Livolsi (Bass)
Tim Palmieri (Guitar)

Special Guests: Greg Stukey and Chris Michetti (RAQ) and Chris DeAngelis (The Breakfast)

I had just seen the Kung Fu set at Gathering of the Vibes and had left the stage more then impressed by their individual talents but not loving them when they came together as a group.  I must now equate this to the fact that there was so much insanely good music at GOTV that I was judging them too harshly against the bigger, better bands.  I also didn’t spend enough time to truly form any type of opinion of them as a group.  I knew half of them from other projects.  Anyway, that had to be the case, because tonight…the stage was on fire.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu

THIS BAND IS ONLY 9 MONTHS OLD!!  Yet, they are regional super group consisting of members of RAQ and The Breakfast, making Kung Fu just a rad bunch of talented musicians having a raging good time.  And looking good doing it. Good ‘Ol Boys club from the Northeast bringing it to the South.

This set was one of the hottest sets of the weekend. They brought the funk immediately with every single note.  Kris Jensen on Sax was  and Todd Stoops slippin into space with the keys.  You can’t help but move.  They scatter at times into spacey jams and integrate numerous styles of music into a single song.  Todd Stoops reminded me of at times.  I was happy to not hear as much singing in this  project. It was consistently jamming with so many layers going on.  Loved me some Dave Livolsi, those fast grimey fingers of funk.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu

For the encore, Chris Machetti was invited to join the stage along with the musical antics that took place on the stage at this point can only be seen.  I seem to be the only one at the festival who caught this action on video.  The sound is terrible so turn your speakers down a little bit but DEFNITELY hit play!!!

Setlist: “What is up BIG UP?, Actual Proof@, Bopcorn%, Chakrabarty Overdrive#, Lilliputians#, Teen Town$, Stratus*

@ – Herbie Hancock
% – Palmieri
# – Stoops
$ – Jaco Pastorius
* – Billy Cobham; with Greg Stukey and Chris Michetti (Raq) and Chris DeAngelis (The Breakfast)

Download: Kung Fu Live at Camp Barefoot 4, Bartow WV on 2010-08-20 (August 20, 2010)


Tim Palmieri – Guitar
Steve Molitz – Keys
Darren Pujalet – Drums
Eric Gould – Bass

Particle.  They had struck me hot and cold over the years.  I was glued to my side stage seat for this set.  I was completey being taken over by my exhaustion.  Afte rI dozed off a few songs in, I made a deal with myself that after I passed out in my chair for the third time , I would take myself “home.”

It must be mentioned, the kindness of my fellow southerners.  Having made friends with the VIP guard earlier in the night, he leaned over next to me as we watched particle, and said, “Lil lady,  I see you dozin off.  Don’t you frete. I won’t move until you wake up.  You go head an feel safe nah.”  I mean, just such a nice crew.

Sitting in for Ben Combe was Tim Palmieri.  Sadly, Ben had to remove himself from the scene for a while to deal with personal matters.  However, lucky for us, Tim Palmieri brought an entirely new layer to the group.  Having heard them for years, having gotten sick of them and genreally not all that interested to stay up any longer, I rallied in my side stage seat more then half way through.  I remember it being amazing but I was falling asleep where I sat most of the set.  I am stubborn and really don’t like leaving any type of live music until it’s over.  I leave you with this video by someone who had more energy then me.

Goodnight…Tonight I Can Say it

I immediately looked into many of the days band’s scheduling when I got back to NYC and noticed they hardly ever, if at all, come through.  This revelation has me feeling happy and sad at the same time.  Sad because who knows when I will see these raging musical acts again.  And happy in the sense that in only a matter of hours, Camp Barefoot had introduced me to and had me floored by some phenomenal musicians and groups that are specific to their region.  For the fisrt time in years, I had more musical faith in my home state and it’s neighboring areas.

I was looking forward to what was in store next. Day II down and one more to go.  Another dawn kickball was going to be happening soon.  I saw members of Team Whiskey as  iwalked home and we all looked in bad shape…perfect kickball material 🙂

Stay tuned for Camp Barefoot 4: Saturday (08.21.10)

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