Growing up in Sussex County, NJ meant a lot of things for me in the summers. The best corn on the cob, the best tomatoes, summers spent in cool spring-fed lakes, and something always going on at the Sussex Fairgrounds. One of those things was the annual visit from Michael Arnone and his Crawfish Festival. The fest itself has a great back story. A few decades ago in 1989, some homesick Louisiana folks stuck up here in the Northeast decided to enjoy some music and a crawfish boil to bring their hearts home if their bodies couldn’t be there. They had such a good time that the idea kept going, growing every year, getting bigger and more incredible… and delicious! What started out as a good time for friends has grown into one of New Jersey’s most beloved annual events.
This year will be the 31st annual Crawfish Fest.
Thanks to Covid, it won’t be without some changes. The fest is normally a kickoff to the summer festival season for many of us, but for the sake of safety, this year’s Crawfish Fest will be taking place in August on the 27th through the 29th. No matter though, as the music will still be just as hot as the weather! The talents of Tab Benoit, Samantha Fish, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Bonerama, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Amanda Shaw, Honey Island Swamp Band, and many many more! It’s three stages of the best in Cajun, Zydeco, Delta Blues, New Orleans R&B, Brass, Gospel, and Jazz. There are even free Cajun/Zydeco Dance lessons. I’ll be there for that. Lord knows I need all the help I can get!
This is the kind of festival where you need not only your best dancing shoes, but you also need your best eating pants. Unfortunately the late date does impact the crawfish boil. I admire the heck out of Mr. Arnone in that he won’t pretend to serve up a pile of frozen crawfish in a boil if he can’t get fresh. Those delicious little buggers are out of season in August. However, he is making sure those southern flavors are still WELL represented here to compliment the music. Crawfish Etouffee, Alligator Sausage, Po-Boys, Southern Fried Chicken, and more – all $12.00 or less. My mouth is watering just typing this. I want to eat all the things…
The fun doesn’t stop with the music and the food though. Do you like to camp at festivals? You can do that too! There are camping passes and various campgrounds that range in party atmosphere to quieter for families and those who actually like to sleep. You can bring your tents, pop-ups, or RV’s! (though I hear RV passes might be nearly sold out now) There is even a spot to set up your tent for the day if you don’t plan to stay overnight. Campsite hangs are the best part of any festival, after all. Check the ticket and FAQ links on the website for more information on that.
Tickets are presently on sale and tickets from 2020 are still being honored. After 31 years of doing this festival, you can be assured you are in for a heck of a good time. Somehow in all my years with this amazing festival in my backyard, I have yet to make it there! This year is going to be our first, and we can’t wait to see you all there and shake it with you! You can get tickets and all the information you could possibly need at the festival website, http://www.crawfishfest.com
We will have more information on the artists, food, and lineups leading up to the festival, so get your tickets and keep an eye here for more!
Check out the daily line-up posted below for more details:
STANHOPE, NJ – JamFam Music & Arts Festival is thrilled to announce their list of Artists for their inaugural line-up taking place at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ on July 24-26, 2020. Early Bird General Admission and VIP Packages are available for sale now. The festival is announcing the following acts, with more artists to be announced soon:
The scheduled headliners are New Riders of the Purple Sage & Melvin Seals and JGB. With an additional 20+ well known artists that include: Jazz is Phish, lespecial, Out of the Beardspace, Flux Capacitor, Creamery Station, The New Motif, Cousin Earth, Jabbawaukee, Muscle Tough, Dogs in a Pile, Higher Education, Waiting on Mongo, This Old Engine, Cosmic Jerry Band, Uncle Ebenezer, Jeb Jones, Soular Bone, Comfortably Floyd and more artists to be announced soon.
The New Riders of the Purple Sage will be performing their 50th Anniversary show at the JamFam Music & Arts Festival and dedicating the anniversary show to Buddy Cage. Buddy Cage a long-time bandmate who played the pedal steel guitar of the New Riders, who passed away last week.
JamFam Music & Arts Festival is a two-day/ two-night RV and/or car-camping event, igniting the concert and adjacent fields into a Jam Band oasis of continuous music taking place on two stages. The festival is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Northwestern New Jersey in the historic town of Stanhope.
Waterloo Village and the concert field have hosted numerous iconic recording artists and musicians mostly during the 1980s and ‘90s. The magic and mystique of Waterloo will be revitalized this year with the JamFam Music and Arts Festival. The bands that have played this historic venue in the past include Phish, The H.O.R.D.E. Tour, Lollapalooza, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, The Gregg Allman Band, America, Arlo Guthrie and The 25th Anniversary of Woodstock… just to name a few. The region’s best food and drinks will be available as well as numerous regional and local artists and artisans creating an enjoyable and interactive festival experience.
A limited number of 2-Day Early Bird Passes and VIP Packages are available now. 2-Day Festival & Camping Packages are available for $129 and 2-Day VIP & Camping Passes are $249. Single day passes will be made available when the full daily schedules are announced. Tickets are available at the JamFam website at www.JamFamMusicFestival.com/tickets.
“Our goal was to ignite the hallowed grounds of Waterloo and create a new beginning for this iconic venue while keeping the area spotless,” explained founder and producer, Michael Kestin. “The JamFam Music & Arts Festival will feature a ‘Leave No Footprint’ commitment to eco-conscious partying and music with an aim to protect the beautiful and lush landscape and environment. All camping guests will be given eco-friendly recycling and garbage bags to take with them upon exit. Littering of cups, cans and cigarette butts is prohibited.”
TREY ANASTASIO BAND, GOV’T MULE, AND BRANDI CARLILE SET TO HEADLINE THE THREE-DAY FESTIVAL MAY 29-31
Festival Returns To Bethel Woods Center For The Arts At The Historic Site Of The 1969 Woodstock Festival
Single-Day and Three-Day Passes Go On Sale Monday, February 10 at 10am via MountainJam.com
(Bethel Woods, NY – February 6, 2019)— Mountain Jam, one of the Northeast’s largest rock n’ roll music festivals, now in its 16th continuous year, has announced its lineup for the three-day music extravaganza May 29-31, 2020. The Festival will feature over 30 bands across three days including headliners Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, and Brandi Carlile plus performances from Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, The Head and the Heart, Grace Potter, Greensky Bluegrass, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Margo Price, Yola, Hiss Golden Messenger and many more across three stages (full lineup by day below). Additionally, the Festival will feature a special tribute performance in honor of Levon Helm’s 80th birthday featuring The Midnight Ramble Band and very special guests.
For the first time, both single day tickets and weekend passes for Mountain Jam 2020 will go on sale at the same time on Monday, February 10 starting at 10am. Ticket prices start at just $44.50 for single day lawn tickets. For a limited time, three-day early bird lawn tickets will be available for $99.00. This year, general car parking will be included in the ticket prices. For more information on tickets, reserved and lawn seating, camping packages, and more, please visit www.mountainjam.com.
Mountain Jam will return to Bethel Woods Center For The Arts for the second year running. This year’s festival will again feature Gov’t Mule front man and GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, producer and revered guitarist Warren Haynes as co-presenter of Mountain Jam alongside Radio Woodstock and Live Nation, organizers of Peach Music Festival.
“Mountain Jam 2020 is a unique and highly curated festival, separate and apart from other music festivals,” says Gary Chetkof, founder of Mountain Jam. “We are thrilled to welcome Trey for the first time in our 16-year history, as well as to welcome back some old friends and to spotlight many of the great women making music today. The Levon Helm 80th birthday tribute will bring joy and tears and some very special guests. In addition, we continue to evolve the festival with lawn ticket prices that are lower than we have ever offered, as well as reserved seating options for the day or the entire weekend, and a VIP program that is second to none. On-site camping will be for RVs only this year, as we will utilize nearby campgrounds to offer our fans the best camping experience possible. And returning to Bethel Woods, a world class venue with the rich history of Woodstock, provides Mountain Jam with a special backdrop and amazing vibes.”
“I’m glad to be returning to Mountain Jam again after last year’s maiden voyage at Bethel Woods,” says co-presenter and performer Warren Haynes. “It’s a beautiful and historic site and a great place to host such a diverse three nights of music.”
“There is no better way to kick-off the 2020 summer season at Bethel Woods than welcoming back Mountain Jam for its 2nd year at our historic concert venue and Museum. We are excited for the cultural opportunity this represents for our guests and community,” said Eric Frances, Chief Executive Officer of Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
Three full days of music will kick off on Friday, May 29th and will feature star performances from more than 30 artists across 3 stages. Fans can stay for the weekend with on-site RV camping packages as well as multiple off-site campgrounds that offer tent camping, or car-side tent camping, or Glamping options. Shuttles will run daily to the festival grounds. Travel packages (which bundle a ticket with a hotel) are available, as well as hotel accommodations with special discount pricing for Mountain Jam ticket holders. For more information please visit www.mountainjam.com.
This year’s Mountain Jam Festival will again feature a yoga program each morning. There will be on-site attractions including an expanded Hemp Village and Craft Beer Tap House, and the addition of a New York State Distillery Garden, featuring the best locally produced products. The Hemp Village will include vendors, activities, and panel discussions over the weekend, covering a range of topics currently being tackled in the cannabis industry, as well as a look into the future as legislation and legalization continues to evolve. The Museum at Bethel Woods will be opened exclusively for festival attendees free of charge. A wide variety of food (from gourmet and organic fare to comfort food), arts & crafts vendors, and artist encounters will be available.
Stay connected with up-to-the-date information on Mountain Jam 2020 on Facebook by liking @MountainJamFest, and by following @MountainJam on Twitter and Instagram.
Mountain Jam 2020 Lineup By Day (to date)
Friday, May 29:
Trey Anastasio Band
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Andy Frasco & The U.N.
Saturday, May 30:
Gov’t Mule (playing 2 sets)
The Head And The Heart
American Son: Levon Helm’s 80th Birthday Celebration ft. The Midnight Ramble Band and Very Special Guests
Hiss Golden Messenger
Stephen Lewis and the Big Band of Fun
Hayley Jane and Friends feat. Reed Mathis, Michelangelo Caruba (Turkuaz) and Rob Compa (Dopapod)
Sunday, May 31:
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Ghost of Paul Revere
David Wax Museum
Sammy Rae and the Friends
The Rock Academy
About Mountain Jam
The Mountain Jam Festival is produced by Mountain Jam Productions, LLC, a collaboration between Chet-5 Festivals, Live Nation, Woodstock, NY’s legendary independent radio station, Radio Woodstock 100.1 (WDST), and Warren Haynes. Mountain Jam is a three-day, multi-stage event, featuring approximately 30 bands on 3 stages at Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts, one of the Northeast’s premier, natural amphitheaters and the site of the historic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Over the years, Mountain Jam has hosted some of the top names in live music, including Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Black Keys, Robert Plant, Beck, The Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & Bob Weir, Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, Widespread Panic, Portugal. The Man, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Gov’t Mule, Levon Helm, The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Steve Miller Band, alt-J, Ray LaMontagne, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Roots, James Murphy (of LCD Soundsystem), Mavis Staples, and many others.
About Chet-5 Festivals
Chet-5 Festivals is the Founder of the Mountain Jam Music Festival. Chet-5 produces numerous concerts and festivals in and around upstate New York and co-founded the Taste of Country Festival at Hunter Mountain. Gary Chetkof is the company‘s president and principal owner, and has been for over 27 years the principal owner and operator of Radio Woodstock, the legendary independent radio station broadcasting from Woodstock N.Y. and streaming globally via the iHeart media player.
About Warren Haynes
Visionay GRAMMY Award-winning artist Warren Haynes is a cornerstone of the American music landscape, lauded as one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of the modern era and a prolific songwriter and producer. He effortlessly cross-pollinates genres and unfurls solos that broil with passion in his distinctive, signature style. Throughout his prolific career as part of three of the greatest live groups in rock history – Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule and the Dead – and an acclaimed solo artist, he has become one of music’s most treasured storytellers and his artistry has led to thousands of memorable performances and millions of album and track sales. Haynes is a beacon of creativity and musical excellence that inspires fans as well as fellow musicians, evidenced by the diverse array of artists that he has performed and recorded with. As the front man of Gov’t Mule, Haynes along with his bandmates drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson, create consistently honest, organic and daring music, leading them to be recognized as one of the most timeless, revered and active bands in the world whose spot amongst rock titans remains unshakable. The enduring, globally revered group, has showcased its virtuosity, intelligence and breadth over the course of 16 studio and live albums. Their flexible interplay in the studio and on stage makes them a true living, breathing ensemble. Gov’t Mule has become a human encyclopedia of great American music while adding to that canon with their signature sound. For more on Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule, please visit www.WarrenHaynes.net and www.mule.net.
About Live Nation Entertainment Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Sponsorship. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com.
About Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Located on the National Register Historic Site of the 1969 Woodstock festival just 90 miles northwest of New York City in the Catskills’ Sullivan County, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit cultural center focusing on history, creativity, and community. Home to an award-winning museum devoted to the story of the 1960’s and a 15,000-seat entertainment venue, Bethel Woods is a must-visit tourist and cultural destination, attracting local, national, and international visitors. For more information please visit www.BethelWoodsCenter.org.
In case you are living under a rock today, we are here to let you know The Peach Music Festival has released their initial lineup and opened up early bird ticket sales. I hopped on over to take a look at the poster and let me just say…
If there is any festival you need to be at this year, this will be it. Setting up from their home base at gorgeous Montage Mountain, PA, the festival will gather friends from July 2nd to July 5th with fireworks every night. Massive headliners like Umphrey’s McGee and moe. are blazing forth from the lineup poster – and OYSTERHEAD. Freaking Oysterhead is poised to be the festival surprise winner for 2020, mark my words. I have been a disciple of Les Claypool for 25 years so the opportunity to see him tear it up would be a dream. In addition to that fat bag of awesomeness, festival favorites like Twiddle, JRAD, and Aqueous can be found below on the lineup poster. The incredible Dopapod is there too. Keller, Goose, Magic Beans, Kitchen Dwellers, more and more… There was seriously way too much girlie “squeeeee” in my voice as I read these names off, one by one. We have been able to catch so many of these incredible bands over the years at separate festivals and shows, and the opportunity to catch them all in one weekend has me seriously excited in the pants.
Peach is one of those festivals that I have been wanting to go to for years but just have not been able to make it happen. This is poised to be the first year A Perfect Mess is there to give our readers the full on low down. I’m already on the website trying to secure tickets under the payment plan, and judging by how my log-in screen is just spinning around and around forever, so is everyone else. You can head on over and get your early bird passes at http://PeachMusicFest.com
I am sure that I am not the only person in scene media who has been struggling for the last week with exactly what to say, when to say it, and how to put my feelings out there about the Disc Jam situation. I have been reading and following the online threads and the few band statements that have been issued. Knowing exactly what to say as someone who is supposed to know what to say is difficult, but I simply cannot keep myself quiet anymore. You all deserve better than that of me.
My husband and I have covered the Disc Jam festival for three years. Between previews, reviews, artist interviews, and general social media promotional efforts, we have dedicated a lot of time and effort to help grow a festival that we truly looked forward to every year. We were aware of some issues that have surrounded the festival, but we have no first hand experience with any of it. We never had a run in with the police, and until this year, we never even met it’s owner and organizer. (and this year it was for about 8 seconds – I simply wanted to say hello since after three years of my efforts, I had never met the guy) We looked forward to and enjoyed our annual trip up to the festival every year. That being said, we genuinely had NO IDEA that any of what is now coming very publicly to light was going on. Had we known, things would have been very different.
I am heartbroken for any victims in this situation. I am angry for you that it was allowed to go on. I am angry I didn’t know because I would not have poured so much of myself into the work I did for the festival. I am angry that this culture exists and people are so desensitized to it that we actually, every day, excuse shitty behavior under the guise of, “Well, that is just the way so-and-so is” and “You just have to deal with it if you want to be a part of blah-blah-blah”. I won’t deny that I heard comments about bands not always getting paid, or small criticisms of the festival being met with anger and threats of “not being welcome next year”. These were commonplace around the festival and something that everyone seemed to meet with shrugs because we all wanted to be there. Something I now feel shameful for. None of those things are uncommon with promoters (again, we need to stop allowing shitty to be normal. Why do we allow this to be so ok?)
However, these allegations, these stories of major abuse – I never heard that.
I didn’t know.
I wish that I did.
To the victims, I won’t pretend to know what you are feeling. Your stories have horrified me. They have made me angry. They have made me unbelievably sad. They have made me physically ill. I feel horrible for what you have endured and the fact that for so many years, there WERE people that knew and did nothing. I can only say that I also have my own #metoo stories from people in power. I stand with you.
For me, I have scrubbed my social media of my promotion for the festival. I am taking down any and all blog posts I have done. I do not want this blog that I have given so much of myself to for the last (almost) decade to show any support for such shitty, shameful behavior. A Perfect Mess will not be affiliated with this. I don’t care if it means I never cover another festival again. This cannot continue to be normal. This has to stop.
In between my anger and sadness for the victims is a sadness for all those who did some incredible things at the festival over the years and feel a bit tainted by it all right now. To all of you that played in or worked on the festival purely for the love of your creativity, know that your efforts are not lost. Your art was still beautiful. Your music was still amazing. Your food was still delicious. Your pictures were still captivating. Please continue to create. Let’s use our powers of influence and creativity to STOP this shitty culture from permeating our wonderful scene any more than it already has. We can’t change what has been, but we sure as hell can change what will be.
Let’s see to it that our efforts have not been lost on all of this. Create, speak out, and support victims and fighters. This shit needs to STOP, and you all have a voice.
We are better than this, and it’s time to fucking prove it.
A Perfect Mess
If you happen to catch something I missed, please let me know so that I can have it removed.
For more on what you can do, please see:
What To Do When You Can Say #MeToo: A Guide to Discussing Sexual Harassment/Assault (Part 1)
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I like more right now than Breakfast. More specifically, The Breakfast.
The Breakfast started way back in 1998 in East Haven, CT originally as The Psychedelic Breakfast, a play on the Pink Floyd song Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast. They released their first album in 1999. There have been some lineup changes here and there, but the one thing that has always remained consistent when someone talks about the band is how freaking GOOD they are. The Breakfast is comprised of some of the most intensely talented players within and well outside the jam scene. Tim Palmieri, best known for his incredible work with Kung Fu and Z3, is on guitar. Adrian Tramontano, also of Kung Fu as well as about a million other projects and instruments because he’s that good, is on drums. Chris DeAngelis, also of Kung Fu as well as his solo project LoEndFreque , is on bass. Jordan Giangreco, who has played all over as well including in Viral Sound, is on keys. Everyone does vocals on this record. Everyone, and the vocals are amazing. This is a legendary band full of far above average players. It’s been a while since we had new music though, their last release being a self titled release from 2008.
Well, guess what? The Breakfast put out something new and amazing for 2019 called Phantasmagoria, and believe me when I tell you that you need this record in your life.
There is this insanely diverse variety of tastes and sounds comprising the songs on this album, all of which take you in a different direction while sticking to the same excellence that we fully expect from these guys. This album is like a really good buffet. Every song gives the listener the opportunity to sample a different flavor. You don’t have to settle into anything though because the next plate you come to is another sound, another direction, but still the same outstanding writing quality and playing. There are options you didn’t even know you wanted! You can play the album through and taste it all, or easily get stuck on any one of the individual tracks and stay there a while. You can do both. Either way, you walk away satisfied.
The first track, Metropolis, has a heavy hitting but still jam tasty sound. The vocals are straight rock with intense backup harmonies laid over grooves reminiscent of late 70’s funk rock. The solos, and they be many, take you to another world each time they start. Palmieri’s incredible chops show brightly here on guitar with that effortless intensity he is so damn good at. The drums, as usual with anything Adrian touches, are above and beyond normal. He’s one of those drummers that you see play and you stop dead in your tracks just to watch because it’s just not normal to be that good. The bass is other worldly as well. One of the things I like best about Chris DeAngelis and the way he approaches the instrument is that he can make it make sounds that I didn’t know a bass could. There are lots of people out there playing bass. There are few that make it sound like Chris does.
The next track, Shotgun Butterfly, takes a whole new direction from where you were. It’s got a bluesy cool in the vocal and groove. The sound is just enough heavy rock, just enough dirty, but still brings that funk undertone. The keys are cool and laced through the song, brightening up while the bass takes it darker. It’s a cool contrast that adds to that hip swinging cool thing that the song has. Right about the 2:45 mark, the song breaks down into solos that will melt a little bit of your brain. The record then skips over to the track Rush which goes is a completely different direction from the last two songs. This song sounds like someone threw a couple ska punk bands in a blender with Frank Zappa and gave everyone a lot of coffee. The song then goes from a skanking upbeat dance party to a thoughtful, intense and a little bit spacey jam. It’s three different directions in the first three songs. But wait, there’s more!
Another track to check out is Rust, a rock track with a great chugging groove and great vocal. The bass in this song is crazy good and the keys are otherworldly. Jordan Giangreco does this thing with piano in this song where the keys trickle and travel along. You can almost see the notes dotting an imaginary line in your mind that dips and ducks like a rollercoaster. It’s one of my favorite aspects of this song. Another great thing is how everything gathers in this song. All the components and pieces come together and create this incredible collage in your mind as you listen. The Breakfast are just not like other bands. They are not one trick pony songwriters. They don’t put sounds together like other people. This is a mashup of players who look at music like the language it is and they sing it as many ways as they can. You can just sit and listen to each song and dig into one aspect of the track. Then you can start the same song over and dig into a completely different aspect of the track. Each song is a multifaceted work of art that wants you to shake your tush. This record is really freaking great.
Don’t take my word for it, as I am simply your guide on this journey! Get yourself a copy and give it a good, hard listen. You won’t be the same. You can get your listen to Phantasmagoria from The Breakfast right on Spotify, or purchase your copy on their Facebook spot. Better yet, catch them doing their thing live all over the damn place this festival season! They will be hitting Branch Fest 2019 at the end of May and were just announced as part of this year’s Disc Jam 2019 lineup, thanks to intense voting by fans! Get out there and get some Breakfast!