I slept like a baby the night before. Missed the late night Wyllis show with the fantastic Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals) and I was bummed, thinking, “I just had to rest my ankles, not pass out for the night.” Darn it…
Luckily there was a small crew from my cabin, virtual strangers before the Chill Festival, who were up and chatting on the porch. To my ultimate surprise, I was treated to a coffee machine, hooked up and coffee being spooned in to be brewed. There is nothing like a weekend at a festival, with a coffee maker. Thank the sweet heavens, I am becoming re-born again.
This morning was a real treat for me, meeting strangers and becoming close friends with them in the early morning over coffee and bloody Mary’s. Laughing so hard with each other, recounting the adventures of the day before, and truly making bonds. I was so grateful I was amongst such wonderful people, and feeling the bliss from music wash over me. My mind drifts, and I apologize for this is a festival review, so… on to the music….
The line up:
John Brown’s Body
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
I interviewed Steve Molitz from Particle before the Catskill Chill Festival (click here for the review), and I was excited to see him play again. These guys are like electronica/trance/groovy dance music. The crowd was still light at this time (3:30pm)… perhaps we all needed more coffee? But I got my groove on, danced a while and flitted through the crowd, seeing friends and friendlies everywhere I turned.
Dopapod I have to say, I personally wasn’t into these guys. My friends and posse seemed to be, so I wandered back to the cabin to get ready to leave. The plan was we’d leave after John Brown’s Body, to take the 2 hour drive back to Manhattan, so I figured this was a good a time as any. Little did I know that I wouldn’t be leaving for many, many hours.
John Brown’s Body – raging RAGING reggae. These guys were so much fun, the venue was pretty well packed, it was kinda muggy, rainy, sweaty, but no one seemed to mind. This was an amazing 2 hour set, people dancing, swaying – artists painting in the crowd, soccer balls being kicked around, balls bouncing, hoola hoops hooping… yes. Yes, yes, yes! The Catskill Chill’s website says it best, ” JBB’s live show has the kind of organic, body-rocking sound that’s only possible with an 8-piece band where air tight drum and bass, a three piece horn section, and “the most gorgeous melodies in all of modern reggae music” [All Music Guide] meet a dubbed-out sound engineer.” This was a highlight, indeed.
In between these shows, we took the time to pack the car – as originally planned. Then, I believe it started to rain, so we took cover with…
7 Walkers: I couldn’t leave. Who, me? Leave during Billy Kreutzmann (drummer, Grateful Dead), George Porter, Jr., (bass, The Meters), Papa Mali and Matt Hubbard. I had all great intentions, but what do they say? The best laid plans…. yeah, that’s what happened. This band is a mix of Grateful Dead hippy bounce with some creole soul from New Orleans. It is fresh and upbeat, they play new original songs (some written by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter), and they look like they are having the greatest time. I have seen them quite a few times now, and I just have a blast every time I see them. They never disappoint, I always feel like I’m amongst family, and my heart shines bright when they end the show. Thank you.
Big Sam’s Funky Nation / Jets Game / We gotta go!
Yes, we had to go, but I was very excited to just linger aimlessly amongst the vendors while Big Sam was crushing it at the other stage. I needed some food, I needed some coffee and I was planning on not rushing before jumping in the car. My friend was enamored with the Jets Game, which made me feel no pressure to start driving. I have to admit, this was a great way to end the evening. Watching the Jets with my friends, hearing Big Sam’s Funky Nation in the background, quietly eating, patiently waiting, and enjoying my last few breaths of the Chillest festival I believe I’ve ever been to.
I wonder what the numbers were from their first year, to this year (their second). I will poke around and be sure to report back.
Please leave comments on your favorite memories. And I hope to see everyone again next year!