Tag Archives: Edward Sharpe

Summer Music Festival Spotlight – FloydFest


The beginning of July brings fireworks, cookouts and celebration of our nation’s independence, but the month closes out with a handful of the best music festivals of the summer season.  FloydFest is definitely one on the list that deserves attention.  Held on a quiet 80-acre plateau off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, Virginia from July 25-28th, 2013, FloydFest has climbed the festival ranks and boasts one one of the hottest musical line-ups and schedule of events on the circuit.

FloydFest is designed for the music lover who also loves the outdoors.  Festival organizers have added events and activities that take full advantage of the beautiful, sprawling outdoor space, while keeping Mother Nature at the forefront.  The Outdoor Adventures Headquarters in the Global Village will be open daily from 10:00am-5:00pm, and offers activities including disc golf, hiking, mountain biking,  river activities, trail races, and many giveaways.

For the yogis out there, the Healing Arts Village offers a place to escape and prepare for or unwind from a fabulous day of music.  Flower of Life Yoga and DJ eXperience is a one-of-a-kind installation that will feature morning Yoga sessions with some of the world’s leading DJs to provide an exquisite soundscape to Rise & Shine to.  Once the sun goes down, the village transforms into a supernaturally lit performance area, where music will be supplied through wireless headphones.  Talk about taking the experience to a whole new level!

A host of artisans  will be on hand at the Global Village, as well as several craft beer vendors, including Starr Hill, Sierra Nevada, Foothills Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, and Lagunitas Brewing Company.  While many festivarians will be partaking in these delicious adult beverages (responsibly, of course), don’t let that deter you from bringing your family.  Families with kids are always welcome at FloydFest.  The Children’s Universe area is designed to engage kids and get them involved in the music and outdoor activities, including Taekwondo classes, rock wall climbing, open mics and tether ball.  Plus, there’s  good news for families–there are kid ticket rates and kids under the age of 6 get in FREE when accompanied by an adult.

While all of these festival perks make FloydFest a truly unique experience, the musical line-up certainly drives it home.  In terms of music, FloydFest has more than 100 musicians on 10 different stages during the four-day extravaganza.  This year is the strongest line-up yet, with some of the best headliners and up-and-comers on the festival circuit.  The final line-up includes:

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros ~ The Lumineers ~ Old Crow Medicine Show  ~ John Butler Trio ~ Brandi Carlile~ Gogol Bordello ~ Citizen Cope ~ Yonder Mountain String Band ~ Trampled by Turtles ~ Railroad Earth ~ Hot Tuna ~ The Infamous Stringdusters ~ Xavier Rudd~ Blitzen Trapper ~ Michael Kiwanuka ~ North Mississippi Allstars ~ Donavon Frankenreiter ~The Devil Makes Three~ Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit ~ Bombino ~ The Hackensaw Boys ~ Delta Rae ~ Ben Sollee ~ Lake Street Dive ~ The Last Bison ~ Rising Appalachia ~ Nahko and Medicine for the People ~ YARN ~ Bright Light Social Hour ~ Baaba Seth  ~Field Report ~Bronze Radio Return ~ Megan Jean and the KFB ~ Lizzy Ross Band ~ Larry and His Flask ~ Spirit Family Reunion ~ Boston Boys~ L Shape Lot ~ Yancarlos Sanchez ~ Primate Fiasco ~ Blue Mule ~ Cheick Hamala ~ Doug and Telisha Williams Band ~ Furnace Mountain ~ Freeman & Williams ~ Reverend Frank Newsome~ The Green Boys ~The Hey Boys ~ Westbound Rangers ~ Whitetop Mountain Band  ~ Juggle This! ~ Hypnotist Matthew James ~ Jared BonNer ~ Mr Robb ~Peter Irish~ Tyler Fyer & The Lucky Dare Devil Thrill Show ~ Miracle Fish Puppets ~ Brother Whit and Minerva ~ Carbon Jam ~ Carson Diersing ~ Becki the Balloon Lady ~ The Community High Performance Band ~ Music Lab Performers: Gabe Morales Trio ~ Bukuru Celestin ~ Harbor ~ The In Crowd ~ Jayna Brown ~ Bella Fulton & Christina Reinard ~ Kooper Jodoin and More!

So, if you are looking for a unique festival that celebrates the best in music and outdoor adventure, FloydFest is for you.  For more information please visit www.floydfest.com.

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Debut Album Review: Alexander

Alexander The Great

Amidst a busy touring schedule last year, singer/songwriter Alex Ebert (frontman for bands, Ima Robot and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) took a break from his baker’s dozen feel-good-hippie-music-act to create an eloquent and eery solo album fittingly entitled, Alexander.  Ebert’s solo sound is thankfully a departure from the pop-punk-emo tunes of Ima Robot.  Instead, the ten tracks on Alexander fall more in line musically with the stylish makings of ESMZ.  Ebert’s musical influences appear obvious to any listener with even a shallow understanding of music history, and lucky for us he picked some of the best from decades past.  Timeless tones of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Beatles (later years), Bob Marley, and even Johnny Cash meander their way through these tracks, all the while feeling fresh and new thanks to Ebert.  Rarely do I listen to an album in a first sitting and enjoy it in its entirety, but such is the case with Alexander.

Most tracks are carefully laced with echos of ghostly background vocals that somehow find a way to complement an upbeat snap-clap cadence of each song’s message.  At moments, especially during the first track, Let’s Win!, it felt as if Ebert was the Pied Piper and I trustingly filed in behind other listeners to join his traveling circus.  I suppose that is one of the best ways to set an album’s tone and get the listener on-board.  Contrary to what listeners may initially assume, Ebert didn’t recruit his 12 ESMZ band members to play the instruments on this debut solo album.  Rather, he retreated to his bedroom between shows to play each and every instrument (including all vocals) himself.  The seamless melding of vocals with an arsenal of instrumentation is easy on the ears and light on the soul, perhaps leaving the listener a bit closer to enlightenment.  I suppose that is Ebert’s Pied Piper mentality again…lulling his audience into a peaceful trance.  Hey, in an ever more stressful world, it works for me.  Like other musicians who have taken on the enormous feat of creating a canon of songs entirely on their own (a certain Timothy Seth Avett as “Darling” comes to mind…), Ebert can now reflect on his first solo project with pride.  Do yourself a favor, take a listen and get enlightened.

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