Desert Rocks | Moab, UT
With crowd pleasers like Melvin Seals & JGB, Groundation and The Mother Hips topping the bill and a
unique, stunning setting in the Moab Desert in Utah, this smaller fest is shaping up to be
one of the best annual gatherings of truly talented working bands in the U.S. Without
relying on safe, name brand festival anchor bands, Desert Rocks - taking place this year May 27-30
- has grown each year by the merits of its spirit and good taste in lineups. Here's three
worthies attendees should check out this year.
:: Thursday :: 8:00-9:15 pm :: Uncanny Stage
This Chicago-based self-describe "rock & soul stew" has the sophistication and sharp edges
of vintage Steely Dan but a blues soul that's dusty and rugged as one could want.
Lubriphonic has killer tunes and is a reliable powerhouse live. If you're headed to
Desert Rocks looking to come home with a new favorite, this band is likely to be a strong
contender for that position.
2. Wisebird ::
Friday :: 7:30-8:45 pm :: Desert Rocks Stage
If you love crankin' good ol' rock & roll with the windows down and the white lines flying
past at an alarming pace, then Wisebird is gonna hit your sweet spot like an Everlasting
Gobstopper. There's a ton of abundant boogie soul to these boys and a little of the
battered denim je ne sais quoi one finds in The Black Crowes and Drive-By Truckers. Pour
some whiskey down your gullet and just dance like your body wants to as Wisebird plays and
things are gonna loosen up for you in a real nice way. Added bonus: the Bow &
Sparrow Aerial Ballet will join them for this set. Wisebird also performs on Saturday
night, 12:20-1:50 am.
3. David Gans ::
Saturday :: 5:00-6:00 pm :: Desert Rocks Stage
While known for his work around the Grateful Dead both in print and on the radio for
decades, Gans is a damn fine songwriter and performer in his own right. Yes, his
interpretations of Dead numbers are great, but it's his nose for primo work from other
contemporaries like Railroad Earth and his own songs that increasingly knock one out. And
you gotta have respect for anyone who can hold an audience rapt or make them skip standing
alone with just a guitar on stage, something Gans accomplishes and makes look so natural
it doesn't seem like work.
Desert Rocks Directions
Desert Rocks website
For a full list and links to other festivals happening this Memorial Day Weekend,
sure to visit the JamBase Festival
What are you doing this musical weekend? Add your comments to the Forum linked below.