This year started with me having my first ten day vacation since I don’t know when, and we began at The Vibes. After the usual “get here, find the tickets there, park here, walk there, grab the cooler, don’t forget the tapestry, find some ice, text your friends, get to the stage, find your place” shenanigans, we finally settled in. We got in on Friday, and saw John Scofield’s Überjam at the smaller Green Vibes stage. We also said hello to about a gazillion friends. This festival is held in the beautiful Seaside Park, Bridgeport CT – and since CT is my hometown state, this truly was a gathering of friends and family far and wide. But, I digress.
Scofield is one of my favorites, and he jammed with Andy Hess, John Medeski, drummer Tony Mason, and Avi Bortnick. This was a heavy jam, filled with that roundabout guitar virtuosity that Sco is known for. Scofield just released a new album, Scofield’s Überjam Deux I was thrilled to be standing infront of Sco, with the water behind me on a gorgeous Friday afternoon. This was a beautiful entry into The Vibes.
Another highlight was Tedeschi Trucks Band. TTB is touring to promote their latest album to be released on August 20 – Made Up Mind – and we were treated to a few new songs mixed in with their usual southern style bluesy Janis Joplin, slide guitar heaven. I realized that today I was being treated to two of my all time favorite guitar players, Scofield and Trucks, combined with Saturday’s Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) and Steve Kimock which could easily put me in guitar hero overload. This is what Vibes is for.
It is a curious thing when one of the hottest sets are so under the radar, you incredulously look around you to notice that there is not enough people around you to witness what is happening on the stage in front of you. This was Steve Kimock/Bernie Worrell’s set. It was a hot day, no doubt about it, and there is hardly any shade, but it didn’t matter. I sat in the grass, happy as a clam to be hearing what was happening. I didn’t need to be in the sun, I didn’t need to see the players, I could hear well enough. Kimock on guitar, Worrell on keys with “friends” such as Kimock’s son John, Andy Hess, Camille Armstrong on surprising incredible vocals, Bill Evans (sax), with a special appearance by George Porter, Jr. (who was just coming off of his Funky Meters set). This set smoked an already steamy day. Bill Evans was VIP of Vibes. Kimock and George Porter Jr. was a true highlight for the day. I was primed for Gov’t Mule to come on later.
Gov’t Mule hit the stage, and it was all guitar glory when Scofield, Bill Evans and George Porter Jr. hit the stage to literally guitar jam the night away in preparation for the second evening of Phil and Friends. Want a peek of what went down? See below, in honor of JJ Cale:
I was in music bliss for days, a sure sign that it was a great Vibes this year. I can’t wait to see how they will top this one next year, and am excited to watch that happen. I left early to make my way up to Newport, RI for The Newport Jazz Festival. Music marches on!