Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Upcoming shows’ Category

Forecastle-07-17-2015-Sam-Smith-S-1

Photo by Willie MacLean

Once upon a time, in July of 2002, a grassroots-organized neighborhood gathering of music, art and activism took place in a quaint little patch of grass in the Fredrick Olmsted-designed Tyler Park. Located in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky, the first Forecastle was comprised primarily of local artists and musicians who all performed for free.  Drawing a few hundred people nonetheless, festival founder JK McKnight made it all work on a budget of less than $500.

Fast forward to today, and this little grassroots festival has steadily evolved itself into a corporate-controlled, behemoth midwest tourist attraction, drawing thousands and thousands of festival-goers from 49 states and 12 countries. Now fully orchestrated by Knoxville’s AC Entertainment (producer of Bonnaroo & Sloss Music Festival), Forecastle Festival will once again take place on Louisville’s Waterfront Park this weekend, from July 15-17th.

The Dwindling Local Element

As an advocate for all things Kentucky, this writer would be remiss to note how our largest home state music festival seems to play host to fewer and fewer “Kentucky” musicians and artists, as each year passes. Sad, but true. In 2015 there were five artists, including My Morning Jacket, who hailed from the Bluegrass State, but this year it’s been reduced to only three, which is another aspect of the festival’s inevitable evolving trend. On the this year’s official lineup of musical artists with Kentucky roots we’ve got 1200, Joan Shelley and Louisville Orchestra Director, Teddy Abrams & Friends, who will likely feature a variety of other Kentucky musicians during his set.

Nonetheless, there’s still plenty to revel about and be excited for as Forecastle Festival maintains its status as Kentucky’s largest annual gathering of music and art. According to official ticket sales to date, this year’s festival is expected to surpass their all-time ticket sales record set last year, with over 65,000 tickets sold. 

Here are some of my personal highly-anticipated on and offstage attractions that I will choose to jabber about, in no specific order. You can even download a FREE set of tunes from a handful of Forecastle 2016 artists.

Ryan Adams

The last time I saw Mister Ryan Adams was in 2007 at Louisville’s Brown Theatre. This was when he had the audacity to only deliver a 20 minute acoustic set, sitting in a dimly-lit half circle with his band the entire time. After about three songs, plus a cover of Alice in Chains’ “Down in a Hole,” he stepped to the mic and uttered the words “Thank you, goodnight,” and then proceeded to walk offstage. Everyone in attendance was infuriated.

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Regardless of that incident, this dude is one hell of a songwriter and live performer, with a 20+ year catalog of songs to draw from. I just happened to catch him on one of those shitty nights where ole’ Ryan just wasn’t feeling it. Chances are I won’t be the only person present at Forecastle this year who last saw him at the aforementioned flub show. That’s why I will confidently predict that his upcoming set at Forecastle will be an enthralling live demonstration of his musical prowess in one of his rare festival appearances. So, how about a total rock-out with your cock-out set there, Mister Adams? Some of us have been waiting a long time for it…

The Arcs

The last time a Dan Auerbach-fronted rock-n-roll machine graced a stage at Forecastle was in 2013, when the Black Keys gave a rock-n-roll sermon for over 2 hours to a rambunctious, yet appreciate drunken mass of fans. I was happily part of that mess.

The Arcs - Photo by Richard Swift

The Arcs – Photo by Richard Swift

Auerbach returns to the Forecastle stage with his newest rendition of psychedelia/garage rock while keeping intact his trademark vocals and reverb-drenched guitars. Also a vital part of the band is bassist Nick Movshon, whose better known for his extensive work with the late, great British soul queen, Amy Winehouse.

Keep an ear out for “Put a Flower in Your Pocket” if you’re a Keys fan. It should be just as a trippy performance as the song’s video. Hopefully. Catch them early on Saturday at 5:15 on the Mast Stage.

Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr with his signature Epiphone Casino

Gary Clark Jr with his signature Epiphone Casino

Making his 2nd Forecastle appearance in only 3 years is Austin-based Gary Clark Jr., one the next soon-to-be greatest Blues rockers of our generation. He’s a festival staple across the country and his experience with the Forecastle crowd will lead to another guitar and vocal-fueled battleground experience for his audience.

Just wait till he plays “The Healing” at some point during the set. Who doesn’t need some healing from living in today’s world? Catch him on Sunday at 5:00 on the Mast Stage.

[Read our March 2016 review of Gary Clark Jr. by our own Miss Autumn en Austin]

1200

1200

1200

Also known as Jecorey Arthur, he is a music teacher for a local school by day, and up-and-coming hip-hop artist by night. There’s not much more of a positive role model coming from his west end Louisville roots. But this boy will ignite your senses with his genuine delivery of real-life inspired songs, and heartfelt authenticity. He’s a “real” musician whose capable of reshaping the overall perception of his style within the uninformed popular thought, so make sure you give him a listen on Friday at 3:00 on the Ocean Stage.

The GONZO Bar

You know, not because I’m freaking biased towards Hunter S. Thompson and virtually anything GONZO, but this will be one of the coolest damn spots to get a bourbon or other GONZO libation of choice. Thompson, a Louisville native, and creator of GONZO Journalism, was also a rabid bourbon connoisseur, amongst quite a few other mind-altering substances of choice.

Gonzo Bar Forecastle Festival

Gonzo Bar Forecastle Festival

Celebrate the GONZO spirit while you enjoy a new feature to this year’s bar – a Grant Goodwine curated “traveling madhouse” of inspired art by Thompson and his longtime British illustrator, Ralph Steadman. Great DAZE!!

Anderson East

Rhythm and blues and soul rockers with dashes of country are definitely crowd-pleasers at Forecastle. This year’s festival will feature one of that genre-orgy’s up-and-coming rising giants, with Michael Cameron Anderson, professionally recognized as Anderson East. 

Anderson East

Anderson East

Yep, this little young Alabama lad can sure as hell man a mic and rock a stage with more heartfelt intent than some of the seasoned veterans around him. And when he’s done doing all that, he parks his boots under Country Music Queen, Miss Miranda Lambert’s bed. How about that?

You’ll have to shake off that Saturday night hangover kind of quickly as he opens the Mast Stage on Sunday at 1:45. Oh yeah, make sure you wish him a happy birthday if you’re in attendance because he’ll be celebrating his 28th.

The Bourbon Lodge

The Bourbon Lodge

The Bourbon Lodge

A celebration of Kentucky’s most famous export, other than horses and world-renowned musicians: bourbon, curated by The Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a non-profit organization that promotes and publicizes all the major bourbon distillers throughout the state. You’ll learn about the history and cultivation of bourbon directly from the distilleries who’ve made it a world class export. And of course, be aware this is usually the only non-VIP air-conditioned oasis within festival grounds. So why not give all those sun and heat-relief seekers first class access to Kentucky’s brown hell water? Good call.

Kentucky Landing

Kentucky Landing

Kentucky Landing

This is the corridor where most of the incoming art will be found, along with mixed in festival retailers, many from Kentucky. It’s definitely the calmest and quietest section of the festival ground, and is great place to people watch. Grab a bite to eat. Or drink a craft brew. Or catch a nap. Whatever floats your boat.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

GFLou2016
GonzoFest Louisville
, Louisville’s annual celebration of its most famous 
literary son, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, returns to Waterfront Park’s Big Four Lawn to celebrate the life, work and legacy of Louisville’s own Hunter S. Thompson on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

GonzoFest Louisville, now in its sixth year, has stacked this year’s lineup with national and local acts. Nashville rockers with Kentucky roots, Fly Golden Eagle and rock & roll trio Natural Child, who are also from Nashville, will headline GonzoFest Louisville 2016. Old-school hip-hop artists Dr. Dundiff with Touch AC and Smoke Shop Kids, along with garage punk band Chrome Pony, and indie rock band Quiet Hollers are set to perform on the main stage.

Also on the bill is Frederick The Younger, a slinky vintage pop band from Louisville, local rockers Your News Vehicles, and acid country rock band The Bottom Sop. Along with Frogg Corpse & Mr. Stranger Present The End of The World on the Gonzo Today Stage.

In addition to music and spoken word performances, Tinderbox Circus Sideshow, the self-proclaimed “most mind-blowingly devilish backwoods troupe from the ground up”.will be performing at the Gonzo Today Tent Stage throughout the day.

Craft vendors, food, liquor, beer, will be available at the festival as well. GonzoFest Louisville 2016 will also feature a non-fiction literary contest and a satirical political portrait art contest. Submit literary entries to gonzoliterarycontest@gmail.com. Art entries must be sent to 4016 Summer Place New Albany, IN 47150. Literary and art entries must be submitted by March 15, 2016.

The official GonzoFest Louisville after-party at The New Vintage begins at 11:00 p.m.; featuring The Sundresses, Discount Guns, plus a very special jam session with festival musicians. Present your GonzoFest Louisville 2016 ticket stub for free entry to the after-party ($10 at the door otherwise).

Proceeds from GonzoFest Louisville 2016 will support the creation of a life-size bronze statue of Hunter S. Thompson. Sculptor, Matthew Weir will be present during the festival. GonzoFest Louisville is sponsored by Falls City Brewing and Four Roses Bourbon. Gates open at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at Eventbrite. Additional information, including details about the 2016 literary contest, vendor applications, sponsorship and volunteer opportunities can be found by visiting www.GonzoFestLou.com.

For the latest news about this year’s festival fans can visit GonzoFest Louisville on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About GonzoFest Louisville
GonzoFest Louisville is a literary and music festival honoring Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the lasting mark he has made on literature, art and music. Through poetry, spoken word, art and live music and more, GonzoFest Louisville celebrates the life and times of Hunter S. Thompson in his hometown. 2016 will mark the sixth year of the festival.

Read Full Post »

louder-than-lifeHola, Amigo.

¿Cómo lo llevas?

No, I’m not gonna write my first GonzoToday.com preview of the 2015 Louder Than Life music festival in Spanish. A language that I don’t even know how to write or speak, aside from the little I’ve picked up from what Cheech & Chong, Cypress Hill and ordering Mexican food at El Nopal has taught me.

On top of that, I’m writing this in the midst of a blood moon lunar eclipse while drinking absurd amounts of rum and moonshine. Mercury is also retrograde. Perfect, right? And mercury shall stay retrograde all the way thru this weekend’s Louder Than Life Festival on October 3rd & 4th in Louisville, Kentucky. The mainstream rock n’ roll music, whiskey, and gourmet man-food weekend event drew tens of thousands in it’s 2014 debut.

Uncharted territory for me, considering the recent past. I’ve been on a bit of a mainstream rock and metal scene hiatus since the days of LRS Fest, which croaked around 10 years ago. 

But, I can’t wait to hopefully blend back into the mayhem of the mainstream rock scene once again. There is something about observing all these young and old whiskey-bent metalhead bastards that never gets old. Watching them bang their heads – both on and off stage – to rock and metal’s most shoved-down-your-throat-songs of decades past. Baby Boomers to Millennials shall be catered to equally.

Seriously folks, even if this isn’t your normal scene or musical forte’, I say go anyway. 99% of the lovely ladies and gentlemen that flock to these types of festivals are just as berserk to observe as the actual rock stars that are on the stage. No shit. The only difference between the two aforementioned groups is that one is on stage, and the other isn’t.

By all means, never reveal these known realities to the person standing next to you, or you’ll be essentially fucking yourself over on the overall entertainment factor the festival provides. Air guitars. Pantene Pro-V 80’s style hair. A few mullets here and there. Seas of black T-shirts. Tattoos. Piercings. Ripped jeans. And loud-ass-rock-music. Yep. You get the picture.

On the flip side, there are several not-so-shoved-down-your-throat native Kentucky artists that’s on the bill, too. I’m somewhat surprised to report that a few of em’ were crazy enough to accept an interview request from yours truly.

That’s right people, I’ll be sitting down to chat with the likes of country music icon Richard Young, guitarist of the Kentucky Headhunters, and his son, John Fred Young, drummer of Black Stone Cherry, for what’s sure to be an intriguing father-son interview.

I’ll also be sitting down with members of Louisville nu-metal prognosticators, FLAW, whose playing the festival for a second year in a row, and who is in the midst of relaunching themselves back into the musical forefront. Once upon a time back in the early 2000’s FLAW was a regular fixture for large metal festivals like OzzFest and Rock On The Range, amongst others.

Having recently spoken by phone to FLAW lead vocalist, Chris Volz, he was excited about not only about being invited back for a second year, but also about the band’s forthcoming revival and where it will take them, if anywhere.

Oh yeah, who the fuck else is playing the damn festival is probably what you’re wondering, right? Well, here is my totally unbiased, incomplete list of other performing artists: Rob Zombie, ZZ Top, what’s left of, and still called Lynyrd Skynyrd (*no disrespect*), Kentucky Headhunters, Black Stone Cherry, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, Skid Row, Collective Soul, Sevendust, Shinedown, Slash, and more and more and more…

Checkout the full lineup, along with your ticketing and camping options at: www.LouderThanLifeFestival.com

What else?

Oh yeah.

Written drunk.

Edited sober.

And this is totally fucking appropriate for my first GonzoToday.com published preview for a rock n’ roll whiskey festival. 

Agreed?

Selah.

** This preview also published at GonzoToday.com

Read Full Post »

FF2014

Forecastle Festival, 2014 – Louisville, Kentucky

Write drunk. Edit sober.

That’s a debated Hemingway’esque philosophy to writing, and pretty much the context and tactic I used to write this preview under, so consider yourself forewarned, to some extent.

Speaking of writing under the influence, and in honor of Louisville-native Hunter S. Thompson, I figured I’d adopt a tried-and-true gonzo spirit for my 7th edition of coverage of Louisville’s Forecastle Festival, taking place this Friday, July 17 thru Sunday, July 19 at Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

Now in it’s 14th year, Forecastle Festival takes place over what would’ve been Thompson’s 77th birthday on July 18, and there should be plenty of reminders throughout the festival of this man’s contributions to the world of journalism and Louisville culture.

Originating in 2002 as a humble grassroots neighborhood celebration of music, activism and culture, Forecastle Festival has now morphed into a corporate-controlled, mammoth-sized festival that has all the usual bells and whistles of mega festivals alike: big-name artists, big-dollar sponsors, big-time ticket prices, big-congregations of festivalgoers, and big-hoorah good times. You get what you pay for, I suppose.

As for the big-name artists, Forecastle-regulars and Louisville-natives, My Morning Jacket, will headline along with British-crooner Sam Smith, and hippie jam band-favorite Widespread Panic. Rounding out the other big-name Kentucky artists, you’ve got Cage The Elephant and Houndmouth set to perform, along with a host of other lesser and better known artists of the like. A full schedule of all performing artists, of course, can be found at Lineup.ForecastleFest.com.

Carrying on with its activism element for existence, Forecastle made one of their biggest activism strides to date by announcing this year’s festival will run on a 100% pollution free electricity. For every kWh of electricity used, a kWh will be produced and put on the grid by a pollution-free, renewable source, according to the press release.

“Forecastle Festival was built on the premise of environmental responsibility and for years we’ve worked to be as sustainable as possible through conservation, recycling, composting and the use biodiesel fuel,” said Forecastle Founder and Captain, JK McKnight. “The partnership is a huge leap forward, positioning us as one of the most sustainable, ecologically-focused events in the nation.”

So, ironically, one of the nation’s cleanest and smallest carbon footprint festivals will take place on the banks of one of the nation’s dirtiest rivers. Maybe some of that activism can be channeled into a future plan to do something to clean up the Ohio River. Moving on…

Can’t we all just get along, man?

The answer to that question through the Forecastle lens, is a resounding “Yes, man! We can!.”

Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Photo by Jason Ashcraft

Of all the years I’ve attended this festival, not once have I ever witnessed so much as even verbal dispute, let alone a physical one, amongst festivalgoers. Everyone really does just get along no matter how much fear and loathing takes place.

In a day and age where news headlines rarely report on thousands and thousands of people flocking to a shared space to just get along, this really is something to be proud of.

Even the local police and law enforcement just usually end up sitting around on their fancy four wheelers, just watching, not having to even worry about getting their uniforms dirty. And even being seemingly tolerant to those who are obviously under the influence of whatever-the-fuck. Imagine that.

Other fairly predictable and typical Forecastle features that will most likely take place this weekend:

  • Louisville’s Mayor will likely show up in VIP at some point – and be un-Mayor-like – for the weekend. He may even bring on My Morning Jacket to the stage since he is quite a well known fan of the band and festival.
  • The Hunter S. Thompson 10’ human-powered mannequin will make another appearance to much audience appeasement and selfie-induced antics.
  • There is, once again, the Gonzo Bar, a tribute bar to H.S.T., and the Bourbon Lodge which showcases Kentucky-bred bourbon and libation culture. You know, so you can achieve an authentic Kentucky buzz.
  • Artists of the non-musical type, will start various creative projects on Friday, finishing by Sunday, sometimes with the help of random passerbyers.
  • And, of course, My Morning Jacket will most likely give their next version of their greatest set ever, I’m sure. These guys always pull out something weird and unpredictable for their hometown’s biggest gig. Remember in 2012 when they sang George Michael’s “I’m Never Gonna Dance Again” while both throwing and singing “bananas” to the crowd?

Yeah, it’s like that.

So, in the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson, and the final suggestion I made in my 2014 Forecastle Festival review, just “buy the ticket, take the ride.”

Ok?

— This preview also published at PerformerMag.com

Read Full Post »

FF_pic

Picture courtesy of Forecastle Festival

In the world of music festivals, everything changes. Eventually. And Louisville’s annual mammoth-sized music, art and activism mecca, Forecastle Festival, now in its 11th year, is no exception. The festival will once again take place on Louisville’s Waterfront Park, from July 12-14.

What started as a small neighborhood gathering in Louisville’s Tyler Park in 2002 has evolved into one of the Midwest’s largest platforms for musicians, artists and activists alike with tens of thousands flocking to the banks of the Ohio River every summer.

Last year the Forecastle founder JK McKnight, announced a partnership with Bonnaroo producer, AC Entertainment.

“One of the biggest assets AC Entertainment brings to the table is experience, and the relationships that go along with that,” McKnight explains. “In addition, a laser-like focus heavily on festivals, which is different than concerts. Festivals are brands, and have to be approached in a different way.”

That approach has lead to a number of expected changes with the core management shift to AC. The most obvious – perhaps only to the Forecastle-faithful – is the music roster, which is a bit lighter on Louisville area artists as compared to year’s past.

“We’re always going to have a local and regional stage. I think that’s never going to change,” McKnight adds.

“But yes, it’s (Louisville & Kentucky musicians) always been a part of the festival and I imagine it always will be. It’s part of our DNA. I think as the festival grows and expands, we’ll be able to use more real estate, which could open up more opportunity,” says McKnight.

“This year I’ve put together a list of probably 15 to 20 local artists that I thought were really special and deserving of an opportunity like this. These were artists that were really out there, touring constantly, pushing the envelope, building their brand. You can look at numbers and statistics, and see them growing in the market. People are responding, which is what we want to see. We want something that catches our eye. If we see other people responding to it, that’s important. The festival’s not about our personal music tastes. I think that’s a misconception,” McKnight candidly commented.

A few of those carefully selected artists hailing from the Louisville area include; the musically unclassifiable My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James, the up-and-coming folk-jammers Houndmouth, retro-rockers The Pass, the bluegrass-americana sounds of 23 String Band, and the alt-country up-comers A Lion Named Roar.

As for the Forecastle headliners, festival-goers will enjoy Robert Plant and his Sensational Space Shifters (which’ll hopefully turn into a Led Zeppelin affair), The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, The String Cheese Incident, Outkast’s Big Boi, and Alabama Shakes just to name a few.

Forecastle is also expanding beyond the festival’s official grounds with a number of late night after-party concerts at Louisville Palace and aboard the Belle of Louisville.

“Every year, the late night component of the festival is always something that we think about throughout the whole year,” McKnight explains. “Obviously, this year with String Cheese doing the Saturday night at the Palace, which is the first year of its kind that the Palace has ever done. But yeah, the Belle of Louisville is an iconic venue. I don’t see us ever quitting that tradition of trying to do shows on the Belle. It’s a lot of fun!”

* This article can also be read in Performer Magazine’s July 2013 issue and at PerformerMag.com

Read Full Post »


Two-Tone Tommy Blankenship – Photo by Paul Wellman

There’s a lot going on these days in the life of My Morning Jacket bassist Two-Tone Tommy Blankenship. When you’re a member of one of the music industry’s most popular live alternative rock-n-roll bands, you tend to not have too much time for things other than music and your career.

With MMJ’s focus on curating Louisville’s Forecastle Festival, the boys are looking at music with a different focus; through their Louisville-lenses, so to speak, more so than other shows they play.

It’s hard to believe that back in 2002 Forecastle Festival started as a small group of local musicians who gathered in Louisville’s Tyler Park for one day of music and community celebration. Now, 10 years later, founder JK McKnight has morphed that little neighborhood gathering into the Midwest’s largest music, art and activism mecca, and now has tapped the area’s biggest musical export in My Morning Jacket not only headlining, but helping plan the event.

Forecastle Festival now boasts more than three stages with a combination of both national and Louisville-area musicians of all music and genre types. Throw in dozens of vendors, sponsors, artists and keynote activism speakers, and all of the sudden you see what I mean when I say “morph.”

Last summer’s “Halfway to Forecastle” event was a show that McKnight conceived on-the-fly to merely hold over the Forecastle faithful while he formed a partnership with AC Entertainment, the company that just happens to produce a little festival in southern Tennessee called Bonnaroo.

“The partnership has been great. AC Entertainment has brought of wealth of knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, and commitment to programming excellence. Everyday is a new adventure, and I’m really glad to be part of the team,” McKnight said.

So with his big guns a blazin’, and a hell of a lot more production power behind him, McKnight has now recruited Louisville’s biggest musical export, and Bonnaroo-four-hour-marathon-set-festival-favorite, My Morning Jacket, to help select the show’s artist roster and a few other details.


Forecastle Festival 2010 – Photo by Willie McLean

I had the chance to talk with My Morning Jacket bassist Two-Tone Tommy Blankenship on this year’s event and how the band has played a role in the show’s “curation.”

So, I’m here with Two-Tone Tommy Blankenship of My Morning Jacket, who is one of the official curators of the Forecastle Festival. Right, Tommy? 

Correct, correct.

So what does that entail doing? What are you doing to building Forecastle to what it’s going to be?

I think the biggest thing was throwing out names of bands, kinda like our dream list of some of the artists we wanted to see this year. As well helping plan a lot of the charities and who was going to be involved with charities. The food vendors, retail vendors. All of it was just kind of just suggestions as you know with the curation.

So does that mean we will see a lot of local Louisville businesses and local Kentucky and Louisville-based bands on the bill? 

Exactly. Yeah, we wanted to really focus on – since there are so many national acts that are already coming in – was to have a dedicated local stage that would really shine a spotlight on what makes the city so special. Especially just having both – the festival as a 10-year anniversary and it felt like something we’ve always wanted to do at all of our shows. Like have the local village, you know? Like have the spotlight on the city itself, because there are so many people traveling in from out of town. Just trying to put the spotlight on everything we love about the city.

Of course Forecastle has a reputation for already doing that. That being said though, who are some of the artists you guys hand-picked and are really looking forward to seeing? 

Geez, they’re are like so many. Dr. Dog, Washed Out, Andrew Bird, Wilco. I mean literally, everyday, there is somebody…

(And all-of-the-sudden my dogs start barking in the background. Tommy and I laugh it off for about 5 seconds until it quiets down again.) 

Who are some of the artists that you guys hand-picked that are like local and independent who are trying to make their way and this show is going to be a big effort for them to do that? 

A big one for me is Cabin. I don’t know, do you remember Shane Thomas that we went to school with?

Yeah, I think so. And I’ve seen Cabin before, and they were good!

Yeah, yeah, they’re amazing. Yeah Cabin, Lydia Burrell, John that used to play in the band (MMJ) is in Ravenna Colt now and they’re playing.

Yeah, yeah I know The Ravenna Colt, and they’re good. 

Yeah, they’re amazing. Wax Fang. I mean like pretty much everybody that was invited was pretty much on our list. Like, a lot of the local artists that are coming in.

In terms of your guy’s own performance, on that Saturday night is when you’re playing, is that correct? 

Yeah, Saturday night.

So, I’m not going to ask you for details or anything, but is there any surprises coming? A simple yes or no will do. 

Ahh, yes. For sure.

Awesome. And – without giving it away – what can we expect? 

Ummm….

(laughs)

Without giving it away…

Without giving it away? 

(laughs, again, because my dog interrupts one more time with the barking) 

“Oh, yeah! It will be a different experience over any shows that we’ve done this year or last year.”

Good to know. Something to look forward to. Awesome.

What would you say is your favorite thing about Louisville and our whole Kentucky-music stomping ground is or what is your favorite thing about our city?

I think – and this might seem like a limitation in a way – what I always loved about growing up in the area, and what I still love about it, is that is has an identity all on its own. I think that it really pushes young artists to find their own voice and their own sound, and really make things happen. Because it really isn’t a destination scene. It isn’t like you said, Chicago or any of the big cities that are around. Or even Indy in a way. It just doesn’t have that…like people aren’t moving to Louisville to start bands.

Yeah, you’re saying that we’re a very homegrown music scene.

Yeah, for sure. It’s kind of insular. I think they’re aren’t a lot of opportunities to play outside of the city; it’s not like if you make a name for yourself in Louisville that will carry you through a bunch of other cities or, you know, get you on a bunch of other cities and festivals and stuff.

Right, right. So what’s your advice to young musicians here in town who are trying to get where you guys are going with your own career? 

I mean, it’s gonna sound kind of clichéd, but as long you just put the work into it, you know, more than anything else. I mean obviously, it’s just passion. It’s having the passion, putting the work into it and not expecting a whole lot in return. Like work and work and work, and don’t expect a whole lot, and then I think you’ll have the biggest reward that way.

Right.

So, circling back to you guys. Jim (James) just recently announced that he was doing a solo project, which is pretty cool, and of course Carl (Broemel) has done his own thing. Do you think that all the side project work that other members do will contribute to a MMJ hiatus? 

Yeah, man I feel like this is the main gig for all of us. And being able to have the freedom in the band to go and do these other projects – it’s like when you come back to it – for all of us, we have this deeper appreciation for our dynamic, the way we work, how easy it is. And then you’re learning something when you walk away from the band who is been in these other playgrounds, these other sandboxes. You get to experience things with other people; then you can kind of bring that experience back with you into this familiar family setting.

So it’s definitely something that fuels your diversity because from one album to the next you guys are never the same. 

(laughing) Right, right, yeah. Yeah.

That’s good. So it’s turned into a positive and not a negative is what you’re saying? 

Absolutely. Yeah.

Awesome. Do you have any side projects or solo things you’re planning on your own? 

Ummmm, nothing so far. No, no.

Yeah, that’s cool. Just kind of enjoying life and living the American dream? Living the dream…

(laughing) Exactly, right. Life is good.

So, let me ask you this, closing out here; you guys have been nominated for a Grammy on several occasions. How important is it for you personally or as a band to eventually bring one home?

Ah, for me, you know, just being nominated is mind blowing and it’s unbelievable. It’s such a rewarding feeling, that whether we win or lose, to have that recognition to have the nomination is way more than I could have ever dreamed or hoped for.

That’s good. So, what’s next for My Morning Jacket? 

Ummm….

After this tour and after Forecastle Festival, is there a new album in the works? 

Nah, you know, we’re just focusing on touring for the rest of the year and then hopefully come next spring we’ll start getting into song-writing and studio work.

Forecastle Festival
My Morning Jacket / Bassnectar / Wilco / Girltalk / Clutch / Lucero / Neko Case / plus many more…
Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15
Louisville’s Waterfront Park
$57.50 – $350
All ages
www.ForecastleFest.com 

Listen to the full unedited audio interview:

** This interview and preview also posted at LouisvilleKY.com

Read Full Post »

The Forecastle Festival – Louisville’s nautically-themed summertime celebration of music, art, and environmental activism – has announced that My Morning Jacket will headline and assist in curating the festival’s tenth anniversary. The 3-day event will take place July 13 – 15, 2012, at Louisville’s scenic, award-winning Waterfront Park.

My Morning Jacket, whose original members hail from Louisville and currently reside in the city, will headline Saturday night, as well as collaborate with producers on the sights, sounds and experiences of the entire festival weekend. Celebrating its 10th year, the festival will pay homage to its past, present, and future, highlighting Forecastle’s maritime theme while celebrating the very best of Louisville and Kentucky.

“The stars have aligned in such a way that not only allows My Morning Jacket to headline on Saturday night, but to collaborate on many aspects of the festival as well,” said JK McKnight, Forecastle Founder and Director of National Partnerships for AC Entertainment. “From booking bands and curating late night shows to choosing philanthropic partners and shining a light on Louisville’s special offerings, together we’re sure to craft the best Forecastle experience ever. There’s certainly no group I would rather share this moment with than them.”

Full festival details, including the complete line up of headliners, along with over 75 bands performing on multiple stages, will be announced in the coming weeks.  Separately ticketed late-night after-parties will also take place on the historical steamboat, the Belle of Louisville and at the newly renovated Ice House.

“We’re really excited to join forces with the Forecastle Festival,” said Jim James, lead singer of My Morning Jacket. “It has been great to watch them grow over the years- bringing great music, art, education, and activism to Louisville. The festival is a great vehicle for showcasing the abundance of opportunity, talent, and beauty our fair city has to offer.”

Drummer Pat Hallahan added, “Watching Forecastle grow through the years has been a thing of beauty.  JK McKnight is a forward-thinking, hardworking visionary. It is an honor to work along side the whole Forecastle and AC Entertainment crew.”

Specially priced weekend passes will go on-sale January 27 at noon (EST).  After the initial allotment is depleted, tickets will still be available at regular price. Travel packages will also be available, including accommodations at The Galt House – the festival’s official, waterfront hotel. For those who wish to dock up for the weekend, VIP “Captain’s Club” boat slips will also be available.   For ticketing information, visit www.forecastlefest.com.

And stay tuned to this blog as I will have a full preview and review of Forecastle Festival, which will also be published in Performer Magazine’s July 2012 and September 2012 issues. Online too: www.PerformerMag.com

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: