The Great Outdoors Jam: Musical fireworks for Fourth of July weekend!

So what are YOU doing Fourth of July weekend? You don’t have a golden ticket to the Chicago festivities. You know you need to stay as far away from the insanity at the beach and the theme parks as possible. The annual PBS broadcast is a non-starter. There’s really only one sensible place to be:

Maddox Ranch in Lakeland with a thousand of your best friends and family at the Great Outdoors Jam! Of course! Kenny Blair and his band of brothers and sisters have assembled a festival with enough fireworks to last four days!

Technically, the festival runs Friday, July 3rd, through Sunday, July 5th, but you don’t want to miss the outrageous pre-party on Thursday. Like you were going to get anything accomplished that day anyway…

Thursday and Friday are highlighted by the final two performances by Florida’s jam-masters, CopE. They play the late set Thursday and the pivotal 10-midnight slot on Friday. EPIC barely begins to cover it.

You can get funked up Thursday with Ajeva, Trae Pierce and the T-Stone Band, and Rev. D and the New Diggz. All three have been rockin’ out hard and are ready to help you find your happy place. So, for that matter, are the Happy Campers, featuring the Ginger-Dread Man himself, Andy Lytle.

Row Jomah kicks off the festivities at 4 PM on Thursday. Leave work early, for Pete’s sake! And Come Back Alice rounds out the day, with the first of their two GOJ appearances. You do NOT want to disappoint Big Bad John Werner!

The Great Outdoors Jam, like all of the great fests at the Maddox Ranch, features two side-by-side stages under the trees, so you won’t miss a minute of the music (unless you need a nap or something).

In addition to that last CopE show, Friday is highlighted by two superb Asheville invaders, the funktastic Fritz and Jahman Brahman, with their “shred ‘n’ flow” approach to rock, jazz and electronica. Holey Miss Moley has the late-night slot, and here’s betting Robyn has ‘em decked out for the holiday!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Expect more of the OBJ insanity from S.P.O.R.E. and that deeper than deep funk from the Juanjamon Band; they are kicking so much ass there are no names left to take!

Applebutter Express will put a smile on everybody’s face, and Legacy loops the loop to open the afternoon. And wrap your brain around these three bands back to back: Llamas, bringing jazz, jam and world music with tablas and flute; Leisure Chief, jamming and funking away; and Post Pluto, rocking and funking from the Panhandle. Don’t plan on sitting down any time soon!

Saturday is Independence Day. Please DO NOT bring any fireworks. Let Kenny and Co. handle that stuff. For real. We want everyone to have a great time, a VERY SAFE great time. Thanks for your cooperation.

Fourteen hours of incredible music for the Fourth of July. Consider this: Unlimited Devotion starts at 7 to keep us in tune with the folks in Chicago inside and outside the stadium (where it will be hotter than in Florida). Then Come Back Alice performs another Allman Brothers double-LP. Last November, they played “Live at the Fillmore East.” This time, they will do “Eat a Peach.” All I’m saying is, “Les Brers In A Minor.”

Next up are Baltimore funksters Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. They head our way after playing The Big What? the weekend before. Their last trips to Florida have been epic. And Big Something, the brilliant NC sextet responsible for The Big What?, closes out the late-night festivities. These boys killed it at Gov-Fest, and we are thrilled to have them back.

But I left one out. The Hornitz play between Pigeons and Big Something. If you’ve seen Moon Mooch, you might have an inkling of what is about to hit you, but even then probably not. Let’s just say bass trombone, tenor sax, keyboards, beatbox and stuff. Don’t say we didn’t warn you (not that it will do any good). Smiles are guaranteed!

Saturday starts with the wonderful joy and delight of Endless Flow, so wake up in time. You can sleep until 12:50 or so. Squeedlepuss had a magic funking set at OBJ; expect more of the same. And Wild Root does indie soul funk, perfect for the day.

If you think that’s it for Saturday, several more huge performances are in store. The Savi Fernandez Band and Displace have both released spectacular new albums recently and will add to the day’s celebrations. Still think you’d rather be in Chicago?

One more day, and it’s a great one! Wake up Sunday to the Sarasota Steel Pan Band for something completely different – and fun. Up next are Estes Love and Dem Little Econ Boys to twist your head around.

Flat Land, the brilliant Gainesville quartet (+1), knocked everybody out at their first visit to the Red Lion Pub, and they are aiming for you now! Black Peters and The Family close out this second annual Great Outdoors Jam in, well, GREAT style!

There will be artists galore, with Hometeam’s own Bean Spence, and there will be vendors for food and goodies of all sorts. Outdoor showers!

Come spend a magical extended weekend with your loving Hometeam / SOS/BOS / OBJ family. You know in your heart it’s the right place to be, for ALL the right reasons.

See you there!


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