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Powerful & modern folk-bluegrass sounds keep things going strong for a close-knit Pennsylvania band.

By Steve Houk


What's a key part of folk and bluegrass music? Bringing people together. You sit close, you lean in, you smell the bonfire and taste the whiskey, and make raw, beautiful music on sometimes no more than a guitar, perhaps a mandolin, often an upright bass, and sometimes the scraping beat of a washboard. It's great music. But it's the communal nature that gets everyone dialed in.

Pennsylvania's Mason Porter is a perfect example of a successful 21st century bluegrass-folk-rock band, a close-knit group of buds hitting traditional folk-bluegrass buttons while also tossing in a hit of country rock energy and power for good measure. They are one of a number of regionally/nationally popular bands right now that love to take you back, while also bringing you forward. And thankfully for the recurring traditions and innate camraderie of this music, it makes for a winning combination for these guys.

"It seems like it's cycled back, which is the great thing with the folk music tradition, it is timeless," says band co-founder and guitarist Paul Wilkinson. "It might cycle out for a few years here and there, but it's gonna cycle back. Because there's nothing more basic than people sitting around playing music. Like around the fireplace and sharing songs. And that's what comes through from this folksy Americana genre, that kind of camraderie. Just hanging out, just trying to make peace with the wonder and awe of things."

All the guys had their own musical influences, and as a kid, Wilkinson's parents played alot of Dylan and Dead which, after a period of resistance, helped open the door to what he and his mates would eventually make their living playing.

"We'd have to listen to Bob Dylan to clean the house, you know, so I had started with a distaste for Bob Dylan and all that music," Wilkinson said. "Probably in my early teens, it finally clicked and I was like, wait a minute, there's something goin' on here. So through the records my parents had around, which were alot of Dylan, and also Grateful Dead stuff, which is a great gateway band into all kinds of stuff, 'cuz all of a sudden you're listening to Merle Haggard and that's blowing your mind, then the Garcia/Grisman discs started coming out, and then I'd start listening to Doc Watson and Bill Monroe, the real bluegrass guys. So through those areas with Dylan and the Dead, I was introduced to the whole American songbook pretty much, I guess."

Mason Porter formed in West Chester PA in 2006 when Wilkinson (from North Central PA), Joe D'Amico (closer to Philly) and Tim Celfo (a Jersey boy), had been jamming together and apart and found they had shared musical interests, so they decided to make a go of it. The trio has stuck together ever since, carving out a wide niche of popularity in and around West Chester that's now expanded across the state and beyond to include stops at festivals and even occasional gigs in the Big Apple.

"Me and Joe were playing a little bit with a couple other guys," Wilkinson said, "and then we're like, hey, let's get an upright bass player, and Tim was in town so we called him up. We played a gig and then stuck around and it became just the three of us, and we've stuck together since. It was the right time and place for all of us. We would up being good musical friends and friends in general. Been together going on nine years, the core trio of us."

During their nine years together, Mason Porter has put out a couple records before truly hitting their stride with 2014's excellent Home For The Harvest, a record that resoundingly put on display both traditional folkgrass as well as the more dynamic aspects and songwriting chops of the band.

"Joe's the most prolific songwriter of the three of us, always writing something, always has something going. Tim has a song here and there, and I've had a couple. I think it had really been two or three years since our prior record, and Home For The Harvest really got back to the basics, some nice acoustic arrangements, with a drummer in the studio, and the harmonies, it's real song-centric. We felt had a great record. The one song "That's Alright By Me" on there got picked up by XM Sirius Coffee House, they started playing that alot, so that did help us to the next step a little bit by getting that radio recognition."


Mason Porter plays live in 2015 (photo courtesy Lisa Schaeffer)

Mason Porter's most recent release is the 5-song EP Key To The Skyway, recorded in Philadelphia, which further illustrates the power of this talented band. How they weave the modern with the old school, it's impressive. Rounding out their always stellar live shows these days are the superb Sara Larsen on fiddle and Kevin Killen on drums, who both also contributed to the EP in studio. So why just release an EP, after the success of the full-length prior record?

"It was more a matter of logistics, and resources available. We had the extra musicians from Home For The Harvest and we wanted to get something of out that, and we had new material. We thought, let's try to do less songs and get it out to more people. Do more with less. Overall, now we've flushed out the sonic landscape if you will with the keys and the fiddle added. It adds a boost of energy and sound."

In addition to their contemporary folkgrassrock sound that continues to develop and grow even stronger with every release and every live show, it comes down to that ever-elusive harmony that has kept this hard-working band churning forward into their next decade. And just by staying together this long, they've proven that the camraderie inherent in playing this timeless music is as important as anything.

"When the respect for each other and the music is there, I mean, being able to stay together for a few years is a feat in itself I think. When we got together, we said, ''Hey if we stay together, that's more than half the battle.' Alot of great bands get together and do something great, and then they fall out with each other. We've been able to hang in there, one of our strengths is camaraderie with each other."

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Jam Double-Bill: Twiddle + The Werks = Twerk Tour, Fri, Oct 10. at Ram’s Head Live

w/ Special Guests Second Self


$18 / $20 / Doors 8pm / Show 9pm / ALL AGES (Twiddle closes)

After an amazing festival season, Twiddle and The Werks are back for the amazing double-billed Twerk Tour! Playing at Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Summer Camp and many more of this summer’s most exciting events, these two bands are ready to keep the party going well into the fall with a string of shows.
Twiddle spins tall tales over an intricate soundscape of hi-def shred. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up jazz, classical, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. Obliterating laws of improvisation, their complex arrangements never fail to leave crowds lusting for more. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle’s thrilling infancy continues to exceed all expectation.

Twiddle is Mihali Savoulidis (guitar, vocals), Ryan Dempsey (keyboards, vocals), Brook Jordan (drums, vocals), Zdenek Gubb (bass, vocals).
The Werks produce a dance party that can be appreciated by a majority of musical tastes. Known for fusing psychedelic shredding guitar, wailing organ of jam and classic rock with funk slap bass, synthesizers, and modern dance beats, The Werks create their own style of music. Their unique style of performing is affected and manipulated by the energy of the audience, guaranteeing that each show will be different and memorable.

The Werks is Rob Chafin (drums, vocals, samples), Dino Dimitrouleas (bass, vocals), Chris Houser (guitar, vocals), Dan Shaw (keyboards, vocals). 

Tickets: http://ticketf.ly/1PjlkJ3
Show Info: http://on.fb.me/1MmlZcM

The Werks


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Party at Ground Zero

Lockn’ Music Festival

Arrington, VA

September 11-13, 2015

By Jim McWalters



As Fishbone noted, it was “Party at Ground Zero” at the Lockn’ Music Festival this past weekend. Nostalgia was in full force with history being made throughout the weekend featuring some of the most prolific acts in rock and roll. Returning headliners such as Widespread Panic, The String Cheese Incident, Phil Lesh and Friends, and The Tedeski Trucks Band, helped bridge the gap between the classic rock of yesterday and today. With Thursday’s performances canceled due to the wicked weather that wreaked havoc on preparations, organizers scrambled to re-arrange the lineup. As a result, several artists were left on the short end including, Rockn’ to Lockn’ winners Moogatu, as well as Little Feat, Soulive, and a personal favorite Strangefolk. Friday morning arrival was as expected, a bit chaotic as 30,000 fans ascended the grounds at once. Despite the delays, the day was sunny and warm and memories of long lines and the day that wasn’t, quickly faded to musical bliss. 

The music opened with the Doobie Incident with The String Cheese Incident sharing the stage with classic rock stalwart’s, the Doobie Brothers.  The set included a tasty cheesy treat of greatest hits including “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “Black Water,” “China Grove,” “Black Water,” Jesus is Just Alright,” and “Listen to the Music,” along with the Cheese’s own, “Sometimes a River.” 


Moonalice Photo  Photo by Josh Brick

A fine set of psychedelic jams by Moonalice; followed another Rockn’ to Lockn’ winner, Seth Stainback & Roosterfoot. The party really started to take off during North Mississippi AllStars set of delta blues featuring Sharde Thomas on cane fife, Ron Johnson on bass, and brothers Cody (drums) and Luther Dickinson (guitar). The performance included “Sitting on Top of the World,” “Shake ‘Em on Down, and “Mean Ol’ Wind Died Down” before concluding with Cody and Luther taking their drums into the crowd. The Deep South theme continued with Anders Osborne playing some of the finest swampy rock and blues this side of New Orleans with guest sit-ins by John Kadlecik and Scott Metzger. Steve Earle’s eye opening performance threw in the kitchen sink playing everything from Celtic rock to Jimi’ Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.”

untitled_19_of_77.jpgAnders Osbourne Photo By Josh Brick

With all the great music on the bill this weekend, The String Cheese Incident set was almost an afterthought. However, the opener “Come As You Are,” a funky rock/calypso number, reminded me why I love the Cheese so much. The performance was a whirling mix of rock, funk, jazz, and country jammin’ that only SCI could pull off. It was the perfect elixir for the evening sunset, which also featured “Rosie” and the joyful “Colorado Bluebird Skies” from the band’s latest record.

In addition to Lesh, the Lockn’ 2015 version of Phil and Friends starred, Neal Cassel (Guitar), Chris Robinson (Vocals), Adam MacDougall (Keyboard), Eric Krasno (Guitar) and Tony Leone (Drums). The set included some of the most beloved Dead tunes such as “Promised Land”, “Shakedown Street,” “Brown Eyed Woman”, “Bertha”, “Playing in the Band”, “Bird”, “Going Down the Road”, and a rare take on “I’m a Hog for You.” A rousing version of “Gimmie Shelter” was followed by “Morning Dew,” and the classic favorite “I Know You Rider”.

As if it couldn’t get any better, the 50th anniversary version of the Jefferson Airplane took the stage. The lineup included original members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy as well as Rachael Price (Lake Street Dive), GE Smith, Jeff Pehrson, Justin Guip, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams (Levon Helm Band) . The band ripped through a soulful epitome of nostalgic rock classics including opener, ”3/5 Of A Mile in 10 Seconds, “Good Shepard,” “White Rabbit,” and “Plastic Fantastic.” The psychedelic sixties trip continued with an absolutely flawless cover of “Somebody to Love,” featuring Teresa Williams’ stunning vocals. Bill Kreutzman joined the band on “Come Back Baby,” and stayed on board for closers “Volunteers,” and “Feel So Good,” both of which were highlighted by gleeful drum and bass riffs between Kreutzman and Cassidy.

untitled_23_of_77.jpgTTB Mad Dogs & The Englishmen Photo By Josh brick

The Tedeschi Truck Band doing “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” was one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend and it did not disappoint. Originally it was discussed as a project that potentially Joe Cocker would do with the band, before his untimely passing last December.  In honor of Joe, the group included many of the alumni from that infamous tour including: Leon Russell, Chris Stainton, Rita Coolidge, Claudia Lennear, Pamela Polland, Matthew Moore, Daniel Moore, Bobby Jones, Chuck Blackwell and Bobby Torres. Opening number “The Letter” set the house on fire with Susan Tedeschi’s booming vocals.  The rest of the evening was a delicious entrée of highlights including “The Weight” and “I’ve been Loving You Too Long,” and the Beatles “Something.” Claudia Lennear tore through “Cry Me A River,” before ceding vocal duties to Rita Coolidge on “Superstar.”  Leon Russell delighted the packed infield with Bob Dylan’s “North Country Girl” before John Bell (Widespread Panic) appeared for a superb version of “Delta Lady.” Guest musicians were in abundance as Warren Haynes appeared for “She Came in Through the Open Window” with contributions from Anders Osborne and Doyle Bramhall II. The legendary Dave Mason also appeared for “Feeling Alright.”  A Chris Robinson and Susan Tedeschi duet proved why they may have the best chops in the business, with an outer-worldly cover of “Space Captain.” The set concluded with Russell’s solo take on “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” with the band closing the evening out with ripping version of “A Little Help From My Friends” with Derrek Trucks evoking Duane Allman.  To be honest, the performance may well have been one of those uniquely memorable moments in rock and roll history. I’m sure if Joe was looking down tonight, he could not have been more pleased.


Brendan Bayliss Of Umphreys McGee Photo By Josh Brick

Before turning in for the night I was able to catch Umphrey’s McGee grungy prog rock set on the Blue Ridge stage.  The set was so hot even the onset of rain couldn’t quench the fire and energy of the performance. Late night performances also included the Deep Rhythm Experience of Steve Kimock, Mickey Hart and EOTO.


 The Southern Belles w/ Jim McWalters from CVL Photo by Josh Brick

The skies started to clear Saturday morning after a good dowsing overnight and I headed over to meet up with another Rockin’ to Lockn’ winner, The Southern Belles of Richmond Virginia.  I spoke with guitar and vocalist Adrian Ciucci as well as newest member, bassist Andrew Carper (Keyboardist Tommy Booker would join later).  As their name implies, the band is very proud of their Richmond roots. Ciucci was keen to make a point about the burgeoning music scene in the city much like the scene at Haight-Ashbury during San Francisco’s hippie heyday where people really come out to support live music such as the bands own electric Friday shows at The Camel in Richmond. The band also spoke about their first release Sharp as a Knife and their latest record, Close to Sunrise and the evolution of their sound and production. As Ciucci explained, the new release was produced with more emphasis on the structure and development of the songs, with more care as to how the material was presented. Producer Bryan Walthal who was instrumental in helping out with both releases, was always quick to let the band know when he felt like he didn’t like something or if it didn’t fit. This also helped to make the band hone their craft even more during live performances so that they can maintain the same level of quality and sound of the record.

Lockn’ organizes a competition that pits bands from around the State of Virginia for one of the four slots available to play the festival. It’s a great way for Lockn’ to support the local music scene.  Naturally I had to ask the band how they were picked to play Lockn’ 2015.  Turns out the band had sent in their application the year prior only to hear their application had been lost. At that point, it was too late to resubmit.  (Fellow Richmond band, The Peoples Blues of Richmond ended up winning.) Not to be discouraged, the band turned in their 2015 application only once again told that they would need to resubmit.  Luckily for Ciucci, neighbor Jared Stone who he didn’t know lived down the street, worked for Flat Fly Productions and organizes the Rockn’ to Lockn’ events.  Stone was able to cut through the snafu and, lucky for us, as we get to see the band play Lockn’!  

The Southern Belles will be appearing Tuesday September 22 with The American Babies at Gypsy Sally’s in Washington D.C. as well Mantrabash in Ferguson, NC on September 25th


Local Nelson County natives “Lord Nelson,” opened the music Saturday with a fine set of southern rock. Just over the hills at Lockn’, home town Charlottesville heroes Love Cannon next took the early afternoon stage.  Led by guitarist Jesse Harper, the band consists of banjo player Adam Larrabee, Darrell Muller on bass, Andy Thacker on mandolin & Jay Starling on resonator guitar. All you need to know is that they are an 80’s cover band that plays kick ass bluegrass. The playful set was a great way to start the afternoon with a set that included the Vapers cover “Turning Japanese”  as well as something you would not expect to hear at Lockn’, a cover of Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical!”


Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was next on deck with guest keyboardist Chuck Leavell. The band played a wonderful mix of funk, jazz and rock opening up with “When I Get Home” and a scrumptious cover of “Tumblin’ Dice”.  “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo” closed out the set to a heavy dose of boogie woogie.  Returning to Lockn’ again this year on the main stage Hot Tuna gave the crowd double dose of Kaukonen’s beautiful finger picking and Cassidy’s slick bass. The duo played through a host of fan favorites including: “I See the Light,” “Hesitation Blues,” “Barbeque King,” the Reverend Davis tune “Light of the World,”  “Good Shepard” and closers “I Know You Rider,” and “Watersong.” Towards the end of the set, Jorma paused and looked appreciatively to the crowd, perhaps reflecting another memorable festival, of which he’s seen some good ones; “It’s great to be here, but it’s great to be anywhere at our age.” 

untitled-25.jpgBob Weir & Derek Trucks Photo by Josh Brick


As dinner time approached, one of rock’s hottest tickets, The Tedeski Trucks Band once again graced the stage. After last night’s Mad Dogs and The Englishmen performance it was hard to know what could top that. Bob Weir sat in with the band for “Key to the Highway’” and “Walking Blues,” exchanging riffs between Susan and Derrek. The set also featured one of TTB fans most beloved song, the beautiful “Midnight in Harlem.” Next up, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters played for the first of two Lockn’ performances. Plant seemed very comfortable and relaxed throughout the set dipping into an array of Zeppelin Tunes such as opener, “Trampled Under Foot,” fan favorite, “Black Dog, plus the immortal “Dazed and Confused.” The band played several songs from their new album Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, including the Ralph Stanley’s “Little Maggie” and the snappy “Rainbow.” A spacey afro-Celtic version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “No Place to Go,” was a treat as was the bands interpretation of the “Lemon Song.” “Whole Lotta Love” and encore “Rock and Roll” closed out a superb set done in a totally unique way but with that same old rock and roll punch.


Trampled Under Foot, Black Dog, Turn it up, Black Country Woman, Spoonful, The Rain Song, No Place to Go/Dazed and Confused, The Lemon Song, Little Maggie, Crawling King Snake, I Just Want to Make Love to You>Whole Lotta Love/Mona


As night drew near, there was no better way to begin a Widespread Panic show then with a “Tall Boy!” The band started with several originals including “Chainsaw City” and “Surprise Valley.”  Chuck Leavell joined the band early to help out with a delightful Van Morrison cover of “And It Stoned Me.” Jimmy Cliff would soon join the stage to launch into a string of hits including “Sitting Here in Limbo,” “The Harder They Come,” “You Can Get it if You Really Want It,” “Many Rivers to Flow,” and “I Can See Clearly Now,” 


The fun times just kept on rolling along as Billy & the Kids with special guest Bob Weir took the evening stage. Despite setbacks that kept Weir from last year’s Lockn’ festival, Weir looked in top form with a set full of great Dead songs that included: “Peggy-O,” an extended version of “Dancing in the Streets,” “Fly Away,” “Throwing Stones,” “One More Saturday Night,” and “Not Fade Away,” to close out the set.

untitled-47.jpg Phil Lesh & Friends Photo By Josh Brick

Phil and Friends would shortly pick up “Not Fade Away” on the Ridge Stage before transitioning to “Scarlett Begonia’s.” This night, the band included Warren Haynes, Carlos Santana, and Barry Sless (Moonalice).  The trio of guitar greats took control of the evening early, with a blistering set that included  “Hard to Handle,” “Black Peter,” the Gov’t Mule song “Guardian Angel,” “The Other One,” ‘Fire on the Mountain,” “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” “New Speedway Boogie,” and ”Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” The set concluded with Carlos Santana exemplifying why he’s one of the greatest guitarists alive, with a Jimi-like version of “All Along the Watchtower.”  “Dark Star” completed the extended set that included a “West LA Fade Away” tease, before the band drifted back to close the evening once again with “Not Fade Away.”


Gov’t Mule was the late night band. Since the Phil and Friends set lasted longer than expected, the Mule didn’t start until late, but ended up playing well into the early Sunday morning. The set included a great version of “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” the Allman Brother’s “Dreams,” as well as Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.”


Despite the late evening, Sunday morning saw a packed field for the Grateful Gospel set with Keller Williams. With guitarist John Kadlecik (DSO, Furthur) and help from Keller’s Band ‘ More Than a Little’ the group play a slew of good time folk, bluegrass, gospel Dead tunes:   The set included: “Eyes of the World,” “Promised Land” “The Wheel,” “Feel Like a Stranger,” “Sampson and Delilah,” “Bid You Goodnight” “Ripple” “My Brothers and Sisters,” “Ride Mighty High,” and “Babe in a Manger.”


The Southern Belles were schedule for the early slot at the main Oak Ridge stage, so I hurried over after the Grateful Gospel to catch the bands psychedelic set. People who were fortunate enough to catch the early set were treated to a stellar performance. I was blown away by the bands refined countrified, psychedelic funk sound showing every bit why they deserved to be playing at Lockn’. I see big things for the ‘Belles’ in the years to come, perhaps even a return trip to Lockn’?   


Ass-kicking, down and dirty ska-punk kings Fishbone took the stage next.  Throughout the bands lengthy 35 year career, Fishbone’s music has pushed the boundaries or musical genres.  The funk/punk/ska set included songs from their new album Intrinsically Intertwined including the quirky “Whipper Snapper.” The set concluded with the bands trademark hit “Party At Ground Zero.” St. Paul and the Broken Bones from Birmingham Alabama saw lead singer Paul Janeway echoing Otis Redding and soul rock revival with a fun filled soulful dance party highlighted by a jaw dropping version of the Beatle’s “I Want You” (She’s So Heavy). The set with Slightly Stoopid (San Diego, CA) featuring Karl Denson on sax and Ian Neville on guitar. It was another crazy fun set of modern Reggae, rock and punk.  The band would be joined later in the set by Reggae giant, Don Carlos (Black Uhuru).  

Warren_and_Jimmy.jpg Gov't Mule w/ Jimmy Herring Photo By Josh Brick


After Trombone Shorty’s trip to New Orleans funk and jazz, Gov’t Mule took to the stage again having presumably recovered from their epic performance the night before.  The band played several Mule/Warren songs including “Thorazine Shuffle, “Soulshine,” before Jimmy Herring joined the band for Billy Cobham’s “Stratus.”  Warren Haynes would later return the favor to join Widespread Panic for “Ribs and Whiskey,” and “Tail Dragger.” Much to the dismay of everyone, the weekend was coming to an end. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters would close out the festival with one more beautiful flashback providing lasting memories of Lockn’ 2015.  



Robert Plant  Photo By Josh Brick

The Wanton Song, Tin Pan Alley, Black Dog, Rainbow, Custard Pie, Spoonful, Going To California, The Enchanter, Babe, I’m Going to Leave You, Little Maggie, Fixin’ to Die, Smokestack Lighting, Whole Lotta Love/Mona.  


All in all it was one hell of a weekend. When I reflect back over Lockn’ 2015 I’ll remember the parade of great music and the old and new friends I met.  So much to take in over such a short period I’m exhausted just writing about it. I’m certain I can speak for others who attended, that this year’s Lockn’ won’t soon be forgotten. I feel lucky to have been able to be part of such a joyous celebration of music with the all the great artists living and dead who created it.  




Lockn' Photo Galleries By Josh Brick Graphics




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Camp Barefoot 9

Camp Hidden Meadow Bartow WV

Review by Joe Cariola



Well, it’s that time of year again, and Camp Barefoot continues to shock and amaze. The festival was hosted again at Camp Hidden Meadow in the beautiful mountains of Bartow, WV with a Pre-Party on August 19th and the main event from August 20-22, 2015. The grounds at Camp Barefoot have a certain energy and magic that will leave you feeling like you’ve come back home. In my humble opinion, this is THE perfect sized festival, capped at around 3,000 attendees and four stages. Scott McClain and his band of merry pranksters really know how to throw a party. From Giggles>, “This festival comes from love. It’s great to see people enjoy the effort and hard work that goes into all this, especially when you guys love it as much as we do.” This is truly a festival thrown by people who have a passion for making sure it gets done right! That passion is felt by the attendees, too, as you will share random high fives, hugs and smiles with people you only see in passing or a friendly band versus band basketball game. It’s for these very reasons that I will continue to attend Camp Barefoot. With so much music, it was impossible to catch each and every act but I hope you enjoy my slice of the weekend. Again, there wasn’t a single set that was short of excellent and far too many to list them here or you would be reading a book instead of an article.


I arrived Wednesday for the Pre-Party and set up camp with relative ease.  One of my favorite things about this festival was meeting my neighbors. I camped next to RastaMiles and they really were a great bunch of guys. Literally, every group that camped around me became new friends with whom I exchanged information. This isn’t something you find at every festival. From the three years I’ve been in attendance, I’ve learned that your neighbors are usually family you just hadn’t met yet.  Wednesday night’s lineup got the weekend off on a grooving start at the BSC Boro Woods Stage. Righteous Dub warmed up the crowd, paving the way for That One Guy and “The Magic Pipe.” I can’t begin to figure out how he makes such unique sounds out of his homemade instrument but he knows how to get the people dancing. Speaking of a one man act, Zach Deputy played his first of two sets of the weekend afterwards. He’s always a crowd, and personal, favorite. I love hearing him build his jams. My hips are usually swaying before I even know what song he’s about to bust into. Big Daddy Love played between sets of Ricochet Red. I’ve never heard of Big Daddy Love and when they opened with a high energy Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain, I was hooked.

Ivan Neville 


The festival got into full swing on Thursday. I thought the fields were relatively full on Wednesday but I was wrong. Tents and canopies packed into every nook and cranny around the grounds. I camped near the Heady Entertainment Car Camping Stage (previously the parking lot stage) so we were fortunate enough to catch a lot of music without much effort. Our neighbors, RastaMiles, opened up The Broadberry Main Stage and set us up with some excellent reggae.  Moogatu drew people out of their camps and setup the remainder of the evening in the main concert bowl. We ventured back to camp at some point and were drawn in by the funky sounds and the sax of B-Side Shuffle. They’re local to me and I’ll definitely catch them again soon. We made it back in time to hear Zack Deputy play his second set on The Camel stage. He busted out Sharky, a song only played in West Virginia, and the crowd erupted! He was almost a natural segway into Dumpstaphunk, the headliner of the night. Ivan Neville is a legend, and he showed us why with some power house funky keys that had the entire field bumping. I caught a view from the side of the stage and it was an ocean of dancing bodies, LEDs and laughter. They didn’t even stop for his set break, they just powered through with epic doses of funk! Truly, this evening was a taste of what was to come!


The rain on Thursday gave us blue skies and sunny weather on Friday! I was making regular treks between the two main stages and the BSC Boro Woods Stage. Moogatu gave a real taste of what Camp Barefoot is all about by inviting The Hornitz, Bon Lozaga of Tiny Boxes, as well as Mario D’Ambrosio of Yellow Dubmarine, to join them on the BSC Boro Woods Stage. Sit-ins by various musicians will keep you guessing and wondering about what’s to come. We walked back down to the main area to hear Tauk bring an intensity that is difficult to match! Big Gigantic brought the heat and took us on a journey through time from the very beginning to new material that I had never heard! It was pretty cold outside, by this point, but they kept me dancing for the entirety of their set. Big G paved the way for Twiddle late night. I had to sit for their set as my mind was all about the music, but my body was rebelling against me! Fortunately, I was able to hear ELM closing out the night from my camp site and had a small dance party with my new found friends.


Sergio Rios Of Orgone

Saturday proved to be the best weather of the weekend. The highlight of the Heady Entertainment Car Camping Stage was the Saturday evening set by The Hornitz. Their incredibly fast paced, catchy set left me with “You should dance with anyone, if their body groove enough” stuck in my head. After The Fritz, ELM closed out the Car Camping Stage on Saturday night with their special blend of derder music. A special shout-out goes to Moon Hooch for throwing down a sonically intense set on Saturday night. I first heard them in 2012 and I’m more than pleased with how their sound has evolved through the years. The Floozies kept up the energy and boxed wine was flowing! I tried to save my energy for the night’s headliner, The Greyboy All Stars, but The Floozies funky, electronic sound kept me on my feet! They Greyboy All Stars brought two furious sets of their funky, soulful jazz. Before that night, I had only heard what I could find online and it was fantastic. Catching them live will melt your face right off your head, yet, there was still more to come! Kung Fu started whispering and jamming to the crowd, as if they didn’t want to disturb us. It didn’t last long because if you know Kung Fu, you know they’re here for you! I had to jump mid-set to catch Turbo Suit on the BSC Boro Woods Stage at the strong recommendation of many strangers in the crowd and friends. You better build your endurance for this fest, especially if you come for the Wednesday Pre-Party. There is so much excellent music everywhere; you will be bouncing between stages. Again, this is the perfect sized festival. The walk between all four stages is minimal but you can hear music throughout the grounds and no sound bleeds during overlapping sets.


Karl Denson Of The Greyboy Allstars

I said last year, and I will say it again this year, if you missed Camp Barefoot, you missed a seriously good time. I cannot urge you enough to go. Come, join us and see what the fuss is about.

On behalf of Cosmic Vibes Live I would like to thank Scott, TJ, Meghan, Giggles and the entire Camp Barefoot family for having us back again and making us part of the family. I will be a lifetime attendee, and truly, I hope to see everyone at Camp again next year for the 10th annual. This was honestly the festival of the summer! You won’t find this vibe anywhere else and I’ll be waiting with baited breath until next year.



Big Somethng 

Check out our full Photo galleries by Josh Brick Graphics




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Interview with Rockn To Lockn Band Winners Moogatu

By Jim McWalters


Cosmic Vibes Live is extremely excited about covering this years’ edition of the Lockn’ Music Festival.  This year’s lineup looks epic, and we can’t wait for the music to start!  As part of our pre-festival “Rockn’ to Lockn” coverage, we are reaching out to several of the artists who are performing at this year’s festival. We are thrilled to speak with guitarist Chris Lee and bassist Brian Zupruk of the psychedelic-progressive jamband, Moogatu; who will be kicking things off at the festival. 


CVL: Wow, what a thrill it must be to open things up at Lockn’.  Are you guys pumped or what?




CL: I'm still processing it myself. It was quite the shock getting on the bill.


CVL: How did you get selected to play at Lockn’?


CL: We entered and won a contest called Rockn To Lockn. Virginia bands fill out a submission form, and the selected bands compete in a "battle of the bands" style show. The band really had to rally the troops and get all our friends and family out. It was amazing to see that many people show up and we're really thankful to know such great people. 


BZ - Thanks to massive support from our fans, friends and family for helping to put us on the big stage via the Rockn' to Lockn' competition.


CVL: What’s the largest festival the band has performed at prior to this one?


CL: A lot of festivals we play are usually have an attendance below 2,000. We've never played a festival this large and it'll be quite an experience playing at such a large event. 

BZ - Maybe Lunar Bay 2013 or Family Roots Fest in Ohio?... not sure about this one


CVL: Do you plan to break out anything special during the set?


CL: We're just going to play as well as we can, like we normally do. I wouldn't want to ruin any surprises either! 


BZ - If you mean will Evan strip on stage again? Maybe. 


CVL: Will Ron Holloway be joining you guys for the set?


CL: We haven't really talked about it, but you never know who's around, or what we have planned. Like I said, we wouldn't want to ruin anything. 


BZ - The Ron is wise. 


CVL: Assuming you’ll be staying at the festival for a few days, what other acts are you all looking forward to seeing at Lockn’ the most?


BZ - Soulive, Umphreys, Mule, Robert Plant, TTB, String Cheese, Karl Denson, Trombone Shorty, that Santana guy


CL - All of them. But Mule, TTB, Santana, Umphrey's to name a few.


CVL: What’s the bands future plans? Are you planning to do more recording soon?


BZ - We've got some tracks in the hopper right now, and are working on more new material to test live and put on tape. 


CVL: Any plans to record the set for your fans?


BZ - That's our intent. Hopefully we can make it work! 


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