All Good Music Fest! Good times!

Looking for something different to do this summer with your family or friends? Do you love music, camping and having a good time? If you answered “yes” to these questions then you should consider making a beeline for Marvin’s Mountaintop, West Virginia this July 10th for the All Good Music Festival. If you have never been to a music festival before, then this is an experience to be had. The concept of a music festival encompasses many different aspects of human culture all in one place. There is a wide variety of music from noon to sunrise everyday, not to mention arts and crafts, vending, food, and camping; basically, it is a guaranteed good time. This year’s line up for All Good is as eclectic as ever including bands representing the jam band, bluegrass, reggae, livetronica, funk, and jazz genres. Regardless of your taste in music, I guarantee you will find something you like at All Good. There is a total of 35 artists on this year’s line up, including Asheville’s own Telepath! Telepath is a great three piece band with Michael Chrisite on keys, Curt Heiny on bass and Mike B on drums. The group plays their instruments very well, and while playing live they incorporate the use of samples of pre-recorded horn lines and Indian and Arabic singers. I am very proud of Telepath for getting on a line up like All Good’s! Some of the bigger names on this year’s line up include Phil Lesh (bassist from the Grateful Dead) & Friends, Widespread Panic, Dark Star Orchestra (Grateful Dead cover band), Gov’t Mule, Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Mike Gordon (bassist from Phish). In this article I am going to highlight some of the smaller names that will be at All Good, instead of the artists that we always hear about. Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood (not such small names here, but these guys still need to be mentioned) is the first group that I would like to bring to your attention. These guys first started playing together in 1991 in Brooklyn with John Medeski on keys, Billy Martin on drums and Oliver Wood on bass. John Scofield will also be joining the trio for this performance on guitar. I have seen the trio with and without Scofield and both times they have been out of this world. Their shows are highly improvised, yet structured, full of funky beats and crazy solos. Definitely a show to see! The Avett Brothers is a unique group made up of 2 brothers, Scott and Seth, and their band mate Bob Crawford. Each band member contributes to the band’s sound by playing multiple instruments, like guitar, banjo, bass, keys, drums, and also singing. The music of the Avett Brothers could not be simply categorized into one genre, they have been described as “post civil-war modern rock” by the Washington Post, and I would say they have elements of bluegrass, rock, pop and folk in their music. The Join is one of the bands that I am most excited to see at All Good this year. They will be playing at the Pre-party Thursday night on the Ropeadope stage. This band is not entirely made up of permanent members, instead Jamie Shields (keys) and Darren Shearer (drums) from theNEWDEAL asked bassist David Murphy from Sound Tribe Sector Nine (STS9) to sit in with them one night while their bassist was sick. They enjoyed this setting so much, Shields and Shearer decided to form the Join. Now, depending on where they are in the country they will have different guests sit in with them. At All Good this year, I am excited to say they will be playing with Marco Benevento and Joe Russo from the BeneventoRusso Duo. This is going to be no doubt a great show. I have seen theNEWDEAL and the Duo perform spectacular shows filled with great lights and music that just makes you want to dance! I guarantee that this will be the funkiest dance party of the whole weekend-a must see!Perpetual Groove (Pgroove) will also be performing Thursday night on the Ropeadope stage. I have seen Pgroove a few times already, and I can honestly say that each experience has been totally different, yet enlightening at the same time. Like The Join, Pgroove will employ one of the best light shows of the weekend and some of the best dance music. Pgroove is from the diverse music scene of Athens, Georgia and has been touring all across America and developed a very strong, loyal fan base. They can be described as “trance arena rock.” They have the ability to jam forever and then bring the listener back to reality with catchy lyrics and melodies that we all know and love! Recently, their keyboard player decided to leave the band so he could stay home and be with his family. The band has since decided to ask guests to sit in with them, so who knows who will be playing with them at All Good! Maybe Jamie Shields from the Join? Or maybe the keys player from RAQ? Guess we will just have to wait and see!Another band that I am quite excited to see is RAQ, another crazy jam rock band, but with a totally different vibe than anyone you have ever heard! These guys know how to break it down, tear it up, and then bring it all back together with a sweet little piano solo! I love how their style can change instantaneously from funk to metal to down tempo. RAQ is by far one of the most entertaining bands I have seen in quite some time and they put on a great show! Last, but not least, I would like to share with you the Pnuma Trio. I have seen this band perform only once so far, but, let me just say, I was completely blown away by their afternoon set at Langerado. This is definitely a younger band, but I have heard them grow so much in a short amount of time. They have a fresh sound that is getting more solid and creative by the day. These young guys have taken their classical and jazz backgrounds, put a new twist on it, and are now one of the newest editions to the livetronica genre. Now, do not forget, I have only mentioned maybe half of the artists on the line up, so be sure and check out the rest of the music on allgoodfestival.com or myspace.com/allgoodfestival.Besides great music, All Good is backing a few good causes, and supported by a great number of sponsors! Out of each ticket that is sold to All Good this year 50 cents will be donated to the organization known as Head Count. Head Count is a non-profit organization that focuses on registering people to vote by having booths at live concerts and festivals. This money will go to their “Cents for Sense” program, which is working on registering over 200,000 people to vote!The other great organization that is working with All Good this year is the Conscious Alliance. They will be having their annual food drive at the festival, anyone who donates ten can food items will get a free limited-edition All Good Music Festival poster; better yet, anyone who donates twenty cans will get the 2 panel poster set! Other companies that will be represented at the festival include JamBase, Pepsi, 94.7 The Globe, Crocs, Anheuser-Busch, Magic Hat Brewing Company and Nature’s Gate. These and many other companies will have booths set up giving away free products, selling things, educating the festival population, etc.You may be asking yourself, “Am I dreaming? Could this get any better?” Surprisingly, yes, it can and will get better! Not only is the music going to be great this year, your money is going to go to good places, but there are also going to be great activities for young children, new friendships to be made, drum circles to join and overall a great time to relax away from the burdens of everyday society. So, you feel like your days are already filling up? Scared you will not have enough time to do everything like at, for instance, Bonnaroo? Have no fear; the All Good organizers had you in mind when they planned this year’s schedule. On Thursday night (the pre-party) all music will be located on one stage, the Ropeadope stage, which means no running around or missing anything! Then, for the remainder of the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) music will be split up between two stages, The Main stage and the Magic Hat stage, but still with no overlapping sets! Unlike other music festivals that I have been to (Bonnaroo, Echo Project, Langerado) at All Good there will be no stress when trying to find who you wanted to see and where! No running around, no getting lost, no missing spectacular sets, just fun. Trust me, it is a great feeling to know that once the show is done at one stage, all you have to do is walk over to the next stage and BAM more music! So, for 140 dollars you can get your ticket for the All Good Music Festival in Masontown, West Virginia. That may sound like a lot, but compare that to what people are spending right now on their Bonnaroo tickets: up to 245 dollars. All Good has got a superb line up this year, great people, decent price, awesome venue, respectable sponsors, what more could you ask? Be sure to check back next month to read my review and opinions on All Good!

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