music / Columns

Jam Central Station 3.2.13: Elephant Revival & The Ragbirds – The Beachland Tavern – 2.20.13 – Cleveland, OH

March 2, 2013 | Posted by mojo4395


Happy March everyone! Hopefully this means we’re almost done with crappy weather and really heading towards Spring. And with Spring comes camping, outdoor shows, and festivals! I’m already getting my plans put together, although I could use a little help from some bands (c’mon Phish!) I have a few more weeks and then I should have everything in place. Until then, let’s take a look at what’s on tap for this week!


When it was announced that The Ragbirds and Elephant Revival were sharing a bill at the Beachland Tavern here in Cleveland, I was ecstatic. These two bands have been two of my favorite groups recently. I consider both to be at the top of the modern folk movement, albeit with very different styles. Having these two bands on the same bill created an immediate “must see” show. Expectations were very high, and both bands easily lived up to what I hoped for.

The Ragbirds opened the show with a solid set of nearly an hour and a half. The band has developed a solid following in Cleveland, and by the time the band got into their set the Tavern was pretty packed. They’re on the road promoting their recent release, the live album We Belong To The Love. Not surprisingly, most of the songs were from that album, starting with the title track. The band has become extremely tight over the past couple of years, with their stage presence, jams, and solos flowing together seamlessly. It didn’t take long for the band to get warmed up, and it certainly didn’t take the crowd very long to get warmed up to the band.

Since this was a shorter set than a typical Ragbirds show, they stuck mainly to their more well-known songs. They did bring out the two new songs that are on We Belong To Love as well as another unreleased song, but other than that it was a set that highlighted some of their best material. The band has plenty of love songs, and they hit one of my favorites, “How Can I Say,” very early in the night. They only did a couple of their African-rhythm inspired songs, but Erin was certain that the entire crowd was dancing the “Moribayassa.” Seeing as The Ragbirds have headlined this venue themselves and I’ve gladly paid to see the band, I would say that they were a great choice to open up the evening.

Elephant Revival had a tough task, following a very high energy and exciting Ragbirds set. One of the great things about Elephant Revival is just how diverse the band really is. The jumped into the evening with some of their more upbeat and “heavier” songs. Despite not having a drum kit, the band is able to put together a very full and percussive sound. The night started out with lead singer Bonnie Paine substituting her often quiet and pensive voice for a sultry croon. The band had to come on stage and take control of the evening, and they did exactly that. Over the course of the next two hours, the entire band had the opportunity to shine, and Elephant Revival showed that they can be just as effective in a small club as they can be in an outdoor festival setting.

One of the most impressive things that I’ve noticed about the band is the wide variety of songs that they have to choose from. This was my sixth time seeing the band in the past year, and their setlists are always evolving. While songs like “Quill Pen Feather,” “Drop,” and “Remembering a Beginning” are certainly staples, the band substitutes new and unreleased material on a regular basis. I spent the time leading up to the show listening to The Ragbirds and Elephant Revival, and, while I knew almost every song that The Ragbirds performed, I would guess that at least half of the songs that Elephant Revival did were unreleased, and many of them were songs that I didn’t remember hearing in my previous shows. For a band with three albums available and a lot of touring under their belts, it’s pretty amazing that they can switch things up so easily.

As I said earlier, everyone again got a chance to shine at this show. Bridget, Sage, and Dango tended to lead the songs that were more in the classic mountain/folk music genre, while Daniel and Bonnie tended to lean towards more modern folk fusion styles. Bonnie in particular showed tremendous diversity in her vocal range and songwriting style. Bridget also impressed me with her backup vocals, providing great harmonies with Bridget and Daniel. The band also switched out instruments quite a bit, with Sage moving to from guitar to banjo to fiddle, Dango moving to guitar, and Daniel taking over the bass at different points. Again, it all points to an extremely talented band of musicians that are very comfortable playing to each other’s strengths.

Shows like this make me wish i was a taper. Then I would be able to relive both of these sets. The fact is that The Ragbirds have consistently put on some of my favorite shows over the past two years and Elephant Revival put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen last year. Putting both of those bands together was an almost perfect night. It may only be the beginning of March, but I find it hard to believe that any show is going to top what those two bands did in Cleveland. both of these bands deserve every bit of success that they get and then some. And both bands should be must-see acts for anybody that has the opportunity.



All Good Lineup announced!
The All Good Festival announced their initial lineup this week. The festival, which will once again be held at Legend Valley in Thornville, OH, will feature Furthur, Pretty Lights, Primus, STS9, Grace potter & The Nocturnals, Keller Williams with the Travelin’ McCourys, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, and many others. This is only a partial lineup, and many bands will be announced in the coming weeks.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival additions
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival made some huge additions this week. The festival will now feature Mumford & Sons, String Cheese Incident, Dispatch, Greensky Bluegrass, Bela Fleck, and many others on their lineup. Thef estival already included Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Sam bush Band, Jackson Browne, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Punch Brothers, and a variety of the best bluegrass and bluegrass-influenced music. Not surprisingly, the festival is sold out.

Mountain Jam Additions
Mountain Jam rounded out their lineup this week. The festival will include Michael Franti & Spearhead, Big Gigantic, and the Gaslight Anthem. The festival already includes Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, Primus, and many other big names.

Widespread Panic tour dates
Widespread Panic announced the first set of dates for their 2013 tour. This will be their first full tour since their 2012 hiatus. It’ll include a variety of festivals as well as stops at many well-known venues.

June 1 – Ozark, AR – Wakarusa Festival
June 3-4 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre
June 5 – Vienna, VA – The Filene Center at Wolf Trap
June 7 – Hunter, NY – Mountain Jam Festival
June 8-9 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
June 21 – Lincoln, NE – Pinewood Bowl Theater
June 22 – Kansas City, MO – The Starlight Theatre
June 27-30 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
July 4-6 – Alta, WY – Grand Targhee Resort Amphitheater
July 9 – Missoula, MT – Big Sky Brewing Company
July 10 – Boise, ID – Idaho Botanical Garden
July 12-13 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint At Hard Rock
July 14 – Flagstaff, AZ – Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill Park
July 17 – Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
July 19-20 – Pelham, AL – Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

Primus Tour dates
Primus is adding to their 3D Tour with some additional dates. They’ll be weaving in stops around their many festival dates over the summer.

March 8 New Orleans, LA—Buku Music + Art Project
March 11 Mexico City, Mexico—Auditorio BlackBerry*
March 12 Mexico City, Mexico—Auditorio BlackBerry*
March 13 Mexico City, Mexico—Auditorio BlackBerry*
May 9 Napa, CA—Bottle Rock Festival*
May 10 Eureka, CA—Eureka Municipal Auditorium
May 12 Boise, ID—Revolution Center
May 13 Missoula, MT—Wilma Theater
May 14 Billings, MT—Shrine Auditorium
May 16 Colorado Springs, CO—City Auditorium
May 17 Santa Fe, NM—Santa Fe Community Convention
May 18 Tucson, AZ—Rialto Theatre
May 19 Pomona, CA—Fox Theater
May 21 Ventura, CA—Majestic Ventura Theater
May 22 Bakersfield, CA—Fox Theater
May 24 Eugene, OR—Cuthbert Amphitheater
May 25 Portland, OR—Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
May 26 Quincy, WA—Sasquatch Music Festival
May 28 Edmonton, AB—Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
May 29 Calgary, AB—McEwan Hall
May 31 Winnipeg, MB—Burton Cummings Theatre
June 1 Maplewood, MN—Myth
June 2 Chicago, IL—Riviera Theater
June 6 Hunter, NY—Mountain Jam Festival*
June 7 Toronto, ON—Danforth Music Hall
June 8 Toronto, ON—Danforth Music Hall
June 9 North Tonawanda, NY—Niagara River Rocks*


Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra’s first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities

Buku Music Project
March 8-9, 2013
Mardi Gras World Warehouse
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Primus, Passion Pit, STS9, Zedd, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Datsik, Lettuce, and many others

SnowBall Music Festival
March 8-10, 2012
Winter Park, CO
Performers include:Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Portugal. The Man, Rubblebucket, and many others.

Suwannee Springfest
March 21-24, 2013
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Peter Rowan, Keller and the Keels, Jerry Douglas, Cornmeal, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Ultra Music Festival
March 15-17, 2013
March 22-24, 2013
Miami, FL
Performers include: Tiesto, David Guetta, Above & Beyond, Bassnectar, Fatboy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Crystal Castles, deadmau5, Major Lazer, Thievery Corporation, and many others.

March 21-24, 2012
Killington Resort
Killington, VT

April 12-14, 2013
April 19-21, 2013
Performers include: Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bassnectar, xx, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed, Postal Service, Grizzley Bear, Wu-Tang Clan, Lumineers, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 18-20, 2013
Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, and many others.

April 25-28, 2013
Wilkes Community College
Wilkisboro, NC
Performers include: The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Jerry Douglas, Steep Canyon Rangers, Donna the Buffalo, Sam bush, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many others.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 26-May 5, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Performers include: Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Widespread Panic, B.B. King, The Black Keys, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Maroon 5, and a very diverse lineup of many other artists.

Shaky Knees Music Festival
May 4-5, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Performers include: The Lumineers, Band of Horses, Drive By Truckers, Jim James Band, Gary Clark Jr., Dr. Dog, and many others

BottleRock Festival
May 10-12, 2013
Expo Grounds
Napa Valley, CA
Performers include: Furthur, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Cake, Alabama Shakes, The Black Crowes, Ben Harper, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and many others.

Hangout Music Festival
May 17-19, 2013
Gulf Shores, AL

Summer Camp Music Festival
May 23-36
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Thievery Corp., Big Gigantic, Lettuce, Cornmeal, Keller Williams, and many others.

May 23-26, 2013
Cumberland, MD
Performers include: The Del McCoury Band, Trey Anastasio Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yonder Mountain String Band, Trampled by Turtles, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

Dark Star Jubilee
May 24-26, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: 3 nights of Dark Star Orchestra, Mickey Hart Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Wailers, The Werks, Greensky Bluegrass, Donna Jean Godchaux Band, Elephant Revival, and many others.

The Ville
May 24-26, 2013
Clay’s Park Resort
North Lawrence, OH
Performers include: 2 nights of ekoostik hookah, Rusted Root, Col. Bruce Hampton, The Congress, Fletcher’s Grove, Dragon Wagon, and many others

Sasquatch! Music Festival
May 24-27, 2013
The Gorge
George, WA
Performers include: Mumford and Sons, The Postal Service, Sigur Ros, Vampire Weekend, Primus, The Lumineers, The xx, Cake, Arctic Monkeys, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and many others

May 30-June 2, 2013
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band, STS9, The Black Crowes, Umphrey’s McGee, Dispatch, Shpongle, Snoop Lion, Gogol Bordello, Zed’s Dead, Rebolution, and many others.

Mountain Jam
June 6-9, 2013
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers include: Phil Lesh & Friends, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, Primus, The Avett Brothers, Dispatch, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., Soulive, ALO, and many others.

Governors Ball Music Festival
June 7-9, 2013
Randall’s Island
New York City, NY
Performers include: Guns and Roses, Kanye West, Kings of Leon, The Avett Brothers, Pretty Lights, The Lumineers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Thivery Corp., Gary Clark Jr., and many others

Camp Railroad
June 10-14, 2012
Full Moon resort
Big Indian, NY
This 4-day music camp will feature members of Railroad Earth in an assortment of workshops, performances, discussions and other sessions to help aspiring musicians and those interested in the music industry to gain an insight into the inner workings of the band. A variety of accommodations are available, and musicians of all skill levels are accepted.

June 13-16
Manchester, TN
Performers include: Paul McCartney, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons, Bjork, Wilco, Pretty Lights, The Lumineers, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Passion Pit, Of Mosters and Men, ZZ Top, and many more.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 20-23, 2013
Telluride, Colorado
Performers include: Mumford & Sons, The String Cheese Incident, Dispatch, Greensky Bluegrass, Sam Bush Band, Jackson Brown, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas Band, Punch Brothers, Trampled by Turtles, Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, and many others.

Firefly Music Festival
June 21-23, 2013
The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway
Dover, DE
Performers include: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avett Brothers, dispatch, The Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, and many others.

Solid Sound Festival
June 21-23, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Art
North Adams, MA
Hosted by Wilco. Other performers include: Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Neko Case, White Denim, and many others.

Electric Forest Festival
June 27-30, 2013
Double JJ Ranch and Resort
Rothbury, MI
Performers include: String Cheese Incident (3 nights), Pretty Lights, Lotus, Passion Pit, Dispatch, Beats Antique, Railroad Earth, Trombone Shorty, Digital Tape Machine, Jeff Austin & Friends, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

High Sierra Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
Quincy, CA

Jambase Live
July 5-6
The Gorge
George, WA

Camp Bisco
July 11-13, 2013
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

All Good Music Festival
July 18-21, 2013
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: Furthur, Pretty Lights, Primus, STS9, Grace Potter 7 The Nocturnals, The Infamous Stringdusters, and many more.

Northwest String Summit
July 18-21, 2013
Horning’s Hideout
North Plains, OR
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Keller Williams & Friends, and many others.

Pitchfork Music Festival
July 19-21, 2013
Union Park
Chicago, IL

Floyd Fest
July 25-28, 2013
Floyd, VA
Performers include: The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Blitzen Trapper, and many others.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 25-28, 2013
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Newport Folk Festival
July 27-28, 2013
Newport, RI
Performers include: The Lumineers, Andrew Bird, Shovels & Rope, and many others

Newport Jazz Festival
August 2-4, 2013
Newport, RI

August 9-11, 2013
Snow Ridge Ski Resort
Turin, NY

Outside Lands
August 9-11, 2013
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

The Peach Music Festival
August 15-18, 2013
Montage Mountain
Scranton, PA
Performers include: The Allman Brothers Band, Bob Weir & Rat Dog, The Black Crowes, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Railroad Earth, Galactic, and many others.

Camp Barefoot
August 22-24, 2013
Bartow, WV
Performers include: Kyle Hollingsworth Band, EOTO, Keller Williams, Team Leaf Green, Zoogma, Conspirator, Break Science, The Motet, and many others.

Catskill Chill
September 6-8, 2013
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
October 4-6, 2013
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA

Austin City Limits
October 4-6, 2013
October 11-13, 2013


Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll be back next week with more jam, and there’s always something happening on Facebook and Twitter. Until next week, Jam On!


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