Justin Charles

Over three hundred years ago, Native Americans from the Choctaw Tribe found a young bear cub nearly drowning in a nearby creek in Live Oak, Florida. The Native Americans sprang to action, recovering the cub and raising him as their own. The cub grew into a mighty bear, protecting the tribe from enemies who would infiltrate the area. When the bear finally passed away, the tribe named the creek in which he was found ‘Bear Creek’ in his honor.

Even though none of that is actually true, people still flock to Live Oak, Florida every year for the ‘Bear Creek Music Festival’, which has recently gained a reputation as one of the better funk-centric festivals in the country. While this festival has recently branched out to include multiple genres, Bear Creek has stayed true to their jam and funk roots this year, creating a safe haven for those who wish to purely enjoy their favorite brand of music.

This year’s festival is shaping up to be one of the best yet, featuring a stacked line-up of Bear Creek vets and new artists. With so many acts spread over four days, it’s easy to miss someone great. That’s why Live For Live Music has picked out a few key artists you shouldn’t overlook at this weekend’s festival.


Headtronics – Friday, 9:15PM

If you haven’t heard of Headtronics, it’s because they are one of the newer funk groups to infiltrate the scene. Somewhat of a supergroup, the band consists of Steve Molitz of Particle, Chris ‘Freekbass’ Sherman of Freekbass, and turntablist DJ Logic, who has played with everyone from John Mayer to moe. The trio formed at last year’s Universal Church of Love and Music Funk Festival, and have been playing together ever since. Be sure not to miss this rare appearance.

Nigel Hall and Alecia Chakour – Saturday, 1:00PM

The Royal Family Affair will take place all day Saturday, featuring everyone from Royal Family Records on stage at some point during the day. But don’t sleep late, as the soulful Nigel Hall will take to the keys with up and coming vocalist Alecia Chakour, (recently featured on L4LM as five women to keep both eyes on) for a set that will surely make you rise and shine. Both performers are solo artists who have been popping up and Royal Family events over the past year, and this early set will surely be a chance for each to shine.

Mike Dillon Band – Saturday, 9:15PM

Mike Dillon has played with a who’s who of funk bands over the years, including Galactic and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, not to mention being a member of Les Claypool’s Fancy Band, Garage A Trois, and the Dead Kenny G’s. The percussionist is also known as a band leader, and he’s sure to lead his solo band to a funky set of music that should not be missed.

Digital Tape Machine – Saturday, 11:15

If your a fan of Umphrey’s McGee, you’ve probably heard of Digital Tape Machine – if not, then let me introduce them. Digital Tape Machine consists of Kris Myers and Joel Cummins of Umphrey’s, joined by a host of other Chicago area musicians to create an electronic music project that has been getting much attention lately. The group draws from all areas of electronic music to create a unique, almost video game sound, that keeps crowds beaming with excitement. This is one of the few chances to have an all out electronic dance party at Bear Creek!

The Royal Family Dumpstajam, Saturday 12:00

I may be wrong, but this may be the first time this ensemble of musicians take the stage together. The Royal Family Dumpstajam will feature members of Lettuce and Dumpstaphunk on stage together, creating a funk superjam unlike anything seen before. Both groups are individually responsible for bringing funk back to the forefront of the jam scene, but together they are sure to be an unstoppable force. This may be a once in a lifetime jam session – do not miss.