Claypool Sits In with RatDog, Al Schnier Plays Solo and Other All Good Highlights
The 2009 All Good Music Festival returned to Masontown, WVs Marvins Mountaintop from July 9-12. This years marquee acts hailed from all corners of the jam-scene: Ben Harper & Relentless7, Bob Weir & RatDog. moe., STS9, Yonder Mountain String Band, Umphreys McGee, Les Claypool, Dark Star Orchestra and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. As in years past, the festival featured no overlapping sets, allowing fans to catch every note of music over the course of the four day event.
For many, the weekends best collaboration was the pairing of Les Claypool and RatDog Friday night. The bassist emerged during one of RatDogs regular stuff jam segments to play with drummer Jay Lane, who is also a former member of Primus. Slowly, the members of RatDog returned to the stage until the jam faded back into the Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows. Claypool remained onstage as the song progressed, but faded into the wings before RatDog covered Morning Dew. moe. guitarist Al Schnier then took the stage with the group for both China Cat Sunflower and I Know You Rider. Earlier in the day Lane also sat in with Claypools solo band.
Schnier remained busy throughout the weekend, performing with moe. and sitting for a HeadCount Q & A on the festivals Grassroots Stage. The latter performance included a few solo acoustic tunes like moe.s Mexico.
In what has became something of a festival trend, some artists also paid tribute to Michael Jackson. Most prominently, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, a group that has covered Jackson regularly over the years, devoted the end of its set to a medley of the singers tunes.
Two groups that walked away with some new fans were SOJA and Big Nazo. The latter group consists of musicians dressed as go-go dancing monsters that walked around the field, while chants from the former group could be heard throughout the weekendeven between songs during Harpers set.