I am tired. My feet hurt. My quads start to cramp at the slightest movement. My legs are sore. I’ve got dirt in literally every crevice of my body, and my car is still full of all of my camping gear because I haven’t unpacked a damn thing.

And I cannot wait to get back to the All Good Music Festival and Camp Out next year and do it all over again.

The entire weekend felt like a reunion of sorts. All Good took 2014 off, and relocated (again) back to West Virginia, this time at a new location, Berry Hill Farm in Summit Point.

While admittedly not quite as scenic as its former West Virginia home, The venue still provided a nice mountain backdrop far behind the two stages, and the hills around the camping area were merely rolling – nothing steep like at the old Marvin’s.

Still, even after a year off and a new home, spirits were as high as ever and old friends were just happy to have a place to call home again, even if just for a few days.

The weekend started off with a breeze. Figuratively and literally. Getting in was easy, in spite of having seen over a dozen cars pulled over by law enforcement officers and being searched, we only sat in a line of cars waiting to enter the campgrounds for 20 minutes most. I didn’t hear anyone really complaining about arriving later on, either. Then, just as the venue gates were about to open at 5 pm, an hour before Twiddle was to take the stage and open the festival, we got our first rain. And wind. And lots of wind. And more rain. The whole storm only lasted about 45 minutes, but we saw our fair share of tents and canopies go airborn.

Twiddle

Twiddle

But you couldn’t drench the spirits of the All Good faithful. The first day, though shorter than the rest, really embodied the core genres of All Good. Twiddle got everyone off to a noodly start, Cabinet got us feeling the Bluegrass. Then John Butler really stepped things up and really hit what almost became a spiritual stride for the entire festival. The Motet got the FUNK down, closing their raukus set with covers of Play That Funky Music White Boy and Jungle Boogie. moe. rocked their weirdness all around the stage, and not one person complained. Greensky Bluegrass and STS9 blew everyone’s minds as the late night sets, but this weary traveler couldn’t go on, and resigned to his tent to get ready for day 2.

Zoogma slayed as the Day 2 opener, as they always seem want to do. While those who filtered in early were still abuzz about sets from John Butler Trio and moe. the night before, the sun really started to heat up. Or… maybe it was insane sets from Turkuaz, The Bridge, and Antibalas. Either way, it got warm. But not too warm for Matt Butler to lead the Everyone Orchestra with Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew of The Word, Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth, Cris Jacobs of The Bridge, Pappy Biondo of Cabinet, and Michael Carubba, Shira Elias, Josh Schwartz, Greg Sanderson, and Chris Brouwers all of Turkuaz on a fantastic improvisational journey highlighting all specialties of its members.

John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio

I had been looking forward to All Good for some time now, mostly because I had seen most of the bands before and was excited to see them again. However, I was also excited to see new sets. Like The Word. This “supergroup” was at the top of my must-see list. You know when you sometimes hype things up in your head so much before they happen, but then they happen and you’re kind of let down just because of how much you had hyped it up in your mind? Yeah… that didn’t happen with The Word. It was everything I thought it could be. I can’t put into… words… what… The Word… can do for you. You must see them.

Next up was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. I think some people, at least those who haven’t yet seen this incredible group of musicians collaborate, seem to believe that JRAD is just another one of many Grateful Dead cover bands out there. It’s not. JRAD uses known and loved Grateful Dead tunes as a jump off point for jams led by the incredible drumming of Joe Russo that all showcases the talents of all the musicians involved – particularly Tom Hamilton and Marco Benevento.

The rest of the night really encapsulated the light night feel of All Good. Primus got weird because that’s what Primus does and, naturally, finished with “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.” Lettuce brought the late night funk. And while Day 3 had arguably the most anticipated lineup as a whole, Thievery Corporation had brought probably the most highly anticipated late night sets all weekend.

Finally – Day 3 lived up to all expectations. Judah and the Lion was one of the most surprising sets that no one saw. Probably less than 1000 people heard any of their set, and yet they put on one of the most spirited performances of the weekend. Tauk continues to get slotted in early daytime festival slots, but they will be getting later next year.

Judah & The Lion

Judah & The Lion

 

Up and coming Baltimore band, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong drew the largest, midday crowd of the entire festival. The festival being only about 90 minutes away from Charm City, seemed to be a hometown show for the band, and their supporters brought and energy that was unprecedented for that early in the day. But those made it in that early were in for the day and enjoyed dancing to the beats of Boombox before being blown away by JJ Grey & Mofro. Yonder Mountain brought the bluegrass back into the mix before Keller Williams showcased a lot of his new material.

Shout out to the crew that brought a 40 foot length of red carpet into the venue Saturday night, by the way. There are few greater feelings than dancing on a luxurious plush carpet to the tunes Keller Williams.

Cake got mixed reviews, which was sort of expected. For many, myself included, Cake was sort of a question mark upon the release of the lineup. Primus and moe. made sense as headliners, but I don’t think anyone expected Cake. The one thing All Good was missing was a band for that older generation fan, like an Allman, Dead member, or the like. Cake did not fill that void. But to many, it was a welcome sing-a-long of old favorites.

And then really, how better to cap the weekend than with a good old Dark Star set, and then a late night party with Philly band Lotus?

Cake

Cake

All in all, I must say, All Good was truly at its best in its triumphant 2015 return to West Virginia. I didn’t really hear any complaints about… well… anything. The most complaints I heard, really, were from media members who felt entitled to certain amenities. But from the general festival going populous,  it seemed as though everything was perfect. And that’s just what All Good is supposed to be. A euphoric, utopian getaway from everything else. We come together, we enjoy music. We don’t worry about social media or phones or elaborate stage productions or what’s cool or what’s not.

Judah and the Lion summed everything up nicely by giving advice to all, “Eat more chocolate, always dance like nobody is watching, and listen to more Judah and the Lion.”

We’ll just say eat more chocolate, always dance like nobody is watching, and listen to more music.

We’ll see you next year, All Good!

a reunion of sorts. All Good took 2014 off, and relocated (again) back to West Virginia, this time at a new location, Berry Hill Farm in Summit Point.

While admittedly not quite as scenic as its former West Virginia home, The venue still provided a nice mountain backdrop far behind the two stages, and the hills around the camping area were merely rolling – nothing steep like at the old Marvin’s.

Still, even after a year off and a new home, spirits were as high as ever and old friends were just happy to have a place to call home again, even if just for a few days.

The weekend started off with a breeze. Figuratively and literally. Getting in was easy, in spite of having seen over a dozen cars pulled over by law enforcement officers and being searched, we only sat in a line of cars waiting to enter the campgrounds for 20 minutes most. I didn’t hear anyone really complaining about arriving later on, either. Then, just as the venue gates were about to open at 5 pm, an hour before Twiddle was to take the stage and open the festival, we got our first rain. And wind. And lots of wind. And more rain. The whole storm only lasted about 45 minutes, but we saw our fair share of tents and canopies go airborn.

But you couldn’t drench the spirits of the All Good faithful. The first day, though shorter than the rest, really embodied the core genres of All Good. Twiddle got everyone off to a noodly start, Cabinet got us feeling the Bluegrass. Then John Butler really stepped things up and really hit what almost became a spiritual stride for the entire festival. The Motet got the FUNK down, closing their raukus set with covers of Play That Funky Music White Boy and Jungle Boogie. moe. rocked their weirdness all around the stage, and not one person complained. Greensky Bluegrass and STS9 blew everyone’s minds as the late night sets, but this weary traveler couldn’t go on, and resigned to his tent to get ready for day 2.

Zoogma slayed as the Day 2 opener, as they always seem want to do. While those who filtered in early were still abuzz about sets from John Butler Trio and moe. the night before, the sun really started to heat up. Or… maybe it was insane sets from Turkuaz, The Bridge, and Antibalas. Either way, it got warm. But not too warm for Matt Butler to lead the Everyone Orchestra with Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew of The Word, Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth, Cris Jacobs of The Bridge, Pappy Biondo of Cabinet, and Michael Carubba, Shira Elias, Josh Schwartz, Greg Sanderson, and Chris Brouwers all of Turkuaz on a fantastic improvisational journey highlighting all specialties of its members.

I had been looking forward to All Good for some time now, mostly because I had seen most of the bands before and was excited to see them again. However, I was also excited to see new sets. Like The Word. This “supergroup” was at the top of my must-see list. You know when you sometimes hype things up in your head so much before they happen, but then they happen and you’re kind of let down just because of how much you had hyped it up in your mind? Yeah… that didn’t happen with The Word. It was everything I thought it could be. I can’t put into… words… what… The Word… can do for you. You must see them.

Next up was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. I think some people, at least those who haven’t yet seen this incredible group of musicians collaborate, seem to believe that JRAD is just another one of many Grateful Dead cover bands out there. It’s not. JRAD uses known and loved Grateful Dead tunes as a jump off point for jams led by the incredible drumming of Joe Russo that all showcases the talents of all the musicians involved – particularly Tom Hamilton and Marco Benevento.

The rest of the night really encapsulated the light night feel of All Good. Primus got weird because that’s what Primus does and, naturally, finished with “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.” Lettuce brought the late night funk. And while Day 3 had arguably the most anticipated lineup as a whole, Thievery Corporation had brought probably the most highly anticipated late night sets all weekend.

Finally – Day 3 lived up to all expectations. Judah and the Lion was one of the most surprising sets that no one saw. Probably less than 1000 people heard any of their set, and yet they put on one of the most spirited performances of the weekend. Tauk continues to get slotted in early daytime festival slots, but they will be getting later next year.

Up and coming Baltimore band, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong drew the largest, midday crowd of the entire festival. The festival being only about 90 minutes away from Charm City, seemed to be a hometown show for the band, and their supporters brought and energy that was unprecedented for that early in the day. But those made it in that early were in for the day and enjoyed dancing to the beats of Boombox before being blown away by JJ Grey & Mofro. Yonder Mountain brought the bluegrass back into the mix before Keller Williams showcased a lot of his new material.

Shout out to the crew that brought a 40 foot length of red carpet into the venue Saturday night, by the way. There are few greater feelings than dancing on a luxurious plush carpet to the tunes Keller Williams.

Cake got mixed reviews, which was sort of expected. For many, myself included, Cake was sort of a question mark upon the release of the lineup. Primus and moe. made sense as headliners, but I don’t think anyone expected Cake. The one thing All Good was missing was a band for that older generation fan, like an Allman, Dead member, or the like. Cake did not fill that void. But to many, it was a welcome sing-a-long of old favorites.

And then really, how better to cap the weekend than with a good old Dark Star set, and then a late night party with Philly band Lotus?

All in all, I must say, All Good was truly at its best in its triumphant 2015 return to West Virginia. I didn’t really hear any complaints about… well… anything. The most complaints I heard, really, were from media members who felt entitled to certain amenities. But from the general festival going populous,  it seemed as though everything was perfect. And that’s just what All Good is supposed to be. A euphoric, utopian getaway from everything else. We come together, we enjoy music. We don’t worry about social media or phones or elaborate stage productions or what’s cool or what’s not.

Judah and the Lion summed everything up nicely by giving advice to all, “Eat more chocolate, always dance like nobody is watching, and listen to more Judah and the Lion.”

We’ll just say eat more chocolate, always dance like nobody is watching, and listen to more music.

We’ll see you next year, All Good!