One Step Closer to the Wakarusa Collaborations
String Cheese Incident moved one step closer to the release of its new studio effort by debuting a pair of new songs at the Wakarusa Music Festival this weekend. After spending much of the past year in the studio working on One Step Closer, the groups first studio album since 2003s Untying the Not, String Cheese Incident kicked off its summer schedule with two headlining performances at Wakarusa. Friday night the group debuted two of its newest songs, Drive and the single Sometimes a Rainbow, in front of a packed audience and the JamCam cameras (portions of the groups set will be released as part of the DVD magazines second season)
As expected, collaborations proved to be a key part of the Wakarusa experience. After Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner joined Umphreys McGee onstage for a freeform jam Thursday evening, Jake Cinninger and Kris Myers returned the favor by jamming with the duos new Conspirator project. Perpetual Grooves Brock Butler also made his first appearance with the electronic trio. Cross-pollination also took place between Umphreys McGee and The North Mississippi Allstars. During a jam leading into Jimmy Stewart, Luther Dickinson replaced Brendan Bayliss on guitar, while during the Allstars set Myers joined the group behind the kit. Umphreys also nodded to Michael Jacksons recent acquittal by covering the pop stars Billie Jean.
Particles late-night set in the Revival Tent also served as a springboard for collaboration. During Any Colour You Like, Steve Molitzs Phil & Friends bandmate Tim Carbone, of Railroad Earth fame, joined in on violin. A bit later in Particles set, members of Ozomatli filtered onstage for a version of Truth Don Die.
Groovatron also served as the host band for Wakarusas late-night jam on the Chipotle Own Grown Stage. During a two-hour jam leading out of MacBeth a number of the festivals performers joined the Groovatron onstage before seguing into a cover of Frank Zappas Joes Garage. Performers participating in the round robin jam included Umphreys McGees Kris Myers, Perpetual Grooves Brock Butler and String Cheese Incidents Michael Travis, who performed on both percussion and bass. Members of Tea Leaf Green, Moonshine Still, The Station, Speakeasy, Shanti Groove, Mountains of Venus and Steel Train also filtered onstage throughout the evening. Additional Reporting by Jeff Trinco