The Nth Power and a platoon of special guests including Pete Levin (Gregg Allman Band), Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), Scotty Flynn (John Brown’s Body, ODESZA), Jonathan Mones (Ghost-Note), Maggie Noelle and Greg Erwin (Magnolia Boulevard), Daniel Donato, and Vaylor and Melody Trucks (Brother & Sister) shook the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park Amphitheater stage with an epic two-hour all-star jam that was both a wonderful parade of talent and a mindfully curated mix of musicianship and connection to the music being made over the weekend at the annual Suwannee Rising Music Festival. This impressive lineup joined The Nth Power trio of guitarist Nick Cassarino, drummer Nikki Glaspie, and bassist Nate Edgar.
Suwannee Rising was born out of the ashes of the Allman Brother Band-led Wanee Festival with a little bit of the soul of the late, lamented Bear Creek Music Festival thrown in for good measure. This Nth Power set seemed like it was designed by festival guru Paul Levine as a way to honor the “Spirit” of both events while also forging something new and magical for the music scene to live and love.
The set of covers had everything from Steely Dan to Bob Dylan with plenty of stops in-between with a definite feeling of an all-star revue of old. Everyone on the bill had plenty of opportunities to show off their particular skills in ways that were not just in their wheelhouse…it was as if they were displaying their core musical selves for all to see.
The children of the late Butch Trucks gave so much soul to the Allman tunes they featured on that it was clear they spent their formative years side stage, prepping for the spotlight by heredity, osmosis, and love. Jennifer Hartswick has long had a creative partnership with Nth Power frontman Cassarino and between their onstage comfort levels and her own off-the-charts vocal power and prowess she felt perfectly at home at the mic, horn or no horn.
The Nth Power rhythm section of Glaspie and Edgar should be applauded for their ability to provide such a rock-solid pocket to such a wide variety of sounds and fellow performers. Guitarists like Greg Erwin and Daniel Donato could reach down deep and really unleash the blues from their respective darkest of places with no fear of the bottom dropping out from under them with such a seasoned pair on drums and bass behind them. Keyboardist Levin had a lot of tough ground to cover but be it the classic southern soul organ sound of the late Gregg Allman or the Dead’s “Terrapin-era” keys of Keith Godchaux he was more than sonically limber enough to make the leaps in style and diversity.
We’ve got plenty more on the way from this festival but this set has been easily the most requested footage our own Rex-A-Vision had after a fest in years. Rex serves as the videographer of the Spirit Of The Suwannee as well as a frequent contributor to this site and he’s put together the last 45 minutes to try and show exactly why some folks are calling this an early candidate for “Super Jam Of The Year”. Check out his channel on YouTube for more highlights from Suwannee Rising and much, much more but first sit back and judge for yourself.
The Nth Power Ball – “Terrapin Station” (Grateful Dead) > “Whipping Post” (Allman Brothers Band) – 4/9/22
The Nth Power Ball – “The Weight” (The Band) – 4/9/22
Setlist | The Nth Power | Suwannee Rising | Live Oak, FL | 4/9/22
Set: You Can Make It If You Try, Maggie’s Farm, Ain’t Wasting Time, That’s What Love Will Make You Do, Hey Jude, Reeling In The Years, Baby I Love You, Harder They Come, Spanish Moon, Terrapin Station > Whipping Post
Encore: The Weight