Those who were lucky enough to attend the first Roosevelt Collier Suwannee Getdown, or the second one, or both(!) know just how special those weekends were. There was music each night in the intimate, air-conditioned, bug-free Music Hall, and the party raged early Saturday down at the beach with many of the DJs involved in the recent Reunion: Campout Concert Series. DJs also kept people dancing in the courtyard next to the Music Hall at night.
They were such critical successes, in fact, that number three was announced at the July 31-August 1 weekend. Once again, Roosevelt, now a Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park neighbor, is rarin’ to go, having invited five bands from the Southeast who are definitely on the rise. And Trey Hebron’s Reunion crew, headed by Vlad the Inhaler and Connor, will be back for the beach and courtyard sets. Paul Levine has been instrumental (see what I did there?) in getting these events up and running: more great intimate festivals at the greatest place on earth (OK, that might be an editorial comment).
Roosevelt’s humble nature belies his incredible talent on the pedal steel guitar and the lap steel as well, which he plays standing up, so it’s not really a lap steel, is it? He has been here, there and everywhere, playing with the most prominent names on the scene. He is always in demand and always willing to participate whenever possible. Music has no better friend than Roosevelt Collier.
The schedule looks like this:
8:00 p – 9:15 p Eggwater Palace
9:45 p – 11:00 p Savi Fernandez Band
11:30 p – 1:00 a Roosevelt Collier & Friends
Noon – 6:00 p Beach Stage — Artists TBA
7:30 p – 8:45 p The Wild Azalea Brothers
9:00 p – 10:15 p Savants of Soul
10:45 p – 12:00 a Leisure Chief
12:15 a – 1:45 a Roosevelt Collier & Friends
Music kicks off Friday evening with a powerhouse blues jam improvisational band from Valdosta, Eggwater Palace. Tanner Strickland sings and plays lead guitar, joined by Tom Milner on bass and backing vocals and J.D. Lippincott on drums. They should shove everybody into overdrive immediately!
The Savi Fernandez Band will continue to tear up the Music Hall with their superb blend of reggae, rock and funk. Savi is a guitarist of stunning talent who can play virtually anything. He has been a mainstay at most of the Florida Festivals, including the boy-we-sure-it’s-just-on-hiatus Bear Creek and Orange Blossom Jamboree. MusicFestNews reviewed his brilliant new album From My Heart. You can read the review here. Joey Lanna on drums and Nas on bass will rock the house for certain.
Roosevelt “The Dr.” Collier has this gig down. He will play with Matt Lapham, bass (Shak Nasti, Brownout), and Anthony Cole (Mofro, Brownout) on drums. Here is a link to the band’s performance at the last Suwannee Getdown (courtesy of Volke Mon) and a link to the festival review here.
Saturday, the beach will be rockin’ with music provided by the crew who did such an outstanding job at Reunion and at the two previous Suwannee Getdowns. DJs will also be in the courtyard throwing down both evenings.
While the Music Hall offers up some great dinner specials, everyone is in store for a great treat as The Wild Azalea Brothers from nearby Lake City bring their version of Americana to the festival.
Gainesville’s Savants of Soul plug in next, a true soul and rock revue. The band features: Justin McKenzie (Vocals), Austin Van Wie (Guitar), John Gray Shermyen (Bass), Jason Bontrager (Keyboards), Alex Klausner (Drums), Jason Beverung (Trombone), Matthew Rossmann (Trumpet), David Rinehart (Tenor Sax), and Ray Vigil (Alto Sax). For those of you counting, that is a full four-man horn section. Don’t miss them!
And really don’t miss Orlando’s Leisure Chief. If you’re looking for funk, jazz, hip-hop, and soul music, you are definitely in the right place. This band boasts talent at every position; they were the subjects of a MusicFestNews On the Rise feature, which you can read here. Mr. Ubiquitous, Christian Ryan, plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and flute. Keyboard master Keegan Matthews is a wizard on keyboards; fair warning: he’s bringing the ‘key-tar!’ Drummer Derek Engstrom has fabulous time, writes songs and sings as well. Nick Bogdon is the lead singer in addition to his guitar duties, and, because it is all about that bass: Chris McMullen puts the exclamation mark on the band’s sound.
Why would you want to be anywhere else?