This summer the 2004 Olympic Games will be held in Athens, Greece. The 2004 All Good Festival moved from April to July. Olympians put final touches on their conditioning, honing their bodies for sport. Musicians sling on their guitars, pick up their drumsticks, and penetrate our eardrums with blissful sounds day after day. The Olympic Games are still a month away, but my musical Olympians played The All Good Festival at Marvin's Mountaintop in early July and showed they truly rule the Jam.

All Good 2004 by Jake Krolick
Marvin made a wise choice when he picked his mountaintop. The sprawl is made up of fields, hills, and valleys all nestled in the middle of the woods. On the drive in you can see the lights, the tents and the main camping area on the center hills. The general layout forms a giant circle with the stage holding the edge of that circle. We were on the far side of the hill, right between Rabbit Hole and Tiger's Den. The festival planners had laid out a grid of camps named after animals, so let's just call the nine main hill camps the zoo.

Deep Fried by Jake Krolick
After a mere three hours of sleep late Thursday night, the sun's heat had settled into my tent making life unbearable. Friday morning began with a great breakfast--a burrito and some Deep Fried funk. This southern-bound supergroup pole-vaulted us off the ground and lifted us right over the bar. With the funky Meters' Brian Stoltz on guitar, George Porter, Jr. on bass, and Matt Abts of Gov't Mule pounding the skins, the heat these guys bring is relentless. They play so well together, I can't help but smile seeing them work off each other. I don't think that Deep Fried is the kind of band you can truly enjoy in an outdoor setting--it felt like the music was escaping around me. Highlights of the show included keyboardist Johnny Neel's original, "Where've You Been All My Life," "Stone Funky," "Norman's House," and what seemed to be a "Stone Funky" reprise. Their set ended with Neel saying, "We're Deep Fried and we hope you are too."

Steve Kimock by Jake Krolick
The afternoon sun was cresting nicely, the perfect setting for Steve Kimock. He leapt head first off the high dive and tore through some blazing late afternoon guitar, playing as funky as I've ever heard him. Kimock teased the Dead incredibly well throughout the set--more than once I heard the Motown-to-disco jangle of "Dancing in the Streets." The combination of Rodney Holmes's drums and Kimock's guitar made for a strong finish as they ripped through "Five before Funk."

Jerry Joseph by Jake Krolick
Just before Stockholm Syndrome I ran into Jerry Joseph. He said he was a bit nervous about that night's performance, but seemed to be in high spirits. Then, along with the rest of the Syndrome--Dave Schools (bass), Eric McFadden (guitar), Danny Dzuik (keys), and Wally Ingram (drums)--walked out and in seconds laid us out with a tremendous sound. This was a great Jerry show, his voice showing depth and grit, and his guitar trading licks with Eric and Schools throughout the set. "Tight," "Empire One," and "White Dirt" flowed smoothly from the stage. Wally Ingram slammed the first beats to "Sack Full of Hearts" and the hills came alive.

Stockholm Syndrome by Jake Krolick
Jerry Joseph is kind of like a can of paint--bright, colorful, and able to create beautiful work, yet dangerous when left on shaky ground. The band were the artists on Friday night, brushing Jerry all over those West Virginia hills. Schools held the captain's position, guiding everyone with subtle hand gestures and strong looks. The crowd ate up "Sack full of Hearts," not surprising because Jerry tosses down reggae with the best of them. Schools heaved shot-puts at us and was "bass-tastic."

Fixing Schools' Bass Strap by Jake Krolick
One of the finer moments of the evening came when Dave's bass strap broke and Sam Holt (guitar tech/and more) taped it up with fluorescent pink duck-tape. As this was happening Jerry and Eric ripped a guitar jam on the dance floor in front of the stage. As they were finishing Dave gave comical introductions of the band, saying Jerry Joseph was wearing a shirt that matched the color of our nation's terror alert. The end of the set finally broke Danny Dzuik out of his shell and he showed us why he was there. He and Schools finished the almost two-hour set with a nasty piano/bass jam. The evening was still young as the sun set.

Greyboy Allstars by Jake Krolick
Greyboy Allstars grabbed the stage next. Karl Denson immediately tossed flute javelins and pierced us with his sound as Zak Najor rolled his percussive snowplow right through us. Elgin Park on guitar resembled a cross between Howdy Doody and Mr. Roboto, his guitar work speaking in tongues. We watched as Karl filled his lungs with the cool West Virginia dew-heavy air. As he exhaled he resembled a bull on a cold morning with steam rising from his nostrils. The Allstars' set was wonderfully diverse, mixing slow jazzy jams with their trademark undeniable funk.

Theresa Andersson by Jake Krolick
Theresa Andersson... hmmm. She's not only beautiful but talented and commands the stage, captivates the audience, and on and on. The crowd was in love with her almost immediately. Overheard more than once: "If I didn't have a wife I would follow her around the country." Her sweeter-than-honey vocals and finger dance on the fiddle captured everybody's gaze. She is exactly what the scene needs--a vivacious, talented young woman to stir the male dominated soup. She sang and danced to the cheers and cries of the audience. At one point, Keller Williams sidled out and accompanied her for ten minutes. Theresa turned it on, oozing sensuality and took Keller to the blushing point.

Theresa Andersson & Keller Williams by Jake Krolick
Keller was a trooper--he shook off her flirting and played his heart out for us. His two-hour set included a menagerie of Keller hits, especially a tweaked out "Vacate" that had him running around the stage like a wild man who lost his woman. The songs had a great flow, as each seemed to relate to last and he mixed in improv lyrics relating to All Good. I definitely would have enjoyed some harder rocking tunes but he definitely didn't disappoint.

Ozric Tentacles by Jake Krolick
The dense cold settled in for the Ozric Tentacles, and it was clear they were ready to blow our minds. It was tough to tell where their smoke machines ended and the fog began. The band led us away on a journey to some distant land: I heard hints of Egypt, Africa, and India coming out in there psychedelic trip-rock. They worked almost every sound imaginable out of their synthesizers, from bubbles to cackles, a kitchen sink of sounds. These Tentacle fellows have a different feel then American bands and it made for a nice change from the norm. They were playing this festival as their first in the States, and there was an unusual air of exoticness around their music. I ended up on the hill looking down through the fog wondering if I had left WV.

Ozric Tentacles by Jake Krolick

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