A Rootsicana – Newgrassy – Folkadelic Affair
For a guy from the Southeast Georgia coast who’s spent most of his festival experiences on humid Tennessee farms, in concrete jungle downtown areas and within tree-lined city parks, the opportunity to get off the beaten path a bit this weekend and take in sights and sounds of the 7th Annual Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival is pretty damn exciting and something I find myself constantly looking forward to ever since I nailed down plans to attend. There’s just something a little different about this one.
I’m blessed to see a lot of shows in clubs, theaters, bars, and a few festivals a year due to my involvement here on Live Music Blog and in my latest work in live music promotions. But this Saturday will be different and we’re really stoked to leave the hustle, bustle and cluttered highways of Los Angeles to voyage East into the unknown and take in the Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival.
We hope you’ll join us on this trip. However, if you can’t make the trek this year, we’re planning to return from this mystical foray with some interesting glimpes to share on the backend. Moreover, there’s always the May Festival to plan for.
While the setting and intoxicating call of the desert landscape are alluring, the central draw is the musical lineup, one that just so happens to includes my current favorite living guitarist/songwriter Anders Osborne. I recently relocated to the West Coast after three years in the Big Easy and the ability to see roughly ten Anders Osborne concerts in fairly intimate club settings and at Jazz Fest was one of the countless special things that made my time in the Crescent City so enjoyable. Since moving and hearing his incredible and poignant 2012 LP Black Eye Galaxy, I’ve been itching to see Osborne rock a stage once again (although seeing him on this week’s episode of the HBO series Treme was a good start to the week).
Also on Saturday there’s the great Steve Kimock and his stacked supergroup (Bernie Worrell!) playing late, and Sean Hayes among others in the early-going. Plenty to enjoy throughout the weekend musically and I’m equally anxious to see the scene at the Fest.
I’m told the crowd’s “just big enough for the party – but not so big that you have to stand in long lines” and the sight lines are more-than-ideal in the music bowl.
Having said all that, here’s to eagerly digging our toes into the sand, eager for an immersive outdoor live music experience in the gorgeous Mojave desert beneath the bright desert stars (we sadly don’t have those in L.A.). Now let’s go live in this all-natural, ephemeral and five senses-enticing palette and capture that universal, momentous sense of being alive, engulfed in the music, the worries of normative civilization afar. All in it together.