It seems that one motif of 2015’s Gathering of the Vibes Festival lineup is artist collaborations. Although most festivals are bound to have the occasional guest appearance for a song or two, this year’s Gathering of the Vibes festival promises for some interesting, full set collabs.
With a lineup featuring Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner from the Disco Biscuits, Mike Greenfield from Lotus and Tom Hamilton from JRAD and American Babies, Electron is working with some of the most experienced talent in the jam band world. Equipped with one of the best drummers in the Jamtronica world, Electron has began to expand their influence across the country. What was once the best kept supergroup secret in the jam band world has begun to establish themselves as a mainstay at some of the biggest festivals in the USA. Their sets thus far this year at Electric Forest and other festivals were quite auspicious. We are really looking forward to catching this supergroup next weekend.
Oktopus is Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident and EOTO and Todd Stoops of RAQ/formerlyKung Fu. Anyone that has seen these guys in action knows that this will be nothing short of a fun time. Leaning more towards the “jamtronica,” these two musicians are bound to stupefy audiences with their electro-percussion and eclectic keyboard work. The audience should expect multi-layered rhythms, impetuous funk, and overall impressive musicianship. Additionally, rumor has it that this act is bound to feature guests appearances from other musicians playing at Vibes this weekend. This is a late night act that is definitely worth catching.
While there’s no video of this collaboration, SCI fans will certainly remember Stoops’ infamous sit-in with the band on “Rosie” from earlier this year:
4. Dark Star Orchestra w/ Melvin Seals
Dark Star Orchestra, arguably the best Grateful Dead tribute band for the last 15+ years (although JRAD has certainly been giving them a run for their money!), will be performing with a very special guest next weekend: Melvin Seals of Jerry Garcia Band fame! DSO always channels the inspiration of the Dead, and for the festival that is directly dedicated to the forefathers of the jam scene, it is quite a special treat to have Seals join in on keys. Melvin Seals, a godfather of the jam scene himself, collaborated for years with the Jerry Garcia Band, as well as Melvin Seals Melting Pot and The Mix. After catching his show at The Warfield to kick-off the Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well run in Santa Clara, it was evident that Seals still has his chops. DSO’s Thursday night tribute performances at Vibes have become one of the most talked about sets of the entire festival over the last six years, and this year’s should prove to be no different.
3. Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth
This lineup is truly something special. Music fans and critics alike have unanimously agreed that Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth’s new album “Ashes & Dust” is nothing short of stunning. Thankfully for the Vibe crowd, the album dropped just yesterday, so you can learn some of the material and sing along with them next weekend in Bridgport, CT. Railroad Earth’s music crosses many genres, including bluegrass, rock, jazz, folk, etc and with the addition of Warren Haynes breathtaking versatile guitar-work it can only concoct beautiful music. Both Warren and RRE are veterans of The Gathering of the Vibes festival, and we couldn’t ask for a better gift for the festival’s 20th anniversary.
2. String Cheese Incident ft. David Grisman, Peter Rowan, and friends
Bluegrass superstars David Grisman and Peter Rowan (both of Old & In the Way fame) will be joining String Cheese Incident for what looks like a full-fledged bluegrass bash. Although String Cheese Incident has been venturing into the electronica scene over the last five or so years, this collaboration looks especially promising and hopefully a sign that the Colorado based band will return to their roots. Between Chang’s always impressive musicianship and Grisman’s awe-inspiring mandolin work, Vibers will certainly be stomping, hooting, and hollering in Bridgeport to all the bluegrass classics.
Watch footage from a 1999 Peter Rowan sit-in with Cheese below:
1. Warren Haynes and the Seaside Allstars
This lineup is truly one for the ages. Featuring Warren Haynes, George Porter Jr, Branford Marsalis, Jackie Greene, Joe Russo, and Marco Benevento, it is hard to imagine that these guys won’t be one of the highlights of the weekend. Each and every musician is an all-star in their own respects, but with all of them exploring new musical territory together Vibers will really be in for a treat. Warren Haynes is regarded as being one of the most versatile and adaptable guitarists in the world, and he should have no problem intertwining diverse music styles with these jazz greats. The Benevento/Russo pairing is a welcoming familiarity as most fans know that just these two musicians alone can put on some of the most spellbinding and captivating performances in the music world today.
While we don’t have any footage to share of these exalted artists together, here’s Haynes with Russo, Benevento, Eric Krasno and so many more playing a version of “Fire On The Mountain” in 2012:
The 20th anniversary of Gathering of the Vibes kicks off next weekend, from July 30th through August 2nd. Tickets and more are available on the festival’s website.