Images by: Steven
Review by: Scott T. Horowitz
Wanee Music Festival :: 04.18.13 - 04.20.13 :: Spirit of the Suwannee :: Live Oak, FL
Full review below photo gallery!
Wanee is a festival tradition tucked away in the springtime magic of Earth’s live oak trees. Timicua Indians
honored these great trees as the doublet of the world tree, cosmic tree, or the tree of life. As a sacred tree, the live
was thought to hold within its branches secrets of the universe and immortality. Trips to the adored Spirit of The
Suwannee Music Park are often personal, transformational and uniquely diverse for each person.
Wednesday’s pre-party was highlighted by a spirited Dumpstaphunk set accented by several choice
covers. Nikki Glaspie is dominant behind the drums and has elevated Dumpsta’s live show since joining the
band. Thursday continued to heat things up on the Mushroom Stage, Spirit of Suwannee’s natural
which is engulfed in trees, spanish moss, and hammocks and is probably the best outdoor music venue east of the
Mississippi river. San Francisco's Monophonics lit up the afternoon and got bodies moving early on with Curtis
Mayfield’s, “Check Out Your Mind”. Voice of The Wetlands Allstars was a delicious musical treat
many flavors followed by Zydeco scorchers and Mickey Thomas flexing his vocals on the Elvin Bishop staple,
“Fooled Around” and Fell in Love”. Big Chief Monk Boudreaux strutted on stage in a full Mardi
Indian suit to conjure the spirit on tambourine and take lead vocals for a scintillating “Liza Jane”. The
Greyboy Allstars put everybody’s dance moves to the test. Karl Denson takes no prisoners and Robert Walter
won’t let you stand still. Along with pulling from the Greyboy Allstars catalogue, they also covered Michael
Jackson’s, “The way you make me feel”, and played around with a few teases like The
Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang was a neat chance to see Claypool in the seated position playing rockabilly
and folk tunes, including a tribute to Canadian legend Stomping Tom Connors. The set had a jerky stop and start
to it which was frustrating for some, so when Warren Haynes came on stage people were stoked because Warren only
shows up to play. Last Year Gov’t Mule got rained out but picked up where they left off with a huge
“Thorazine Shuffle” to start the set. During the drum solo, Matt Abts touted the rhythmic mantras of
Bonham. Eventually the set became “Gov’t Panic” or “Widespread Mule” as Jimmy
Herring, John Bell, Jojo Hermann, and Dave Schools joined in for “Cortez the Killer”...and then it
It would not stop raining for about 12 hours. This did not deter the everlasting fire of Wanee, and Widespread
was well suited to stoke the flames. After an “Aint Life Grand” opener, the set was highlighted by JJ
Cale’s, “Ride Me High”, before climaxing during ‘Gov’t Panic’ round two.
Warren Haynes soared during a monstrous “Jesus Left Chicago”. Funkadelic’s, “Maggot
brain”, allowed the dust to settle before a most appropriate set closer of “Chilly Water”.
Gregg Allman looked and sounded healthier than he’s been for Wanee in years. A beautiful “Blue
Sky”, a haunting rendition of Steve Winwood’s, “Can’t Find My Way Home”,
John Bell on vocals, and a celebratory “Love is Everywhere”, all enthralled the congregation. Steel
Pulse’s hypnotizing bass lines and chanting reverberated late into the night from the Mushroom stage.
The rain stopped and the sky cleared during Leon Russell’s early afternoon set. After Dirty Dozen Brass
brought the mushroom stage to a second line stepping frenzy, Maceo Parker’s world class band showcased
living legend’s pioneering saxophone style. Tedeschi Trucks Band took a few new original songs for a drive.
During Kofi Burbridge’s organ/clavinet solo in “bound for glory”, Brother Oteil and Jimmy
could be seen side stage sitting on the ground, laughing, and pushing & shoving each other while cheering on
Kofi’s ivory work. Saxophonist Kebbi Williams detonated the peach stage during “Learn How To Love
You” with a solo that summoned the spirit of John Gilmore.
Though the temperature began to drop along with the sun, Widespread Panic was ready to provide heat for a
night. A catchy “Climb to Safety” preceded a pounding “Stop Breaking Down”. The set
in purpose and quality of playing as it went along, culminating when Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi crept on
Susan leant her perfect voice for Van Morrison’s, “I’ve Been Working”. Derek Trucks
remained on stage for a menacing version of “Going Out West”. Jimi Hendrix’s 1983 (A Merman
should Turn To Be) and Mountain Jam started Saturday night’s set for the Allman Brothers. Last year Greg
couldn’t be on stage for more than a few songs, so to see him so animated behind the b3 and front and
with acoustic guitar for “Melissa” was a pleasure. A stunning performance of “Long Black
Veil” ended the pseudo acoustic portion of the set. Last year’s Wanee went without “Whipping
Post” so when Oteil’s bass line dropped; the crowd broke into mayhem. Old Men crossed their arms,
women screamed, and maniacs jockeyed for space. When Derek Trucks is ON he is standing united with his guitar;
transforming into the conduit for spirit. With a slide, the solo began to run away from him - when he decided enough
was enough, he spiked the slide at a 45 degree angle into the concrete before tearing into his guitar like a bear claw.
the pause, Allman clears his throat, pulls down the microphone, and unleashes “...SOMETIMES I
FEEL..!”....and the crowd goes wild.
To help celebrate another victorious Wanee, Galactic called on friends Papa Mali for a great cover of
“I’m a Ram”. Revivalists‘ vocalist, David Shaw, helped Galactic ascend to an unparalleled
form. Skerik’s saxaphone solo during “Crazyhorse Mongoose” started off as sweet, beautiful,
playful but quickly morphed into a full blast heavy metal onslaught of diabolical sound.