Volume #25, Issue #5
So much has gone down since I wrote my last editorial for the August issue. We celebrated our 25th anniversary in the Bay Area, which was a treat for me. I got to play at the illustrious Sweetwater in Mill Valley and the venerable Maritime Hall in San Francisco with my bandmates, guitarist Rob Wolfson and bassist Marty Bostoff, along with several Bay Area friends. Of special note was the addition of keyboardist Vince Welnick to my band at the Maritime show, which brings me to something I feel I must mention. Being the publisher/editor of a magazine, I have attempted to avoid exploiting these pages with self-promotion. In this issue’s Bay Area Bits, you will find a review of my musical efforts. After agonizing over whether or not to include this review, I decided that the many people that work so intensely with me to make the music happen deserve every bit of recognition they get. (And it’s not like I really suck or anything.) So, the review appears as it was written and I hope no one finds it grandiose just because I’m sitting at the helm.
This year’s Furthur Festival was incredible. The Other Ones are indeed the answer to what was missing from the music scene. It was great to see Phil, Bobby and Mickey together again and Steve Kimock and Mark Karan were exceptional in their roles. Thank you for a real good time.
I did notice that some other shows were off in attendance. Furthur took many people out of circulation during July by providing a great event with which to tour. H.O.R.D.E. reports were surprisingly lackluster, with many claiming that it seems to have become a showcase for record labels, instead of the alternative vehicle for intelligent music it once was. Local festival attendance was generally great. Ekoostic Hookah’s Hookahville was well-attended, Max Creek’s Camp Creek was a record-breaker and Gathering of the Vibes did very well. Big Boulder’s Gathering on the Mountain topped expectations with over 10,000 attendees.
This year’s Gathering on the Mountain in the Poconos, Pennsylvania, was my personal highlight. It was like a Relix family picnic. It seemed as if I knew every person there. The bands were all incredible and this year’s inclusion of the Acoustic Stage was a bonus, featuring many intimate performances. Thanks to everyone for the great response my band received on both the Main and Acoustic Stages. Tom Constanten and Matthew Kelly were great additions to our set on August 8th. Thanks also to my Japanese friends, the members of the band Big Frog, for their musical input during our acoustic set on August 9th. I know Jerry was smiling. Saturday night, Jorma and company were joined by Merl Saunders, Tom Constanten, Donna Jean and Will McFarland for a jam that, as Jorma aptly put it, doesn’t get any better. Whew! As in years past, the musicians roamed the grounds, signing autographs, chatting with the crowd and catching other bands’ sets. The wonderful staff at Big Boulder/Jack Frost couldn’t have done better. Thanks, everybody, for the best time! See you there next year.
MagnoliaFest is being held October 16th-18th at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak, Florida. David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, David and Linda LaFlamme with Crawfish of Love and many other bands will be appearing. The Toni Brown Band is scheduled to perform on October 16th at 8:00PM. Come on down and see us! Call 904-249-7990 for more info.
In peace, love and light,
Toni Brown, Publisher