All Good, All Over Again
The name may find its roots in the slacker slang of hippiedom, but few words could more appropriate and more descriptive of the All Good Music Festival & Campout at Marvins Mountaintop near Masontown, West Virginia. Following Bonnaroo and ROTHBURY it turned out to be the perfect exclamation point to my summer trilogy of music festivals. With two stages resting next to each other the biggest selling point remains the lack of performances running into each other. A third stage offered artist workshops and speakers. From around noon until approximately two a.m., the main All Good Stage and smaller Golden Crane Stage alternated, and kept the live sounds flowing nonstop.
I must admit that after walking anywhere from 10 to 20 miles a day at the previous fests and yes, out of curiosity, a pedometer confirmed the numbers I was not only relieved from the lack of work involved to check out the artists, but also felt a little confused at the ability to catch full performances. Whereas Bonnaroo and ROTHBURY were similar to moving around with an inner radio station changing channels according to ones location, All Good settled in at one spot on the dial and left it alone for four straight days.
THURSDAY: Bonus content for those who arrived early. A traffic jam and setting up the campsite slowed me down but I did get out to the Grassroots Stage in time for a midnight Keller Williams solo set where the hyperactive one did instrumentals of Hearts Barracuda and Van Morrisons Moondance along with covers of Michael Jacksons Rock with You, Nirvanas All Apologies and the Grateful Deads Scarlet Begonias. Lotus played another strong set (the other being ROTHBURY). The more I see live electronica bands play live, its a constant reminder that it brings out the Crazy. Usually thats good with the visuals of glowstick wars, people dressed up for the occasion and as many light effects in the crowd as onstage but sometimes less so as in Jesse Miller explaining to a fan midsong that NO! she could not dance onstage.
FRIDAY: So glad to see Jackie Greene perform with his band once more. Not content to just play his set, he added keyboards during Hill Country Revues performance. Impressed again by that bands full-bodied blues rock. More nods to Michael Jackson when Robert Randolph adds Billie Jean and Wanna Be Startin Somethin as part of an extended I Need More Love. Also displayed some fancy dance moves.
Jackie Greene with Hill Country Revue
Robert Randolph feels it
Al Schnier with RatDog
Returned to the Grassroots Stage for ex-Rusted Root drummer Jim Donovans Afro-beat and discussion 400,000 People, Carlos Santana & Me. Bummed Im missing a good portion of Galactic but I just love the rhythm and Donovans presentation did not make me question my judgment.