Everyone Wants to Party with Aretha
Song - Artist - Album
If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody - Vanilla Fudge - Rock & Roll
I love outdoor music festivals. Always have. In fact, I’ve been going to them for more years than I’d like to recollect. … All the years combined, melt into a dream …
Since 2007, Gathering of the Vibes has been held at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, therefore, making it an easy trek for me to attend this festival. I commute to the festival, and though I love to camp, personally, I’ve never camped there. This way I can pick and choose which bands I see.
I was a bit ambivalent about attending this year’s festival. I did get the opportunity to interview the festival’s director, and quite frankly, his enthusiasim (and great vibe) convinced me to go. I’m glad I did!
Though there were a few bands that performed on Thursday that I would have loved to have seen, Thursday didn’t work out for me. My game plan was to go on Friday afternoon in time for 7 Walkers and stay until the end of Phil and Friends, then drive home, get a little sleep and go back on Saturday for Zappa Plays Zappa and stay until after the Mickey Hart Band. I had an interview scheduled with Mickey Hart for 2 p.m. so I HAD to be there for that. Sunday was still up in the air.
The weather outlook was pretty dismal. Just like in baseball, I really don’t like driving to Boston in the rain because you know the chances are that it’s raining in Boston. Well, driving to an outdoor music festival in the rain is pretty much the same, although they rarely will start a baseball game in the rain, at an outdoor festival, the show goes on.
Clad in my Teva’s and Gortex rain gear, I set out in the rain. I knew mud was in my future, but oh, well, what can you do. I had a few disposable rain ponchos with me that I had picked up one time or another in the event of a torrential downpour mostly so I could protect my camera equipment. I was part of the media crew this festival so when I arrived I grabbed my credentials and went to the park. The rain had stopped by the time I arrived. I got to the media tent right before they took the picture-takers to the pit for 7 Walkers. I was able to go, as well, since I had also obtained photo credentials, I mean lets face it, a picture does tell a thousand words.
I really wanted to see 7 Walkers. I’ve been playing their cd since it was released in 2010, and I love it! It is a project-based cd with lyrics by Robert Hunter, so yea, how could I not love it. But their sound is so unique of what the other past Grateful Dead members are doing. 7 Walkers is:
Grateful Dead’s drummer, Bill Kreutzmann
Papa Mali on guitar and vocals
George Porter Jr. on bass and vocals
and Matt Hubbard on keyboards, trombone, harmonica and vocals.
I had heard and read a lot of good things about 7 Walkers live. I keep up with the band either through their website, Twitter of FB. Papa Mali had just returned to touring after having surgery so it was good to see him on stage. After a little jamming, they started their set with (For The Love Of) Mr. Okra, a song off their cd. The picture-takers were able to stay in pit for the first three songs; this is an industry standard for photographers. I’m not a professional photographer (though I do play one on the radio), I found it difficult to concentrate on picture taking while dancing and grooving with the great music they were performing. Luckily the rain had stopped, but there was plenty of mud.
Off to the side stage, I spotted a familiar face; he was holding his guitar. It was Max Creek’s Scott Murawski. But of course, today he was BK3’s Scott Murawski. BK3 is a band formed in 2008 by drummer Billy Kreutzmann that included himself, Scott Murawski and Allman Brothers' bassist, Oteil Burbridge. By the time the first three songs were done, we were issued out of the pit. At this time, I left the gated area and went into the crowd toward the stage. If you didn’t know by now, I’m a huge fan of Scott Murawski, and seeing him on stage only meant he’d be joining them for a song or two, and indeed he did. Scott joined 7 Walkers for an awesome cover of Jerry Garcia Band’s, Bird Song and Sugaree, as well as Grateful Dead cover of Wharf Rat.
Overall, 7 Walkers met my musical expectation: remember, I have high standards. This band was fabulous! Above most, I’d like to say, 7 Walkers is not a Grateful Dead cover band. 7 Walkers has a jazzy, creole, New Oleans sound that permeates good vibes through the airs, and frankly, after a day of rain, we needed it. They played a bunch of their originals from their cd, 7 Walkers, and they covered some Jerry and Grateful Dead tunes. What more can you ask for? They were tight. Though their music is great for an outdoor afternoon festival, this left me thirsty to see this band indoors.
tuning ---> Jam
(For The Love Of) Mr. Okra
King Cotton Blues
Just Kissed My Baby
Bird Song (with Scott Murawski)
Band intros --->New Orleans Crawl
Wharf Rat (with Scott Murawski)
Sugaree (with Scott Murawski)
Hug a taper for this: You can listen to their set by clicking here:
(Next up: Review of Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby and Branford Marsailis).