Roosevelt Collier is the perfect ambassador for the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak FL. His quiet demeanor belies the explosiveness of his pedal steel guitar, which has graced park events from Magfest to Wanee, Bear Creek to Purple Hatter’s Ball. Whether with his trio or expanded group or with The Lee Boys, Roosevelt has always lifted us higher. He had the closing set at both AURA and Purple Hatter’s.
Ever since the great success of the first of Roosevelt Collier’s Suwannee Getdowns at the end of June, people have been anxiously awaiting round two, scheduled for July 31st and August 1st. The first edition drew rave reviews from fans who enjoyed the shows in the Music Hall and during the day at the Beach Stage
This second edition again features Roosevelt Collier on pedal steel guitar (and lap steel as well), joined by Matt Lapham (Shak Nasti) on bass and Anthony Cole (MOFRO) on drums; others will likely grace the stage.
Lapham’s band, Shak Nasti, also plays both nights. This superb trio plus one from Orlando drops funk, rock and jazz with ease. Tim Turner plays guitar and handles most of the vocals, and drummer Rion Smith’s polyrhythmic attack keeps everybody in line. Percussionist Colon Ito usually joins in the festivities.
Also featured Friday night is Cooter Brown, who bill themselves as “swamp blues from the edge.” They too mine rock, soul and jam for their sound.
Saturday night offers a real treat, as Eugene Snowden, better known as the head JC of the Legendary JCs, will appear. In fact, he showed up at the first Getdown. Pat Williams spotted him before the nighttime shows. “I asked him who he was playing with, and he said he just came up to jam with Rosie for the night!” The JCs are still a going concern, but they no longer travel, so Eugene has branched out.
He explains: “I’ll do blues, world, rock, a lil’ bit of funk. Folks say its funky, but I’m more of a funkateer than a practitioner. That’s someone who likes to JOIN the world’s funkiest singalong led by someone else. That’s why I love playing with Roosevelt, Anthony Cole and Matt Lapham; they will be my backup band this trip.”
His plan is to start touring with a small band in August and to record in the near future some new songs; he was the chief songwriter for the JCs as well. And he wants you to know this: “I can’t wait to go up and get down!!”
The final entrant in Saturday’s shenanigans is Holey Miss Moley; they just performed a show-stopping set at The Great Outdoors Jam that ran the gamut from originals to organ, Snoop Dogg to Michael MacDonald, the Isley Brothers to Kool and the Gang, the Bee Gees to Dr. Dre. It was a non-stop dance party!
Holey Miss Moley has always crushed funk, jazz and rock instrumentals, with Jacob Cox, guitar; Kenny Harvey, bass; Tony Morales and Vernon Suber, percussion; and Christian Ryan, saxophones and flute. Morales is the band’s drummer, but a wrist injury has limited him to precussion. Several drummers have filled in recently, and for this set it will a great one: Travis Young (Ajeva).
HMM raised their game first with the addition of singer and great front man Danny Clemmons, then doubled down when Robyn Alleman joined on vocals as well.
The Beach Stage and Music Hall Courtyard sets are being coordinated by Reunion: Campout Concert Series, yet another new event for the park, courtesy of Trey Hebron and his staff.
This has all the makings of a glorious weekend of music at the magnificent SoSMP, first at the Beach Stage (take a dip in the Suwannee!), then in the air-conditioned Music Hall with outdoor DJ sets in between.
We’ll be expecting you!