Dark Star Orchestra might have been the host of the Dark Star Jubilee at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, but several bands made a huge impression on the 5000 people who showed up. Unaware of most of the bands in the lineup, I was pleasantly surprised time and time again. It was an incredible weekend of music. Here are my Top five favorite acts along with some honorable mentions. (All photos by The Bigfoot Diaries.)
5. Rumpke Mountain Boys
|The Rumpke Mountain Boys|
Interesting factoid: According to Sam Cutler, the Jubilee's Master of Ceremonies, this band who hails from Cincinnati had an interesting back-story in getting their name. "I asked about their name, and reminded them that there were no mountains in Cincinnati," Cutler said to the crowd before he introduced the band. "Then they told me well, the garbage dump is the highest point in their county and the people who handle their garbage are called Rumpke so they decided to call themselves the Rumpke Mountain Boys."
4. The Ragbirds
|Erin Zindle of The Ragbirds|
Interesting Factoid: The Ragbirds have now played in 47 states. The only states they haven't performed in are Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii.
3. The Wailers
|Al Anderson of The Wailers.|
Interesting Factoid: Despite the billing that said that The Wailers would play the entire Legend album, they did not play "Redemption Song" or "No Woman No Cry" in Legend Valley.
I had never heard Galactic, but I was expecting great things from this band from New Orleans. Their live show has been talked about in music circles for years, and I was excited to see what the buzz was all about. They were in fact a major reason I chose to attend this festival. Their set started at 11:00 on Saturday night, and it provided a blistering blend of jazz, fusion, electronica, and rock. It was a stark contrast to the other acts that were playing in the Jubilee and the raw combination of horns, bass and guitar made for an incredible jam. Sometimes they delivered a spacey drawn out sound, while other times the sound they were creating reminded me of the soundtrack to a spy movie. It was a set packed with soul, funk and teases of rock. It was ridiculously tight and the absence of vocals during most of the set wasn't a factor. It was one of the most intense live performances I had ever seen live. I can't wait to see them again.
Interesting factoids: Corey Glover of Living Color fame is a touring member of the group and he handles the rare occasions the band uses vocals. Drummer and Galactic founding member Stanton Moore has recorded with bands as diverse as funk keyboardist Robert Walter and heavy metal act Corrosion of Conformity.
1. Anders Osborne
Interesting factoid: Osborne's band is based out of new Orleans but he was actually born in Sweden.
These bands also deserve mention for their performances.
The Everyone Orchestra
|Matt Butler conducts the Everyone Orchestra|
The New Riders of the Purple Sage
|Michael Falzarano and David Nelson of New Riders of the Purple Sage|
Ultraviolet Hippopotamus was great as well. With a name like Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, one might expect a tinge of psychedelia, and this band delivered just that. In fact, they were the perfect mix of rock and roll and psychedelia, twisting it beautifully together like a cosmic doobie. On their facebook page they describe themselves as "Hot rocking for galactic freedom." What else does one need to know about these sonic storm troopers?