Posts Tagged ‘Wakarusa Music Festival’


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Win an autographed vinyl copy of “The Choice Cuts” by JJ GREY & MOFRO this week in our Win-It Wednesday contest of the week at our Facebook Fan Page.  All you have to do is stop over to our fan page, find the status update about JJ Grey and leave a lucky number.  We’re going to do a live draw on video at the end of the day pulling from a container filled with everyone’s numbers.  The number drawn will be the winner!!! How dope is that?  VERY DOPE!

The last time we caught a JJ Grey show was at this years Wakarusa Music Festival in the beautiful Ozark mountaintops of Arkansas.  This time around, we were SOOOO PUMPED to see that JJ uses a Sennheiser microphone (Sennheiser happens to be one of our sponsors!). In fact, the first time we covered JJ Grey was at the 2006 Wakarusa Music Festival…my how time flies.

To witness JJ Grey and the fellas in action is something of an experience.  JJ has a charm and charisma about him as he beads sweat down his brow, stopping his feet to the earth-shaking bass and drums of MOFRO.  Watching JJ is like watching old school R&B music from the 90s … yeah, I am talkin KC and Jojo type musical commitment.  Caressing a microphone in an a-shirt (aka “wife beater”) and shorts or possibly a flannel and jeans, JJ uses his vocal instrument to communicate swampy, southern-swoon…and always finds time to just…talk…to the ladies.

I have seen panties and bras thrown on stage at JJ and the gang, which certainly is meant to be a gesture passion, but all I can think about at a music festival is – “whose draws are these?” and “can you imagine how nasty those under garments are?”  But when you’re a rare talent that can tambourine with the best of them while singing the Stones classic “Sympathy for the Devil,” and effortlessly bring it back to the grooves you penned such as the audience favorite “Circles,” underwear and loyal fans are sometimes part of the experience.

Enter the JJ Grey & MOFRO WIN-IT WEDNESDAY promotion on facebook and find yourself getting lost in the magic of southern charm, great arrangements and authentic talent rising like mist from “The Choice Cuts” vinyl record.

For more JJ Grey & MOFRO, visit the links below!

2009 WAKARUSA Photographs!!!!

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

If you had your photo taken by Rashon A. Massey at Wakarusa 2009, check below to see if you made the “Rah’s Memorable People/Moments” for the festival.  A tribute to the images that captured the memories, these moments shared at the festival are dear ones that will be valuable forever!

See you next year and remember to keep an eye out for Rashon at your next festival!

These photographs and MORE will be uploaded to our GALLERY section of for the WAKARUSA 2009  archives.

Rah’s Memorable People/Moments

In No Particular Order

If you see yourself, leave a comment below!

Klean Kanteen – WAKARUSA 2009

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Klean Kanteen @ WAKARUSA 2009

Contributing Writer: Rashon A. Massey

As the sands of time continue to descend the hourglass, Man continually delves deeper into a quest of longevity, aching to find the fountain of youth – to drink everlasting waters that will secure His health, giving promise to an ageless and timeless life on Earth; unfortunately, the creature Man often dies early and untimely because in a search for the unattainable, the specie has allowed an overlook over the small things that matter.  In today’s society, we are discovering reasons everyday to stop, analyze and reconsider the choices we make and it is not’s point to EVER force feed any of those down your throat; however, we do suggest you spend some time looking into your own quest for life and wisdom – because the very products you source for health and strength, just might be hindering your development…in the most harmful ways imaginable.

Welcome to Klean Kanteen – not just a water bottle, but a lifestyle change to better your health.

Recently, mainstream-media has decided to raise the appropriate fanfare flag (a, “Code-Red,” if you will) about the plastic containers we use on a daily basis.  Whether the receptacles are holding liquids or Grandma’s Thanksgiving leftovers, leeching chemicals in the structure of the container are possibly doing serious damage to your health.

According to an April 16, 2008 article published via the health chronicles for U.S.News & World Report :

“Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics, is getting official scrutiny-and things are looking less than rosy for the controversial chemical. The U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program yesterday agreed with a scientific panel that recently expressed concern about physiological changes that occur in people when they ingest BPA that has leached from plastics into their food. The Canadian government is even considering declaring the chemical toxic, reports today’s New York Times. This could set the stage for banning it from plastic baby bottles, water bottles and food containers…

BPA has raised concerns because it appears to mimic the effects of estrogen, interfering with hormone levels and cell signaling systems. Previous studies have shown that people exposed to high levels of BPA have a greater risk of developing uterine fibroids, breast cancer, decreased sperm counts and prostate cancer. Babies and children are thought to be at greatest risk from the exposure. In fact, the scientific evidence warrants “a higher level of concern than those expressed by the expert [scientific] panel for possible effects of bisphenol A on prostate gland, mammary gland and early onset of puberty in exposed fetuses, infants and children,” the NTP report concludes.”

Taken directly from the Klean Kanteen website:

“Klean Kanteen has grown over the past five years from a tiny, upstart company to a leader in the stainless beverage bottle industry. During this time, we’ve also taken significant steps toward lowering our environmental footprint through consideration and adjustments in every aspect of our facilities and practices. Ensuring our office paper is 100% post-consumer content, providing hand and dish soaps that are fair trade and eco-friendly, using Energy Star-certified office equipment – these are just a few of our earth-in-mind internal operations choices. Our commitment to sustainability also extends to the very beginning of the production process; we’ve increased oversight and conducted third-party audits of factories making our products in China to ensure they’re meeting Klean Kanteen’s high environmental and fair labor standards.”

Everyday, growing their partnerships with likeminded brands, Klean Kanteen supports MANY charitable organizations and causes, even making the commitment to contribute a portion of profits to specifically give back towards the health of our planet.  Please take time to learn more about the plastic products in your life; moreover, the companies who produce them!

While it was hard to leave my sticker-plastered Nalgene in the desert heat of the past, after Bonnaroo 2009, I have no idea how I can live without my Klean Kanteen.  The best part of my Klean Kanteen – when I do find the fountain of youth… I have a container that won’t counter the active ingredients… LIFE FOR EVERYONE!

Klean Kanteen –


Discovery Channel : Discovery News

Plastic Water Bottles Pose Health Hazard –

U.S.News & World Report

Study of Chemical in Plastic Bottles Raises Alarm –

The Problem With Plastic

The chemical BPA is especially bad for babies -

5 Ways to Keep Bisphenol A, or BPA, Out of Your Food

With studies stacking up against the chemical, here’s what you need to know to lower your exposure –


Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Garret K. Woodward | photo : Rashon A. Massey

Garret K. Woodward | photo : Rashon A. Massey

Contributing Writer :  Garret K. Woodward


June 4-7, 2009

Ozark, Arkansas

The wheels of the truck tightly gripped the desolate Route 23. Tucked away in the northwest corner of Arkansas, the road, sprinkled with hairpin curves and sheer cliff drop-offs, meanders through the mystical Ozark National Forest. It is a tranquil and serene corner of the United States, one most are unaware of yet few are lucky enough to discover. And for the estimated 10,000 who traveled in this direction, curiosity bred numerous unforgettable experiences at Wakarusa 2009.

Blue skies and sunshine radiated throughout the weekend onto Mulberry Mountain for the festivals inaugural year at its new location. I found myself amid a buffet of musical talent. With dozens of bands at my taking, it was quite an arduous process to weed through the scheduling and hopefully find myself at the right stage at the right time.

Kicking off Thursday, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey made it a tough act to follow. Their formula of plate-smashing jazz tickled eardrums and perked intrigue of any within reach. Led by the mad scientist Brian Haas, the quintet carried the listener through dark soundscapes with their piercing genius.

Wandering the refreshing accessible festival grounds, Porter, Batiste & Stoltz laid down their New Orleans funk styling, while Steve Kimock Crazy Engine conjured the lazy, hazy days of summer through teardrop guitar solos; Euforquestra brought the “Midwest Afro-Beat” to the Outpost Tent as Michael Travis and Jason Hann (EOTO/The String Cheese Incident) joined in on an impressive all-member percussion jam which left mouths watering for the eventual late-night EOTO set.

As the afternoon turned into early evening, Trombone Shorty worked the raucous crowd inside the Revival Tent. With his Mick Jagger swagger, Shorty and his slew of brass musicians (Orleans Avenue) made brows sweat and women scream for more.

It was at this point I realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

Juggling between Railroad Earth (a mesmerizing set of bluegrass and folk on the Main Stage, I found myself drifting during “The Forecast”), Buckethead (the guitar mutant tore through “Purple Haze” and the theme from Star Wars), Pretty Lights (a sweat-drenched electronica mass of humanity and shiny objects), and Gov’t Mule (Warren Haynes led the rebel charge amid gritty vocals and log-splitting guitar riffs- a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” surfaced later in the set), my head was left spinning as I wandered towards to Backwoods Stage.

Tucked into the tree line, the petite stage housed Louisiana based Dirtfoot. Labeled as “gypsy funk country grumble boogie”, the group presented their own delicious stew of psychobilly and blues through “Devoted Mama” or “Break My Bones”, which included the sounds of a rubber chicken, garbage cans and washboards among other unidentified objects.

After I found myself a New Belgium Brewing Co. nightcap, it was back over to the Revival Tent for Yonder Mountain String Band. With moonshine and smiles held high, the heirs of bluegrass tore through “Redbird” > “Steep Grade Sharp Curves”.

It was the end of day one and I was already exhausted and I stumbled back to my campsite, trying to get some sleep before I had to do it all over again tomorrow.

The southern sun sizzled during the early morning hours of Friday. To cool off, dozens wandered down the Ozark Highlands Trail towards a waterfall immersed deep in the ancient hills. The pale flesh of winter bodies glistened in the sunshine poking through the thick forest floors. A two-story cliff provided the perfect launching point of summer shenanigans, while others simply waded in the crisp, natural spring-fed waters. Though one could have been content in spending the entire festival lying out on the rocks, there was too much music to pass up.

After a mind-boggling schedule the day before, I looked forward to a somewhat more relaxed strategy for the afternoon.

An Australian trance band with a didgeridoo, Ganga Giri set Waka ablaze with interpretations of their native culture (not to mention the numerous belly dancers prancing around the stage area). Draped in tuxedoes and rubber masks, Les Claypool and his band of musical outlaws (which included Mike Dillon on vibraphone) harnessed the steamy weather as they crept into the minds of the audience- sometimes to frighten, sometimes to pleasure (“David Makalaster” > “”Southbound Pachyderm” > “David Makalaster” got my nod for best jam of the weekend, as well as the onstage guest appearance by Matisyahu).

The southern bayou moon shone brightly as nighttime fell. In the distance, the dark silhouettes of the Ozark Mountains were visible, as if one threw a blanket of black velvet over the landscape.

Gearing up for another late-night, I began with David Hasselhoff on Acid. Trekking over to the Backwoods Stage, I had to see for myself what melodies were birthed from such a moniker. It seemed I wasn’t the only one curious by the name, as a sizable number of onlookers questioned (in delight) the clashing heavy metal riffs amid a blend of dub and rock influences. To conclude, DHoA is quite possibly the perfect title for the group, seeing as their tones definitely made one feel as if they were watching, or were, the Baywatch star on mind-bending psychedelics.

The rest of my haphazard Friday night was split-up between another set by Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth (like whiskey, both groups only get better with age), and The Egg in the Outpost Tent (mini-skirts, furry boots, reindeer antlers, nightmarish visuals, and blinding lights were witnessed during the trance experience).

Sound Tribe Sector Nine wrapped up the night (for me, at least) with an end-of-the-world, Matrix seizure-inducing light show. Having not seen the gang since Bonnaroo 2005, I literally sat there in the grass, wondering how I ever could find the courage to get up and go to my campsite, in an effort to clear my mangled mind. Anyone who listened and looked into their hypnotizing stage presence probably is still reeling from what came to be. Their wall of ancestral-meets-futuristic electronica devastated eager ears and overtook any doubt of what the highlight of Wakarusa truly was.

As I lay down in my tent, gazing at the stars above, my heavy eyelids finally fell as sounds of Galactic cradled me to sleep (a cover of “Trampled Underfoot” ravaged over the hills and far away).

A dreary Saturday produced the soothing reggae sounds of Mishka (a Caribbean drifter who caught my attention with his humble, yet distinctive, take on a sometimes diluted genre) and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (if you don’t know the sound, I urge a gander at one of the Northeast’s finest dub representatives).

Though there were a few scheduled acts on Sunday, most felt Saturday night was the last chance to dust off the cabin fever. Bringing slide guitar guru Luther Dickinson (The Black Crowes) onstage to trade licks, G. Love and Special Sauce once again proved to the music world their importance, however unnoticed or underrated they may be perceived as. A true ambassador of the blues, G. Love provoked the crowd into a frenzy during “Who’s Got The Weed” as he jumped off the stage, grabbed a joint out of the crowd and proceeded to puff it for the rest of song (a tune filled with raunchy harmonica and Hammond B3 fingering).

Billed at the same time, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and The Black Crowes put me in quite a pickle- how could a southern rock enthusiast choose wisely? But, being the Drive-By Truckers fanatic that I am, I had to at least see what Isbell has been up to. With seemingly everyone settling in for the Crowes (who ended up going on late), only a dozen or so faithfully supported Isbell with his picturesque acoustic melodies and swamp rock numbers, which left me wondering “why isn’t this guy a bigger act?”. Eventually, I exited the Revival Tent as “Jealous Again” played in the distance at the Main Stage.

In 2008, it seemed a redemption year for The Black Crowes as they won back their fan base. So, in 2009, it seems inevitable they proceed to the next step, which is taking their place on the throne of southern rock. Chris Robinson howled and shrieked, while Dickinson blew the doors off nearby barns. It was, and always is, a magical moment when the band hits on all cylinders. They truly are masters of their craft, as chills ran down my spine during “Remedy”- a poignant ending to a pictorial evening.

I opened my blurry eyes as it hit me- it was Sunday morning, the day I must traverse back to New York, some 1,600 miles down the road. I broke down my campsite and waved goodbye to friends found and made throughout the weekend. Wakarusa was over, but a grin came across my face as I pulled out of the venue- the countdown to 2010 has begun.


Monday, June 8th, 2009

For our Wakarusa 2009 post coverage, we are introducing many new faces and friends contributing to the collective work that is

Andrew “Disco Santa” Wyatt – Contributing Writer/ Photographer
“G’ Love” Garrett – Contributing Writer
Klean Kanteen - Sponsor

Did you get your photograph taken by Rashon A. Massey?  If so – is beginning a special post called “Rah’s Memorable People/Moments,” a tribute to the images that captured the memories.

Check back in the coming days for the ongoing Wakarusa 2009 archive updates and maybe you (and your friends) get featured as part of “Rah’s Memorable People/Moments”.

Until then – join the FORUM and begin sharing your favorite memories about this years festival.


Current Greener Festival Ideas Competition

Roving Festival Writer | A Greener Festival | Current
Roving Festival Writer has partnered with Current and A Greener Festival to bring you the Current Greener Festival Ideas competition. The competition poses the question :

“How can you and festival organizers work towards making your favorite festival(s) more eco-conscious?”
Have you ever attended a music festival and thought that with just a few improvements, the event could become something a little bit greener by providing and/or implementing services and actions that better the eco-conscious efforts for everyone? Well – your ideas and thoughts deserve to be heard by the people who orchestrate your favorite music festivals. Whether it is finding condiment distributors who use biodegradable packaging or a more efficient way to recycle, we want to hear what you have to say about making your experiences that much greener.
Prizes included are an exclusive Backstage Musician Swag Bag stuffed full of t-shirts, CDs, magazines, toys and other fun stuff by the leading partners and sponsors of Roving Festival Writer.
We accept email and video submissions.
EMAIL your suggestions to

Submit a VIDEO response via – [Simply create an account (Don’t worry, it’s free!) and/or login-in at and visit our profile at : . Click on a 2009 festival video and submit a video response below. That’s it! That easy!]

The best suggestions will be published on both and websites. Contest winners will be announced via video upload to by the creators of Roving Festival Writer |
DEADLINES – MORE THAN ONE! Just make sure your entry is submitted in a timely manner in the window prior to an approaching deadline.
July 05, 2009 at 11:59p EDT
August 05, 2009 at 11:59p EDT
September 05 2009 at 11:59p EDT
For more information, contact .