All Good 2008 | Festival Preview


The All Good Music festival kicks off this Thursday up at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV. If all works out well, we’ll have some decent coverage of the festival this year, including an update from yours truly. As a result, I thought I’d do a preview of this year’s lineup and flesh out a quick list of the bands I am most stoked to see.

As I noted back when they posted the schedule, All Good has scheduled the festival so that there are no overlapping sets. Thus, that means no tough decisions or scheduling headaches. What’s interesting about this year’s lineup is that I think I am more excited to see some of the small- to medium-sized acts over the headliners. Don’t get me wrong — I’m sure Panic and Franti will be great, but for some reason there are a lot of other bands that are grabbing a bit more of my attention.

File under: yet to see live

Pnuma Trio
I remember listening to Pnuma Trio when they first started busting out into the electronic rock scene a few years back. I was quickly impressed by their chops, especially when it came to the shear force of the drums and keyboard combinations. But I’ll admit that I quickly wrote them off as a copy of the New Deal and completely lost track of these young dudes from Memphis. A quick look at some of their MySpace offerings, and I think their set might be pretty impressive, albeit still reminiscent of the New Deal.

I caught a lot of Eric Krasno with Soulive back when they were getting started, but I never got a chance to check out his other band. No matter how much the funky, jazzy soul thing has been done to death, there’s a reason so many bands stick to the classic soul sounds of motown/stax and the 70s funk: because it’s timeless perfection and always gets a crowd moving. This sounds tasty.

I’ve barely heard of lick of Telepath but I already know their sound will get me. Live, electronic music with a focus on dub and reggae. Apparently, there’s a more niche-style name for this stuff: “ReWorld” (sorry, I’m not up on my genres of EDM). I guess it’s in the vein of Thievery Corporation but a whole lot more dance-oriented. Whatever you want to call it, it’s got my attention. I dig.

The Wood Brothers
Who knew Chris Wood had a brother and he also happened to be an amazing musician? Oliver Wood’s soulful singing and rootsy guitar-playing meld nicely with his brother’s thick basslines and (gasp) back-up vocals. I’m digging their NPR live concert series performance at the World Cafe Live.

File under: The old stand-bys

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood
Back in 2001, I caught a killer show with MMW and Scofield in Boston. But that was before Scofield had really been fully integrated. Now that they’ve merged Sco more fully into their crew (at least for the last tour or so), I can’t wait to hear the stew of jazzy funk these guys will be brewing on stage together. I’m ready to get foot-stompin’ for this one.

Phil & Friends
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really all that geeked up to see Phil & crew until my buddy Dave put it to me like this: “But it’s Phil Lesh. He’s getting old and may not be around that much longer. And where else can you hear that bass?!? There’s nothing else like it.” Yep, that got me.

Dark Star Orchestra
It’s going to be hard to compete with the true original (Phil)/ But it never ceases to amaze me how well DSO can replicate a perfect Grateful Dead concert experience. It’s as if they’ve picked the best parts of each of the original members, and perfected their sound and chops to the point where they’re almost tighter than the Grateful Dead ever was. Of course, this is partly why they’ll never quite be the original, but it’s damn close and always a good time.

File under: In need of a second try

Tea Leaf Green
I caught TLG a couple months back in Charlottesville and had a really good time. They locked into some really nice grooves, but I got stuck on the way their songs tended to blend together in my head and not really allow for enough dynamics. After some additional listening, I think I may just need to catch them a few more times to dig a bit deeper into their repertoire. There’s definitely some serious there there.

Perpetual Groove
P. Groove is another band that just hasn’t gotten my full attention yet and they deserve a bit more of it. I dig their more prog-rock oriented stuff, and I think Brock can definitely put together a good tune as well some great guitar atmospherics. As long as I don’t run into any serious traffic jams, this one’s definitely on my hit list.

File Under: My must-see bands of the weekend

Mike Gordon
If you’ve been a consistent reader of my Phish Friday post’s, you may have caught on to a certain theme: Mike Gordon is my hero…or something. In my opinion, Mike was always the most consistent and rock-solid member of Phish. And, man, can he lay down a meaty groove. I have no idea what kind of oddball music he’s playing these days, but I can’t wait to hear it for myself. If it’s anything like this recent version of “Meat,” I think I’ll be a happy man:

Mike Gordon -Meat! [YouTube]

The Join (Shields & Shearer w/ Benevento & Russo)
As much as Gordo will get my respect this weekend, I think this it’s this combination of raw, energetic talent that could provide a serious late-night dance party and may have the potential for my set of the weekend. The mix of two drums sets and too many keyboards could be completely overwhelming, but whatever goes down, I know I want to be there to see what it is this combination puts together. One half the New Deal + one half the Benevento/Russo Duo = all parts jazzy, electronic madness.

Here’s to a great weekend of summertime live music in the mountains….

Previous All Good coverage on LMB:
All Good 2008 | Schedule Announced, No Tough Decisions
All Good 2008 | Initial Line-Up Announced

All Good Lineup and Schedule:

Thursday, July 10th
Early Arrival in the Campground:
2 AM The Join *Late Night* (Shields & Shearer w. Benevento & Russo)
11:45 Brazilian Girls
9:45 Perpetual Groove
8:30 PM Jazzam

Friday, July 11th
2:00 AM Gov’t Mule *Late Night*
1:15 SOJA
10:00 Phil Lesh & Friends
9:15 Lettuce
7:45 Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood
7:15 All Mighty Senators
6:00 Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
5:40 Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
4:40 The Avett Brothers
4:20 Basshound
3:20 RAQ
3:00 MJ Project
2:00 PM The Wood Brothers

Saturday, July 12th
2:00 AM Dark Star Orchestra *Late Night*
1:15 The Bridge
10:00 Widespread Panic
9:15 Bassnectar
7:45 Keller Williams w. Moseley, Droll & Sipe
7:15 Pnuma Trio
5:45 Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival
5:20 Telepath
4:20 Mike Gordon
4:00 Scrapomatic
3:00 Tea Leaf Green
2:40 Rex Jam
1:40 Hot Buttered Rum
12:30 Outformation
11:30 AM Eric Lindell

Sunday, July 13th
5:00 Michael Franti & Spearhead
4:20 Danielia Cotton
3:00 Railroad Earth
2:30 deSol
1:15 JJ Grey & Mofro
12:00 Bonerama