The Orange Blossom Jamboree is Florida’s premier jam showcase. It would take a month of four-day fests to show off all that the Sunshine State has to offer, but Russ Bowers does his very best each year to curate a magnificent group of talent. This year’s festival, which is held at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, will be May 18-21. Let’s see what Russ has lined up for the first wave.
There are some regulars, some welcome returns, some brand new names, several we at MusicFestNews know nothing about (yet!), and just about every jam-related genre covered.
At the top of the list are several bands that have been prominent for more than a decade, helping to secure Florida’s place of prominence in the music world: The Heavy Pets, The Lee Boys, and Thomas Wynn and the Believers. That’s what you call a great start. Add to those three of the most in-demand bands on the Florida festival scene in Come Back Alice, The Juanjamon Band and The Applebutter Express.
That’s a half-dozen heavy hitters right there.
Do you want the funk? You’ve come to the right place to hear Holey Miss Moley, Guavatron, and Cosmic Groove Ensemble. Funk + jazz + rock will appear in the form of Displace, The Groove Orient, and Wild Root. Want to play Dead? Well, listen to the music? Grass is Dead and Unlimited Devotion are both on hand and will not fade away.
Legacy will be back with his collective, a hand-picked group of the best musicians at OBJ. Deep, deep blues is Kaleigh Baker’s strength, along with her band The Enablers. Great soulful singer-songwriter Evan Taylor Jones brings his band, and we will truly welcome back New Earth Army; they’ve been on maternity leave (well, dynamo singer Carly Foster has!).
Jamtronica? Future Vintage. Hip hop and rap? Jon Ditty. Rootsy reggae? NoNeed. Funk folk rock? The Stereo Type. Magnificently quirky funk rock? The Reality. See? All the bases covered.
That leaves six we’ve never heard before (but we’re going to find out!): Deep Fried Sugar Cubes (funky soul groove fun), Daniel Heitz Band (blues, soul, rock, funk), Blackwater Grease (grease rock & Southern jam), Good Wood (four Herringtons playing rock & roll), Taller Trees (coastal soul – a bit of everything), and Ocean Rise.
And we would never forget about perennial OBJ favorites Grumpy Ol’ Trolls, if by “Ol’” you mean older than 10!
That’s a total of 30 bands and performers announced on the first wave. More to come — there were 60 last year! Check out the official OBJ website for ticket information and much more! And read about the 2016 edition here.
And MusicFestNews will be there in force, once again! Damn skippy!