The JB List | Paul Levine Lists 10 Bear Creek Festival Highlights

For the seventh year in a row the Bear Creek Music & Art Festival will be held at scenic The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL this November. Set to run from November 14 - 17, this year's lineup includes many JamBase favorites such as The Roots, Galactic, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Lettuce, Zach Deputy, The New Mastersounds and Dumpstaphunk.

As a bit of a preview of the 2013 installment of Bear Creek we asked Paul Levine, the man behind the festival, to share ten of his favorite moments from Bear Creek's past. Note, the list isn't in any particular order.

1. London Souls @ Bear Creek 2009 - London Souls were playing on what’s probably our smallest stage at Bear Creek - the Full Sail Stage on the right hand side of the Music Hall. Near the end of an incredible set, Tash Neal broke three stings at once but never hesitated or stopped. He just figured it out and got it done. That’s a real rock star.

2. Daptone Super Soul Review @ Bear Creek 2011 - The Daptone Super Soul Review on the Purple Hat Stage was one long incredible day of music and collaborations. The Charles Bradley set was out of this world. “Heartache and Pain” in particular was a real stand out.

[Filmed by CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS]

3. The Food @ Bear Creek 2012 - In addition to music, food is something that brings people together at Bear Creek. I remember watching Ivan & Ian Neville, and a bunch of the other guys huddled around Chef David Carrier’s grilled oyster station, shucking oysters and slipping them down for what felt like hours. Last year, we gathered for an endless crawl fish boil. Nothing better than listening to music, eating and laughing with your favorite musicians.

4. Burning Spear @ Bear Creek 2007 - Watching Burning Spear on the Amphitheatre Stage in 32 degree weather and seeing the steam rising off his bald head. The cold weather couldn’t slow him down though. After that I drove him to the Meadow Stage to sit in with Matt Butler’s Everyone Orchestra which featured PBS (George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste and Brian Stoltz).

[Filmed by Jeremy Sewell]

5. Dancing With Rachel @ Bear Creek 2007 - Dancing on stage with Rachel Hoffman to "Standing" by Dumpstaphunk. (Note: Rachel is Paul’s longtime friend, who is memorialized through the annual Purple Hatter’s Ball at The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park each May.)

6. Derek Trucks with Lettuce @ Bear Creek 2008 - In my opinion, the single greatest moment in the history of Bear Creek was the first time Derek Trucks sat in with Lettuce on the Porch Stage following Nigel Hall’s wedding. They played “King of the Burbs” > the greatest “Move On Up” I’ve heard them play -- and I’ve heard them play it many times. Nigel was married earlier that day onsite – Kofi Burbridge played the flute as guests arrived, Papa Mali presided over the ceremony and the Chapel was packed with everyone from Lettuce and Dumpstaphunk and all their other friends. During the Lettuce set all that energy carried over. It was magical.

[Filmed by Royal Family Presents]

7. Tree House Staff Parties @ Bear Creek 2008 & 2009 - The infamous Tree House staff parties. At the conclusion of a great festival I love getting together with the staff, musicians and folks that are still left onsite, and reliving the music that we all just shared. The spirit of Bear Creek was always reflected in these great spur-of-the- moment collaborations that happen during the festival and the staff party.

8. KDTU plays "Thriller" @ Bear Creek 2009 - Late night around 3 a.m. in the Purple Hat Circus Tent Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe played “Thriller.” Talk about a dance party. I always loved that stage, except that with the weather it seemed like the tent was sweating. Some of our fans dubbed it "Wookie Rain."

[Filmed by Jeremy Sewell]

9. Lettuce with the JB Horns @ Bear Creek 2010 - On the Sunday of the 2010 festival Lettuce played with the JB Horns on the Amphitheatre Stage. I’ll always remember the guys playing “The Chicken” with Pee Wee Ellis. It’s one of the most played songs in the history of jazz music but there was just something particularly special about it that day.

[Filmed by Royal Family Presents]

10. Avis Berry’s Soul Review in the Purple Hat Circus Tent @ Bear Creek 2008 - Scott Campbell was on stage, a few of the Shady Horns, Tony Hall and other guests, and they played “The Maker." It was always one of my favorite JGB covers and this version gave me goose bumps.

In just about a month more memorable moments will surely take place at Bear Creek 2013. Tickets are available now through the event's website.


Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!


You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!