Refrain On The Road – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Posted: 11th September 2013 by refrainmusic in Concerts
2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival - Fredericton, NB

2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival – Fredericton, NB

So excited I can’t stand it!  After an amazing adventure last year, RefrainMusic.com returns tomorrow for another amazing four whole days at the 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton NB!  Stay tuned for day by day feedback from the festival, pictures, crowd interviews and much more!  For now…I have to pack!

SHOW SCHEDULE

Thursday: The 2013 edition of the Harvest Jazz And Blues Festival has not disappointed so far, mother nature has not even been able to dampen the spirits of many a show goer with torrential downpour and thunderstorms that would make Thor proud.  Thursday night, after getting the the raincoat on for both myself and my camera gear it was off to the Alexander Keith’s Blues Tent, what many call the ‘main tent’ at the festival.  After getting in and making my way to the front (no photo access for this show unfortunately), I settled in with the crowd gathering near the stage.  Now the festival always gets people from all over and I became friends (on Facebook too) with two nice ladies from PEI, Jessie & Cheryl.  First up was “Dangermuffin” from South Carolina who were fantastic with a mash of jazzy southern folk rock (best way I could describe it, they played so many styles).  It was their first time at Harvest, and their first time in Canada and they didn’t disappoint the growing crowd in the Blues tent, with great songs, some intricate guitar work, and some real skill on the drums.  For a bunch of guys that look like they should be on a spin off of ‘Duck Dynasty’ (it’s the beards I think), they are very talented musicians who put on a wonderful live show.

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Dan Lotti – Danger Muffin – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

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Mike Sivilli (Steven Sandifer in background) – Danger Muffin – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

 The headliner for tonight was none other that festival favorites from last year The Avett Brothers.   Having missed them last year I was greatly looking forward to seeing them this time (as was Jessie from PEI who had just seen them on Tuesday in Halifax…huge fan).  The Avett’s blasted on stage, and I mean they were non-stop, flat out from beginning to end, bouncing jumping, singing, playing and looked to be having a blast themselves.  Some would say it cliche the the asian guy in the band plays a cello, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen a long haired ‘head banging’ asian dude playing a cello, let it be said, Joe Kwon is an awesome entertainer and has a blast doing it!  They rocked their way through their songs from album to album and the crowd grew and grew and so did the energy in the room at one point thanking the people for ‘showing them a part of the world they never knew existed’.  At one point things slowed a bit while the rest of the group left and brother Seth Avett played a song alone, and Jessie somehow got Scott Avett to take her copy of their CD and sign it.  She was beside herself and the tears welled up like the impending storms outside for this huge Avett’s fan and she was speechless.  As the evening rumbled on so did the thunder and as the Avett’s began their encore to end the night, poetically almost the skies opened and the rain poured down.  The Avett’s led the crowd in a resounding sing-a-long of “I and Love and You”…and as the crowd sang the last line the band thanked the crowd and off they went!

Scott Avett - The Avett Brothers - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Scott Avett – The Avett Brothers – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Seth Avett - The Avett Brothers - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Seth Avett – The Avett Brothers – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

 

Joe Kwon - The Avett Brothers - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Joe Kwon – The Avett Brothers – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Late night Thursday brought us to the Maritime Monster Jam, with the likes of Monkeyjunk, Chris Kirby, Charlie A’Court and more.  Unfortunately the first performers Keith Hallett and Garrett Mason played a little long and each performer after that had to tighten up their performance.  Overall it was a a great night that the jam brought to a great close!  On to Friday!

Ross Nielsen - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Ross Nielsen – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Monkeyjunk - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Monkeyjunk – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Monkeyjunk - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Monkeyjunk – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Steve Strongman - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Steve Strongman – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Chris Kirby & Charlie A'Court - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Chris Kirby & Charlie A’Court – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

 

Friday:

Friday brought the supper time warm up show with Warren Haynes of and Gordie Johnson.  Obviously two popular performers as the crowd was surprisingly thick for the 6pm start.  What was labelled an ‘acoustic’ show was oddly ‘plugged in’ but the crowd seemed not to care.  Haynes is best known for his work as longtime guitarist with The Allman Brothers Band and as founding member of the jam band Gov’t Mule and Canadian musician Johnson, best known as the front man for the reggae-rock band Big Sugar bassist for blues rock band Wide Mouth Mason.

Gordie Johnson - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Gordie Johnson – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Warren Haynes - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Warren Haynes – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Next up was one of my favourite shows of the whole week, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, a Brooklyn, New York based eight-piece Funk/Soul band. The band is led by singer Arleigh Kincheloe, with Jackson Kincheloe on harmonica, Bram Kincheloe on drums, Josh Myers on bass, Sasha Brown on guitar, Ryan Snow on trombone, Phil Rodriguez on trumpet, and Brian Graham on baritone saxophone. A high energy show led by Arleigh who was non-stop action from beginning to end, and end the crowd did not want it too.  The band released its self-titled debut album on Modern Vintage Recordings in November 2010 and embarked on their ongoing national tour in the Spring of 2011. In early 2012 they released their second album, “Pound of Dirt.” Since 2011 they have played in every corner of the United States, and the 2013 Harvest Festival was a first for them, as well as their first performance in Canada.  I look forward to their new EP that comes out in October, highly recommended!

Sister Sparrow - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Sister Sparrow – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Following Sister Sparrow was Warren Haynes and his band Gov’t Mule, which unfortunately brought down the crowd a bit from the high the level of energy that Sister Sparrow left them at as Gov’t Mule plays a more flowing, guitar laden classic rock style of music.  I saw many show goers take the opportunity for a trip to the bar at this point.

Following Gov’t Mule, almost deja-vu like from earlier in the night was Canadian blues-rock band Big Sugar.  A band that was active throughout the 90’s and into this century they saw a resurgence in 2010.  With a rock and blues main line, they also have a reggae influence thrown in by well known bassist Garry Lowe who immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in the 70’s.    Rocking the crowd into the wee hours of the morning Big Sugar proved why they have been around so long and why they have sold more than half a million albums in Canada.

Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Big Sugar - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Big Sugar – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Big Sugar - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Big Sugar – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Saturday:

Saturday started out with a greatly anticipated performance by festival returnees The Record Company a roots/blues/rock trio based in Los Angeles.  Garnering rave reviews last year, their first trip to the to the festival, their performance was high on my list to see this year. Their live performance is rapidly becoming well known across North America and their new EP Superdead, the band has been receiving strong airplay at AAA and college radio throughout the United States and Canada.  They didn’t disappoint tonight, with a spirited performance with the crowd joining in singing along and cheering loudly.  At one point they even had a local choir brought on stage to sing a rousing version of the gospel hymn ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ that involve the choir, band, and the crowd that went on and on and the crowd ate up every second.  The band was very appreciative of the crowds at the festival, mentioning with great sincerity, their affection for coming to the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival.

The Record Company - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

The Record Company – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Following the fabulous performance by The Record Company was Black Joe Lewis a great American blues, funk and soul artist from way down in the state of Texas.  The energy level amped up a couple more notches with this band and Joe’s guitar was at the forefront combined with an outstanding horn section that also doubled as back ground vocals.  Rocking and high energy Black Joe Lewis had the crowd dancing and cheering for their entire set.

Black Joe Lewis - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Black Joe Lewis – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Rounding out the night was Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk which contains Ivan’s cousin Ian on guitar, the double-bass bottom of both Nick Daniels and Tony Hall which is a really neat feature, and drummer Nikki Glaspie to round out the show.  Hard hitting and funky with powerful bass beats, fantastic drumming and the vocals and keyboards of Ivan Neville, the band had the crowd rocking and dancing well into the early morning hours.

Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk - 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk – 2013 Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival

I can’t tell you how much I love this festival, it’s incredibly well organized, well staffed by over 1000 volunteers and most of the little nuances of putting on a festival of this magnitude have been ironed out.  Everything right down to the token used for buying beverages at the tents, even if you buy them this year and don’t use them all, you can use them next year.  I look forward to it every year, to discover bands which I’ve never heard before, some that I’ve heard of and never experienced, and I always leave having had a great experience (all the rain this year aside).  I highly recommend, even if it’s only for one night, if you haven’t experienced this festival…the 2014 Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is now less than a year away!  Thanks to the festival for another great year, and I look forward to seeing you next year!