Posts Tagged ‘Ivan Neville’s Dumpsta Funk’

Introducing Bryan and Head Jamz 2010

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010


Contributing Writer : Bryan Flanagan

“You know about Head Jamz,” asked the nice older lady behind the dusty wood counter.

“That’s what them dopers do,”(while making a noodling type motion) responded the wild old man from out of nowhere.

That was the exchange during my first visit to Red River Campground in Adams, TN (about 45 minutes from home for me).  I have been reading Roving Festival Writer for a while now and thought it would be fun to add some coverage of smaller festivals like Head Jamz(  Being my first time trying to cover a festival, I am a bit nervous so I decided to make a preview trip to the campground to get a solid start.  With headliners Emmitt-Nershi Band, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Cornmeal and The New Mastersounds, the festival is set up with some great groups and seems to have a nice mix of Bluegrass, Southern Rock/Funk and Electronic/jazz sounds each day.  In it’s 2nd year, Head Jamz is definitely improving on the music end of things, but after some severe flooding in Middle Tennessee this year, the Red River Campground seems a bit overwhelmed.

My wife, genius cousin and her husband (a real life Macgyver) will be heading up bright and early to the campground Friday Sept. 3 as the gates are opening at 8 am.  Camping is first come first served so it seems like the best idea is to get there first thing.  If you are looking to stay cooler, there are quite a few heavily shaded spots along the river.  For a more open feel, there are some grassy areas that appear to be campsites, too.  The floods in early May took out many of the fire pits and grills so it didn’t look like there were a lot of fully set up campsites (picnic table, grill, fire pit). This is essential for us as we have never all camped together, and we will be cooking everything for each meal.  Hopefully our Macgyver will come through in the clutch for us.  I like to have everything with me, but in case the car gets too full, there is wood for sale at the General Store and a Dollar General  Store about 1 mile from the campground.   In the worst case scenario, we could get food or supplies from there (like a can opener, which my wife forgot to pack on out last camping trip!).  With a biker rally the weekend before, the campground will either be ready to rock or likely to fall apart.  I guess you could say I am cautiously optimistic.

Each day the music starts early so I’m thinking there will be one stage for all the acts throughout the day.  A lot of folk seem to like this for the ability to not miss any bands and not have to make the decision of which band you want to see more.  The multiple stage set-up usually fails for me, and I choose the wrong stage (see Mutaytor for example), so I’m hoping I’m right about the single stage. Personally this is a great festival for my music tastes as I get to see some faster Bluegrass, good Southern Rock ([Nashville’s Own] Old Union and The Captain Midnite Band) and some live electronic/funk/jazz  music using instruments as opposed to a DJ, which is a nice change.  Looking to hear some covers?  Check out Hyryder, who has been known to do some Dead and Phish.  It will be interesting to see 3 different groups that I have heard but not seen before (Future Rock, The Twin Cats, Zoogma) doing late night sets, listed to start at 12:30-1 AM until ?. Another band I am interested in is playing Friday afternoon, Charles Butler and Associate’s.   Charles plays in a Nashville based band that I am a fan of (The One and Only Bill Davis & his Kick-Ass Friends , so I will be making a point to check out that set. It seems through the pictures from last year’s Head Jamz, people were able to bring beer and alcohol on site, which I will be verifying ahead of time. From the looks of the campground, the whole festival happens on not much more than a couple acres so if you’re looking for privacy, good luck.  If you’re looking to share some great music with new people, you won’t be disappointed.

Something I like about Head Jamz is the location, right on the Red River.  The group I am jamming with has already signed up for an optional canoe trip, and I got my hands on a huge floatie to chill on during the ride. There’s also a disc golf course that is built on site by a great local company, Cloud Nine Disc Golf (   If you have a little extra time, the Bell Witch Cave is approx. 2 miles from the campground and seems to be worth checking out. ( Also nearby on the same weekend is the Robertson County Fair in Springfield, TN (approx. 13 miles from campground on Hwy 41), so be careful if traveling through there.

Oh yeah, and if you see a small black goat with a blue collar, his name is Billy, and he thinks he’s a dog.

Wakarusa Music Festival 2008 – Day 1

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009



Originally Published JUNE 6, 2008

YouTube Video URL :

Contributing Author – Rashon Massey

For a twelve hour drive, we were not in any bad position as far as traffic was concerned. We moved effortlessly through Illinois and Missouri and by the time we entered Kansas, the anticipated wait in a vehicular line was not even possible.

We made our way into the Wakarusa music festival sometime around six o’clock and by 7:30, all evening and late night shows were postponed until further notice as ominous, pregnant dark clouds tore through the blue sky. Many vendors and all sound crew managers were frantically preparing for the storm, which by this time had been upgraded to a tornado watch.

We stationed ourselves at our car and began making acquaintance with our neighboring Festies, introducing ourselves and passing the time like the clouds ahead, keeping our space of chatter occupied with small talk of the coming bad weather. As the sky darkened, the excitement and anticipation only grew from our end of the camp grounds, and we began our first interview with a third time Wakarusa attendee.

We caught up with Richard Schaffer from Springfield, MO while he was packing away his tent, casually repeating to us, “You know – they keep saying we have a 90% chance of rain. My tent cant sustain a night of showers and I don’t want to take any chances; although, if the rain doesn’t come… I am going to curse the hopeful 10% I didn’t believe in.” Many others that camped nearby followed the instincts of the 63 year old and also decided (like RFW) to camp in their cars.

The lightning began and the showers hit at exactly 9:30 but other than rain… the weather remained easily manageable and soon Ben was out and about socializing with the townies.

By Friday morning, the determined energy for the festival prevailed with the sun rising for the new day – strong, hot and smiling with full force.

Now able to walk the grounds fully with a critical eye, we noticed many Town Square areas filled with mud that was appropriately sectioned off by flagged ribbons. Unlike 2006, Wakarusa has downsized quite a bit. Not sure if it is because of the steady decline in festival attendance or the need to try and build upon their VIP section, but one full mainstage… is gone.

We talked to a couple of our buddies who managed to attend the festival last year and mentioned that the stage removal had actually taken place that year. The Sun Up stage has now been moved to a tent pavilion that probably holds the same capacity of persons as the Wakarusa Revival tent. POOR CHOICE! With a cramped lineup that holds no room for error (just performance cancellations), Wakarusa needs to make good with the potential that this festival has to offer. Many that we talk to are already unhappy with the progressive downfall of the powerhouse lineup and music this festival once was known for in years prior.

Head Count is in full force signing up folk to vote – which is always great at a festival. While working our feet to the ground, I have been talking to fellow journalist and students of my generation and the potential for the future of music is on all of our minds. Whether it is our friend who is from NOLA doing a research thesis on the correlation between music festivals and social activism or the young college guy who is seeking guidance and opinion on the future of college radio… or radio in general, for the matter. Communicating with these fellow young minds has inspired me in my artist interviews that have been conduced thus far. Whether it was talking with State Radio or Giant Panda Guerilla Dub, I have begun seeking artists insight on progressive technology that furthers budding careers like theirs, as well as the importance of pubic control over the delivery and exchange of said technology. The responses are truly fascinating and I can’t wait to begin producing the post wrap Wakarusa RFWtv webisode. The content is going to be so much fun!

Well, we have a host of friends and links we are going to include in our Wakarusa post coverage article and Festival Baseball Trading Card (our official festival rating system). We will shoot another update tomorrow with photos prior to our drive home so check back soon.

OH- By the way – I fulfilled my promise for seeing The Flaming Lips at this festival. For those who don’t know – I swore that if I had to watch another Flaming Lips, Vegas show-like spectacle, than I would be on stage in costume with the band as part of the extravaganza. Happily – Ben and I suited up in Teletubbies outfit (Green and Purple… Mary knows I can’t think of their real names) and danced for two full hours. Greatest. Moment. Yet.

Talk to you soon :-)