By: Dennis Cook
JamBase Associate Editor
Gathering of the Vibes :: 07.29.10-08.01.10 :: Seaside Park :: Bridgeport, CT
Once again the pilgrimage to the Vibes begins as folks gather along the Connecticut shoreline to enjoy headliners including Primus, Furthur, Robert Randolph & The Family Band and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley & Nas. With Wavy Gravy as colorful MC, this weekend is filled with two stages packed with some of the best the jam world has to offer. Here's five recommendations beyond the big names to consider if you'll be Vibin' it in the days ahead.
1. Hot Day At The Zoo :: Thursday :: 12:45-2:00 PM :: Green Vibes Stage
Put directly, Hot Day is one of the best string bands out there. Full of feisty energy, wicked chops, increasingly together songwriting and a good nose for covers, New England-based HDATZ offer a slightly sophisticated take on country comfort with no small measure of individual personality to boot. Well worth having your campsite set up early so you can attend and fully get into it with the Zoo.
2. Leroy Justice :: Thursday :: 4:15-5:30 PM :: Green Vibes Stage
One of NYC's finest, classic-minded outfits should be the perfect score to get your first solid drunk on for the weekend. There's something raw 'n' real about Leroy Justice that makes a person want to bend an elbow and get down into the muck with 'em. Anyone with a sweet tooth for Black Crowes style meat 'n' taters rock – especially from guys who write way above par original material and deliver it with significant muscle and flair – are in for a treat this Thursday. Leroy Justice also put out one of the great sleepers of 2009 called The Loho Sessions, which was produced by mixing board maestro John Siket. Read the JamBase rave here.
3. Jackie Greene :: Friday :: 1:40-3:10 PM :: Main Stage
Bay Area boy Greene is on a pretty hot roll right now. His new album, Till The Light Comes (see review here), is an end-to-end corker, his band is tight, he's grown into one of the strongest interpreters of the Dead catalog around, and his beard is coming in nicely. Greene is quality bang for your buck, and with Furthur on the festival grounds the same day chances of a Phil sit-in are pretty decent.
4. Assembly of Dust :: Saturday :: 2:40-4:10 PM :: Main Stage
AOD's tunes have the quality of fantastic lost singles – easy to dig right away and better loved with repetition – and the band plays with a level of care and technical dexterity that's rare today. Assembly's whole aura draws one in and reminds one of an era when real musicians with genuine artistry made pop music. If radio weren't the corporate wasteland it is then AOD's music would already be bumping shoulders with Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow and the other mainstays on the FM dial. However, folks can enjoy their craftsmanship on a sunny Saturday at the Vibes and imagine how much better the airwaves would be with AOD on them.
5. Martin Sexton with the Ryan Montbleau Band :: Sunday :: 3:25-4:40 PM :: Main Stage
Sexton's new album, Sugarcoating, is perhaps his most tuneful and readily appealing song cycle to date. So it makes a certain cosmic sense for him to hook up with Montbleau and his populist leaning crew. What's in store is an hour and change filled with fleshed out, nicely rockin' pop with tasty covers from the likes of Zeppelin and The Beatles. And by Sunday afternoon this might be just the ticket to get you to the finish line for Vibes 2010.
Gathering of the Vibes Music Schedule
Gathering of the Vibes Directions
Gathering of the Vibes Official Site
JamBase review of 2009 Gathering of the Vibes
JamBase | Seaside
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