By: Dennis Cook, JamBase Associate Editor
JamBase continues its look ahead to festival life this summer with some helpful links and hearty suggestions for Wakarusa and Mountain Jam this coming weekend.
Wakarusa takes place June 3-6 at Mulberry Mountain in Ozarks, Arkansas. Full Event Passes (4-Day) have sold out, but limited quantities of Saturday and Weekender tickets are still available online. We don't need to tell y'all the merits of checking out headliners like Widespread Panic, The Disco Biscuits, STS9 or The Black Keys, so we'll offer a few suggestions for some lesser known but totally deserving artists on the bill.
1. Todd Snider :: Thursday :: 6:30-7:30 pm :: Revival Tent
It's fitting that they've put Todd in a Revival Tent because there's a touch of lighthearted non-denominational holy roller to this American singer-songwriter treasure. And not in some bent knee, churchy way, but a true "all are welcome" hippie energy that's positively infectious (on several levels). Like the best humorists – Bill Hicks springs immediately to mind – Snider disarms us with a laugh and then goes straight for the heart. This performance will find Snider backed up by his pals in Great American Taxi, a combo that should knock folks out sideways.
2. The Bridge:: Friday :: 12:30-1:30 pm :: Main Stage
Specializing in a "what the hell was 'dat?" mix of styles – bluegrass mingling with beatboxing and jazzy sax, funk finding rocky ground and jammy freedom – The Bridge follow their own muse. All the hard work of a recent weekly residency in San Fran and other road testing has thickened and defined their sound in a big way. They're ready to wake up a main stage, as they'll undoubtedly demonstrate this Friday.
3. Truth & Salvage Co. :: Saturday :: 12:15-1:15 pm :: Main Stage
There's something so offhandedly winning about Truth & Salvage Co. All the months they spent opening for The Black Crowes last year has given their music a lovely patina, a glow in line with The Band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils and other roughhewn, harmony driven outfits of yesteryear. With a strong debut under their belt, it's gonna be fun to see how these boys evolve.
4. Dubtribe Sound System :: Saturday night/Sunday morning :: 1:20-3:00 am :: Outpost Stage
It's a real treat to see these San Francisco electronica pioneers reemerging on the festival/live circuit. With a lot of folks losing it for Pretty Lights and other young acts, it's worth stepping back to check out a band like Dubtribe that led the way to today's vibrant electronic music scene. Their sound mashes up the swoony parts of classic disco, the slinkier bits of Krautrock and no small measure of psychedelia. Yep, it's as yummy as that sounds.
5. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad :: Sunday :: 4:00-5:30 pm :: Main Stage
Try saying their name without smiling. Go on, we'll wait. Okay, now boost that grin factor with a together, gently funky sound that embraces one like a lost friend. By this tail end of Wakarusa you'll be hurting in body and spirit – face it, you won't be near as well behaved as you'd like to be – and a heaping helping of swaying, pleasant reggae inflected music is gonna be just whatcha need.
Continue reading for Mountain Jam...