We are hurtling toward Orange Blossom Jamboree, the festival dedicated to great Florida jam music (with one interloper north of the state line). OBJ 8 hits Thursday, May 18th, through Sunday, May 21st, with a pre-party Wednesday night! Dunedin Brewery Presents this edition, held annually at Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville.
There are 56 bands and performers on the bill! As always, it would take two or three full weekends, to showcase ALL of the Sunshine State’s outstanding musicians, but once again Russ Bowers has curated one hell of a festival.
The list is full of heavy hitters, rapidly rising talent, and a few sleepers you may not know about yet, regulars and newbies, but you certainly will by the time Sunday evening rolls around. Topping the list are two of Florida’s very best from the Southeast: The Heavy Pets and The Lee Boys. Thomas Wynn & the Believers and Come Back Alice should also need no introduction, nor should the venerable Uncle John’s Band.
If it’s straight-up funk you need, OBJ is for you. Florida’s funk godfather, Eugene Snowden, returns with The Legendary JCs. Speaking of returning, Holey Miss Moley just returned from a cross-country tour. The Juanjamon Band will funk you up (well, when they’re not “Knockin’ Boots!”), and The Cosmic Groove Ensemble and Evan Taylor Jones Band will make many new friends.
Fusion your thing? Perfect. How about Locochino, Electric Kif, Justino and the Difference, Joose (seriously, don NOT miss them), and Wild Root?
Bands that walk all over genre distinctions are in abundance, including Displace, The Groove Orient, Ajeva, Post Pluto, Guavatron, and the Psychedelic Monks. Need something just a little… different? The Bath Salt Zombies and Last Electric Rodeo will hook you up. You really need to check out the wickedness of The Reality, and the sleeper set of the whole festival (write this down now) may well be Twisty Chris & the Puddin’ Packs!
Bluegrass and acoustic goodness are all over as well. You’ll see The Applebutter Express, Grass is Dead, Este Loves, Laura Shepherd, and Harmonica Man & the Sawgrass Band. Great blues and rock will point you in the direction of Troy Youngblood & the Soulfish, The Corbitt-Clampitt Experience, and Kaleigh Baker & Her Enablers. The Savi Fernandez Band, NoNeed and The Funky Seeds all rock and offer up equal portions of reggae and funk.
And there is so much more, including great rock from shoeless soul, Row Jonah, New Earth Army, and Blackwater Grease. One of the highlights at every OBJ is the Legacy Orchestra Collective, compiled by Legacy himself. He always puts together a diverse band playing an even more diverse setlist; you can take that to the bank.
Jamtronic wizards Future Vintage have been blowing it up with regularity, and Jon Ditty is bringing his A rap game. The Stereo Type, Deep Fried Sugar Cubes, The Good Wood Band, Oceans Rise, the Daniel Heitz Band and Uncle Scotchy round out this amazing lineup.
If you are worried about the future of our scene, make sure you catch Grumpy Ol’ Trolls early set; they will make you smile from ear to ear.
Artists at large include Dennis Stadelman, Branson Welsh, B-True Brian, the Georgia dude (Critter!), and Heather Gillis (seriously, did you see her rip it up at Wanee?).
And you might as well take the whole darn week off (how about Wednesday through the next Monday) so that you can catch the Wednesday night Pre-party with Russ Bowers Isn’t Dead Yet (wonder what they play?), Antelope (dynamite Phish tribute band), Free Range Strange, and Veird.
A word about Veird. Or two. This is Mike Bryant’s band. He is the proprietor of the Dunedin Brewery (and there will be DunBrew on tap at OBJ) and one of the greatest supporters of live music in the Tampa Bay area. He says, “I am exhilarated to announce that my band Veird will be performing a ‘Veird Side Of The Moon’ set on Wednesday night of Orange Blossom Jamboree, in the woods of Brooksville. This is our first festival gig, so we have decided to do our own interpretation of the classic Pink Floyd album.”
You don’t want to miss that.
You don’t want to miss any of it.
Tell the boss you’re sick. Tell the teacher you’re surfin’. Tell ’em anything. Just be there.
And say howdy to all of us from MusicFestNews. We will be there en masse. Shake us down for a sticker!