Meeting of the Minds 2011 - A Personal Experience
It’s not entirely fair to call Meeting of the Minds a festival; it’s quite more than that. Jibberjazz has a history of putting on great events surrounded by music and love, and MOTM is no exception. They always pick great bands, and give them all of the tools they need to put on a great show. This festival held up Jibberjazz’s reputation perfectly, as you’ll see from my review below:
Due to some traveling difficulties, I wasn’t able to make it to the festival in time for Box Social, and for that I apologize to you and them. They’re a great band, and it was really disappointing to have missed them. On a happier note, I was able to catch the second act of the day, Woody Browns Project. They were amazing! The crowd could feel the soul pouring out of every instrument being played. They’re songs were interestingly structured with many starting with some strong jazzy riffs that eventually led to some melting guitar. The guitar playing was impeccable: so intricate and complex, but perfectly put together.
Roosevelt Dime, a very unique bluegrass band, was up next. The band had a sound all its own, implementing a washtub bass. How couldn’t you like that?
The location for the festival was perfect, and Roosevelt Dime fit right in with the beautiful hills and trails that acted as the setting for MOTM.
The third show of the day was New Familiars. They rocked a great, jumpy set. This is another bluegrass-tinged group, but limiting them to one genre would deny them of their originality and creativity. The vocalists and instrumentalists in New Familiars are all so talented, and Jibberjazz scores big points for inviting them to play. Their set was perfect to just sit back and absorb.
Once New Familiars left the stage, Anders Osborne began his set. He was UNREAL! This guy bled passion for the songs he was playing. He is one of the hardest working performers around, playing every song with an impressive intensity.
The light show provided by Groovin Lumens added to the festival greatly, as each light show complimented the music perfectly.
Late night Friday (into Saturday) kicked off with the Juggling Suns and The Backwoods Experiment. I managed to catch a little of both, and each were well worth coming to the festival to see.
Next up were The Twin Cats, and they were just out of this world. Their set cannot be described in worlds; you just have to see or hear for yourself! As the night came to a close, I couldn’t help but get caught up again in the beautiful scenery of the festival grounds. The moon and the stars shown so brightly as festival goers packed it in for the night and got some rest for the days ahead.
The first band up the next morning was Doug Smith’s Dixie Land Allstars, a wonderful group with precise solos and great vocals. These guys certainly showed up the younger crowd.
Between DSDLAS And Shelf Life String Band was Erik From Baltimore. He’s a very dedicated solo artist with smooth acoustic vibes and nicely written songs. His set was nice to just chill out to for a while.
The Shelf Life String Band was nice to see. They’re a younger group of talented artists whose name is pretty self-explanatory: they’re a string band!
Mystery Fyre Drew in a big crowd, and deserved every bit of attention they got. As usual, Wes and the crew looked like a pretty weird group of musicians to anyone who hadn’t seen them before, but no one seemed to mind once the music started. Mystery Fyre is FIRE: Nicely distorted guitar riffs that rival even Jimi Hendrix’s playing! Each song is full of groovin’ bass lines and vocals that will blow you away.
The Lobster Quadrille came on at 6. They seemed strange at first, but they put on a spectacle of a show. Sol Driven Train, the next group on the bill, was also a treat
Next were the Mantras. All I can say is: Wow! I was able to talk to most of the band members before and after their set, which was a real treat. Their music was incredible, and reminiscent of Journey. They’re a very tight-knit band, composed of talented, disciplined musicians. They definitely delivered a filthy, funky-ass groove.
Luckily, I was able to get access to document The Big Dirty’s set from behind the curtains. This performance marked my 35th time seeing The Big Dirty Live, and it was incredible, as always. They definitely gave the most highly anticipated performance of the festival. The music started and didn’t stop for a solid four and a half hours, and marked the most memorable moment of the weekend. The love that this band and its fans shared was clearly apparent throughout the night, and made this performance particularly special.
Wrap Up & Photos by: Justin Bendricks