Finally the Bonnaroo schedule has been released! Click HERE to take a look. As expected when the schedule came out, there are many many conflicts and overlaps with artists and set times. Of course for me there are the staple artists that are marked as must sees (Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Buffalo Springfield, Mumford & Sons, Gregg Allman, Robert Plant, G. Love, The Black Keys, Warren Haynes, etc.) and after that, time to figure out the rest. Who knows, my ideal schedule today may end up being completely different when I arrive. All I know is there is a ton of great music and I can’t wait to be surrounded by 90,000 of my new closest friends.
Today Bonnaroo announced artist additions and the comedy line-up for this summer. I know some people were hoping for bigger names but really, you couldn’t expect more headlining acts to be announced. Could it have been better, sure but either way I for one am stoked as two of my favorite artists we added, G. Love and Black Joe Lewis. Add in Galactic, Black Uhuru and Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub and Superfly definitely added some great talent. DJ line-up should be coming soon too.
G. Love & Special Sauce
Shpongle Presents Shpongletron Experience
Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub
Allen Toussaint (w Dr. John and The Original Meters)
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
Forro in the Dark
Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens
420 Comedy Blaze hosted by Cheech Marin featuring Ralphie May, the stars of Workaholics and more
Henson Alternative’s Stuffed & Unstrung
The League (Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll, Jon Lajoie, Stephen Rannazzisi)
The Gregory Brothers
Over the weekend I found myself returning to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to check out Mayer Hawthorne & The County performing at The Book & Stage. First off let me just say that this may be the coolest thing that any hotel & casino has ever done, offer free live entertainment of bands that you would normally be paying at least $10-$40 to see. At the same time I was on property to see Mayer Hawthorne do his thing, Nervo (smoking hot Australian sisters Liv and Mim) were performing just down the way at the Chandelier Bar and Beats Antique were performing at Bond and all you had to do was just show up to hear great music.
Back to Mayer Hawthorne; from the minute he took the stage, the energy in the lounge skyrocketed and a swarm of people from the casino floor started building around the venue. His soul sounds were captivating as he pumped out an hour set filled with his hits, “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out” and “Maybe So, Maybe No” as well as handful of covers including Snoop Dogg’s “Gangsta Luv” and The Isley Brothers’ “Work To Do.” Overall it was easily the best free lounge entertainment I’ve experienced in Las Vegas and hopefully Hawthorne will return soon as his sound and energy were a perfect fit.
Also I’m really stoked about a handful of acts Cosmopolitan has booked in January including Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears (January 26-29), Fitz & The Tantrums (January 13-16) and Best Coast (January 5-8). Four night runs at The Book & Stage and all non-ticketed events so just show up and you’re golden.
Here are a few photos from the show, next time I’ll bring a real camera to snap some quality images.
While I love discovering new music and find new bands each week, every once in a while I get completely enamored with a band the instant I hear them (like Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears) and the latest is Fitz & The Tantrums. I’m fumbling over words in sheer excitement; I just love their sound which is a mix of soul and indie pop. Their LP Picken’ Up The Pieces is an amazing one from beginning to end and will most definitely be on heavy rotation for me. Oh and a cool little fact to their rise in the music industry, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 was in a tattoo parlor in NYC and heard the EP; he then invited them on tour. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.
I am a huge Donavon Frankenreiter fan and when he was no longer with Brushfire Records it might have been a blessing in disguise for me selfishly. For those who may not know, Brushfire Records is Jack Johnson’s label and has many of my favorite artists: ALO (plus Zach Gill solo), Matt Costa, G. Love, Mason Jennings, Neal Halstead, etc.).
Anyways, when I found out Donavon had signed with Lost Highway I found myself drawn to their website for information and low and behold stumbled upon some musical gems that I have on my constant playlist in Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears and Ryan Bingham.
The first time I ever listened to Black Joe Lewis I almost peed my pants in excitement. I mean this sounded like a 21st century James Brown, the funk, soul and rock & roll all in a fun and raw way. His music just grabs a hold of you and takes you for a ride that can be described as captivating. When I discovered BJL and listened to his album Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is, I had to share it with EVERYONE and of course, anyone who listened to it became an instant fan too. As the legend of BJL grew (in my world we are talking) I hoped and prayed that I’d get a chance to see him live. Shortly after I received an email from a buddy of mine, Ryan Doherty of WENDOH Media Companies, with the subject Thank You and in the body “just booked Black Joe Lewis for the holiday party.” I was ecstatic to say the least and let’s just say the show in December 2009 at Wasted Space at the Hard Rock Hotel was everything and then some.
Now Ryan Bingham who’s probably best known these days as an Oscar Award Winner for his track “The Weary Kind” in the Jeff Bridges movie “Crazy Heart” is a different story. I will be the first to admit that country music is not in my everyday music selections but after hearing “Dylan’s Hard Rain” in June of 2009 I switched my stance and was addicted to his album Roadhouse Sun. Bingham’s raspy, whisky voice takes hold and drives you deep in the heart of Texas. After becoming a fan I took myself back a couple years to his debut release Mescalito and wondered how this guy has been flying under the radar for so long. Looking forward to the September 7 release of his album Junky Star.
Lost Highway also has another country artist who I’ve become a fan of in Hayes Carll. His twangy voice and ragged tunes is easy to become addicted to from the Texas singer/songwriter. Did I mention that the label also has Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, Ryan Adams and Lyle Lovett?!