And That’s How an Encore Is Done ….

And That’s How an Encore Is Done ….

A very big thank you to The Avett Brothers for closing down the circus in grand fashion. Carolina’s stomp-grass kings brought their unique Appalachia to the Vibes for the first time, and were welcomed to the VibeTribe family as they put on a foot stoping hoedown of a festival closer, mixing very high energy bluegrass rave ups with a few slower folky ballads. “We walked around and it looked like there were some people having a good time. We appreciate you letting us be a part of your good time,” said Seth Avett as they launched into “And It Spread,” an upbeat dust kicker that had fans stomping their feet and clapping there hands. Other songs followed with similar, raging, foot shuffling energy, such as “Tin Man” and “Will You Return.” The Avetts, Scott on banjo and Seth on acoustic guitar, truly do have sweet, brotherly vocal harmonies. They were showcased on slower, folky ballads, such as “To LIve And Die,” one of two news songs, due on a new record to be released in September, they included in their set tonight, and the lovely heartbreaker, “I Would Be Sad.” But then they’d always come back to the energetic stomp grass that’s quite their trademark. And being true showman that they are, the brought the house down with a five song encore. The brothers took the stage alone, with just Seth on acoustic and Scott just singing, on the slow, folky murder ballad, “Murder In The City,” written from the perspective of one brother to another. On “Heart Like A Kick Drum,” Scott moved from behind a keyboard to...
Early Sunday Afternoon

Early Sunday Afternoon

By Bill Clifford And the great weather continues. Sunday and there is not a single cloud in the blue sky over Seaside Park. Good afternoon VibeTribe! Gathering was pleased to welcome back Keller Williams, and this time it was solo Keller, the master creator. No one improvises better than multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams, performing his tunes one instrument at a time, recording the sound and looping it back through effects pedals. On one song he move from strumming a acoustic, into banging out a rhythm on his knees and then into holding down the low end on the bass, building the song. “Positive Reggae” was done dancehall style, with a thumping bass groove, and echoed, looped vocals. And “I Am Elvis” is an old song of his that he’s reinterpreted several ways with different bands, but today it was played classic K-Dub style, on straight up acoustic with all of his quirkyself-impersonations about getting lost in the great dreamscape of his own mind. And he saved the best for last, closing out the set with “Best Feeling,” a song he wrote and originally recorded with String Cheese Incident. It was a great way to end the set performed to a large crowd of Keller fans. Connecticut classic rock legends Max Creek tore it up on the main stage as they always do. Opener “Jones” was a driving, power rocker build on pounding rhythm. It segued via loose guitar improv into a vintage blues riff that became “One Man’s Heaven is Another Man’s Hell.” “Blood Red Roses was the rocker of the set, with extended guitar twirls and a piano solo...
Strangefolk Is Back!

Strangefolk Is Back!

By Bill Clifford File this one away under one of those ….. did that really happen … moments? Yes, indeed VibeTribe, Strangefolk, the original four members did just perform together on the Vibes stage for the first time since 2000. And it was every bit as outstanding as many of us remember from this band – in fact, even better, considering their maturity and musical bond. Strangefolk just performed one of the most epic at dusk set’s Gathering of The Vibes has ever experienced. The opener “Valhalla,” set the tone right away, showcasing the mesmerizing, soothing vocal harmony between electric electric guitarist John Trafton, acoustic guitarist and lead vocalist Reid Genaur and bassist Eric Glocker. There’s a brotherly quality amongst the trio, and a musical tightness the many younger bands should strive for, and drummer Luke Smith is in sync with there every musical transition and direction. Lyrically the song details family dynamics amongst a big family. And it’s always a fan favorite, as it was at Seaside Park. Deeper in, “Stout Hearted Man,” was a showcase for the subtleties of r’s Genaur’s buttery smooth vocals. “A Great Long While” and “Westerly” we’re each mid-set musical peaks, where the energy between band and audience just went over the top, built by awe-inspiring fretwork on the electric from Trafton and a slick bass and drum rhythm. Genaur made the announcement that the original quartet will return to perform at the famed Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. over the Thanksgiving weekend. The band encored, very fittingly considering the song’s chorus and premise and also the festivals roots with The Grateful...
Dancing in the Sunshine!

Dancing in the Sunshine!

What a difference a few hours can make, right? When we left you all last night(or early morning, depending on how you look at it…), the rain was still falling, lightly. This morning, we awoke to cloudless blue skies (or maybe I should say, …Bleau Skies,) and abundant sunshine and warmth. Good morning indeed VibeTribe! And what better musical awakening than that of long standing Vibes festival regulars, The Ryan Montbleau Band. How do you like your eggs, VibeTribe? Montbleau takes his “Scrambled In The Morning.” And apparently, many of the Tribe agree, and stumbled out of bed, over to the dry mud in front of the stage to join in the revelry, drawn by his soulful alto. There’s something about Vibes, Montbleau and glorious sunshine. It brings out the best in the crowd, and our energy spills over towards the band and drives it’s performances – always stellar here at Seaside Park. The Eddie Hinton nugget, from Montbleau’s New Orleans based solo CD – For Hire – was a great sing-a-long, Bleau enticing the crowd to join in on the gospel rooted chorus. Similar vibes would inspire the set throughout. How far Montbleau has come, no longer leaning on the crutch – his once ever present stool. Now he’s a classic showman. “This song is about being in a relationship and everything’s going along just fine,” he said. “Then all of a sudden, they do something and it’s like …. You’re crazy!” as he moved into “You Crazy You.” And the bouncy “I Can’t Wait” had the crowd singing along with the band. Their cover of “Jet Airliner”...
Till The Morning Comes ….

Till The Morning Comes ….

By Bill Clifford By mid afternoon, the rain had tapered off, at least temporarily, and Connecticut’s own Kung Fu was tearing it up on the Green Vibes stage. This local supergroup of musicians has been developing a following fast through its voracious performances. Tonight was no exception. The showed outstanding chemistry and an incredible tight bond with simple gestures in each others directions. Kung Fu easily drew one of the largest crowds to the Green Vibes stage throughout the first two days. But what’s a Gathering without a little Dead? What’s a Gathering without a lot of Dead for that matter? We’ve got your Dead! Billy Kreutzmann, former Grateful Dead percussionist performed with 7 Walkers, and were joined by Scott Murawski of Max Creek. Guitarist Bob Weir booked his performance as a trio, including Bruce Hornsby and Banford Marsalis; that’s guitar, piano and Saxophone, not your traditional trio line up. The proceedings had the feel of a Bruce-centric performance, opening up with his own “To Much Monkey Business,” a jazzy, New Orleans swing thing, and he tore his way through a Dr. John styled piano solo. Bobby’s “Darkstar” brought a cheer from the faithful, and there was all sorts of free form, extended improve amongst the three. And then it began. Percussionist Sonny Emory, of Hornsby’s band The Noise Makers joined the trio on stage with a washboard, and then the rest of the Noise Makers completed the line up. The dove head first into “Might As Well Be Me,” a new Hornsby tune he’d recently completed writing with Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Weir’s “Me and My Uncle” had...
A Little Cold Rain Can’t Dampen The VibeTribe Spirit

A Little Cold Rain Can’t Dampen The VibeTribe Spirit

And just who was the big shot that said the weather was going to be perfect all weekend long? Hmmmn! Friday’s morning’s wake up brought showers that have lasted, mostly as nothing more than a drizzle, to Seaside Park, turning the concert field to a mud bath. But, as they say, the show must on, and it has indeed. They music started on Friday with the School of Rock Allstars, a bevy of kids that attend the prestigious performance based music school. After a short respite, Vibes mainstay’s Assembly of Dust took the main stage, and host Gordon Taylor gave a shout out to call the crowd back to the stage. By the second song, “Revelry,” they’d drawn a decent crowd that wasn’t going to let a little rain dampen it’s mood. Front man Reed Genauer remains of the most under appreciated songwriters, crafting sweet, sing-a-long songs with lush harmonies. And his voice remains incredibly smooth as butter. He’s flanked by one of the most proficient elect guitarists, Adam Terrell, who added varying tones and colors throughout the set. The addition of keyboardist Jason Crosby gave tunes like a denser texture. Once again, AOD once again earned its keep, setting the bar high for bands following on the main stage. Over on the Green Vibes Stage later, two first time Vibes bands brought back a lot of memories for many of fans strolling by the stage. Brooklyn’s Yarn and South Carolina’s Dangermuffin both play a rousing blend country laced southern rock, with in Yarn’s case, Mandolin and stand up bass. The two bands, akin in style and sound, collaborated...
Thursday’s Early Musical Highlights

Thursday’s Early Musical Highlights

Good early Thursday eve VibeTribe, Musically, things got of to a ice, easy going start on Thursday afternoon, beginning over on the Greene Vibes Stage. The funky, latin groove of the Cosmic Jibaro’s was a very early pleasant surprise. The sax player was quite expressive. But the booty really started rocking and shaking back over on the main stage. For those who were here with us in 2010, we welcomed Zach Deputy to the vibes line up, calling that he’d find a home with the VibeTribe. Consider that confirmed! He brings a rootsy, island vibe with, and a funky, groovy beat. But what was quite different this year, was he was being backed by a full band, whom he’s been playing with on random gigs, where as in his 2010 performance, he was still performing solo. It’s been amazing to watch him grow and develop his sound, yet all of the 6-piece totally get the vibe he’s giving and get into it as much as he does, and just go with him. “Tube Steak/Collard Greens” was an early, funky jam that saw extended improve, and then he transitioned back to a bit of a mellow, Moroccan jam. Deputy certainly got the young, largely female contingent crowd shaking and moving, and is clearly now an official part of the VibeTribe family. Believe it or not, it has been years since Yonder Mountain String Band performed at Vibes – 2006, which would mean the last time the band played the festival it was then still located at Indian Lookout Country Club. That year in fact, they performed with Martin Fierro, tenor...
Be The Garnish: All Hands On Deck Staff Meeting

Be The Garnish: All Hands On Deck Staff Meeting

Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls of all ages, the festival has begun! The 17th annual Gathering of The Vibes Festival Officially kicked off on Thursday morning, at 8 a.m. when the gates opened and campers began to set up on Seaside Park grounds. Wednesday evening, at our final staff meeting, promoter Ken Hayes welcomed the staff with a recording of the Grateful Dead’s “Morning Dew”, taken from early 1972. He then went on to praise staff members as being what separates Gathering of The Vibes from the Bonnaroo’s and other big festivals. “We’re providing a concert concierge,” he said. Several other key staff members, most of whom have been with Vibes for a number of years, also followed up with similar sentiments. Notable among them for his high spirited and enthusiastic energy was Radio Vibes mornings show host, Gordon Taylor. He mentioned the late, legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, and how before he was a promoter, he worked as a waiter. More often than not, what put the meals he served over the top, was a simple garnish. “Be the garnish,” Taylor said emphatically, raising a laugh from the approximately 75 staffers who attended the meeting. He was making a reference to going the xtra mile to make the event special for every single festival goer. It’s the little things that make the difference, is the point Taylor was making. “Hit the reset button,” he added about what to do after dealing with an unhappy or misled camper, and put a smile on for the next patron. And so we are at your service, hoping to make this...
Donate Life: A Pre-Vibes Feel Good Cause

Donate Life: A Pre-Vibes Feel Good Cause

Donate Life: A Pre-Vibes Feel Good Cause by Sarah Mastroni The rocking tunes, cool Long Island Sound breeze, and much-anticipated family feel camping experience that is the Gathering of the Vibes is only two weeks away. As the annual music and arts festival rolls back into town, patrons have been undoubtedly gearing up for an extended weekend of partying and equal amounts of relaxing. Before you put your dancing shoes on, take some time out to consider going into Vibes with a lighter heart by doing the ultimate work of charity, and in turn, earning the potential to help a future Vibes-goer with the gift of organ donation. Westport Firefighter, Joe Arnson, was introduced to the world of organ donation and its wonderful benefits over three years ago when fellow firefighter, Peter Janulis got him into the Grateful Dead. “The two of us would listen to the Dead all day long, and I fell in love with it. Then we heard Phil Lesh’s Donor Raps and thought to ourselves this is a cool thing, we should do something to promote this to the fire service and to the public,” Arnson said. Lesh is known to take a few moments in between playing with his band, Phil Lesh & Friends, as well as Furthur, in which he plays alongside Grateful Dead alum Bob Weir, to address organ donation after receiving a liver transplant in 1998. “We did a thing called ‘Firefighters Going Further’, and within our department we got almost all of our members to sign up as organ donors,” Arnson explained. “This year was really special. We had a couple...
Getting to Know Radio Vibes – WPKN, 89.5

Getting to Know Radio Vibes – WPKN, 89.5

For those of you who don’t already know, we partner with Bridgeport’s listener supported, non-commercial broadcast station, WPKN. Once in the greater Fairfield or New Haven counties, you’ll find Radio Vibes broadcasting from 89.5 on your radio dial.

Soulive: Kicking off Vibes’ Late Night Performances

Soulive: Kicking off Vibes’ Late Night Performances

Soulive: Kicking off Vibes’ Late Night Performances by Sarah Mastroni Looking over the Vibes’ artist schedule in anticipation of the upcoming extended weekend has surely been an uplifting change from the monotony of pre-festival day to day. With all the hype surrounding the lineup, waiting until Thursday to step out of your office and into your dancing shoes still seems like a lifetime away. However, day one is quickly approaching. As the crashing waves of Long Island Sound draw nearer, do not forget to lasso up all that post-headliner excitement and unleash it for the late night acts who will play as late at 6 a.m. for your partying pleasure. For the duration of the festival, keep in mind that both during the day and after the main stage acts at the Green Vibes Stage there will be a variety of bands to fulfill all your can’t stop-won’t stop needs, most notably, Soulive. Soulive is a funky jazz trio from Woodstock, New York with, you guessed it, a lot of soul. Guitarist, Eric Krasno; brothers Alan Evans, drummer; and keyboardist Neal Evans, have been playing together for over 13 years. When asked who brings the funk to fruition, Alan Evans credited the band as whole for their toe-tapping, finger-snapping tunes. “We definitely bring something different to the band, that’s what really makes Soulive, or in my opinion, any band have a distinct sound,“ he said. “We all have really good ears and we are always listening to what each other is doing. I definitely think that’s one of our strengths.” In their career, Soulive has joined forces with Chaka Khan,...