We love surprises. And we were certainly surprised at a show Friday night when someone was handing out fliers for the ZonkFamily Conference, A Day of Music, Art, & Cannabis Education. Presented by Sibannacal Life, the event is less than three weeks away, at Rocky Point in Tampa.
Before we discuss the music, here is what else is scheduled for Saturday, July 8th:
* educate and network with industry experts
* “state of the industry” speech with Michael Minardi
* sign petitions
* get your medical cards
* join Florida Cannabis Coalition’s Green Carpet event
* cannabis-inspired yoga sessions
Now about that music.
There are half a dozen bands on this lineup, and every one is damn fine. Start with the headliners from Los Angeles, The Main Squeeze. This great band — “It’s good for the soul, y’all” — has been through Florida on a number of tours, and they are always welcome back. Corey Frye’s rich and wide-ranging voice is back by a tremendous quartet of musicians. Their newest album is Without a Sound.
The Heavy Pets remain as Florida’s “elder” statesmen of jam, and they continue to throw down with amazing force show after show, festival after festival. This “fine-ass rock and roll band” mixes great vocals, reggae sensibilities, and unlimited jam into their sets, as they did headlining at Orange Blossom Jamboree and at Backwoods Fam Jam. And that was just May! Also, Tony D’Amato is a bass beast!
Come Back Alice, the gypsy swamp funk band from St. Petersburg, has also been tearing it up night after night, including OBJ, Backwoods, and DubJam in Georgia. Their new album is set for release soon, and fans cannot wait. They do true justice to the music of the Allman Brothers as well as their own material and other dandy covers. And now Tony Tyler and Dani Jaye have surrounded themselves with four of the six gents from Joose, which might just be why a stunning 15-minute romp through “Hang Up Your Hang-Ups” found its way into last Friday’s setlist. THE BOMB!
After a huge cross-country tour that took more than a month, Holey Miss Moley is back home to funk you up — but good. With Danny Clemmons and Miss Robyn Alleman on vocals and one of the tightest funk bands anywhere, this ten-piece band is out to set you straight. Just so you know, there’s an “Afroshaft” in your future! Give it to me, baby!
If you ever need lessons in how to look innocent while playing bluegrass tunes espousing sex and drugs and putative misdemeanors (and more), then The Applebutter Express is your group. Shannon and Kyle Biss offer up superb vocal harmonies while Kyle’s ukulele tangles with Joe Trivette’s fiddle and Zach Rogers’ bass on songs such as “Hot Pussy” and “Shit Ain’t Illegal If You Don’t Get Caught” (good life advice as well).
Last but definitely not least comes Boxcar Hollow, the brainchild of guitarist Matt Weis, who can pick any damn thing. This band started out as an Americana-type outfit, but since then they’ve thrown off labels and crash through genre barriers with ease, including their stunning early set at New Year’s Hometeam Rally in December.
Watch this space for lots more information. If this goes well, and it darn sure ought to, we may get more shows like this from Sibannacal Life. And that would be lovely.