Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Hangtown Halloween Ball presents a musical mashup

By
From page B7 | October 26, 2012 | Leave Comment

The 2012 edition of the Hangtown Halloween Ball brings 31 bands to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds for what Bethel, New York farmer Max Yasgur once called “three days of fun and music.”

The comparisons to Woodstock don’t stop there. A polite production crew brings a gaggle of bands with strange sounding names and thousands of tie-dyed and dreadlocked fans to an unsuspecting rural community … What could go possibly go wrong?

Last year the answer was a resounding “not much.” The Placerville Police were on site throughout a long Halloween weekend, reportedly grateful that their estimated 2,000 guests were so well behaved.

Attendees were thoroughly entertained by the mashup of musical styles last year, which featured a couple former Jerry Garcia sidemen and several other bands influenced by the granddaddy of jam.

 

Dollop of jam

This year’s lineup is no less diverse, featuring it’s own pedigreed jammers, founding members of Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident; and Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi, who escaped the back of the refrigerator, or more accurately the top of the stove to reconnect with their bluegrass roots as the Emmitt-Nershi Band. They’re on the main stage at 5:15 p.m. Friday and in the Hangin’ Hall late night Saturday.

Animal Liberation Orchestra’s quirky live shows cross seamlessly into jamland. Catch ALO Friday at 8:15 p.m. on the main stage.

Colorado-based Good Gravy proclaims jam band influences. Armed with bluegrass instrumentation, solid arrangements and a lot of new ideas, they seem determined to chart a different course over some familiar jam-grass turf. Check them out on the main stage on 10:30 a.m. Saturday and on the Gallows Stage at 12:45 p.m. Sunday.

 

Funky stuff

A closer look at the 2012 Hangtown Halloween Ball lineup reveals that something funky’s going on. Funk music has long been an ingredient in indie rock and especially jam music. This year funk has taken a step forward as a dominant flavor in the Hangtown Ball’s musical stew.

L.A.-based Orgone’s adrenaline-drenched funk and sweaty-soul will heat up the Hangin’ Hall for Karl, also afterhours Friday night. They play again at 1:25 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.

How about some retro ’60s psychedelic soul with your funk? Look no further than the Gallows Stage at 6:10 p.m. Friday when the Monophonics blast off.

One observer of Reno-based Jelly Bread’s performance at Strawberry called them “the best funk band you’ve never heard of,” at least not until 2:25 p.m. Saturday on the Gallows Stage.

The funky improvisational dance grooves of South Lake Tahoe’s Groovebox open the Hangtown Halloween Ball at 1:45 p.m. Friday on the All Souls Stage.

ALO’s kaleidoscopic funk-pop ’n’ roll is on the main stage Friday at 8:15 p.m.

High energy Santa Rosa funk-rock groovers Adient Zoo play short sets on the All Souls Stage at 5:35 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday.

 

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Innovative funk and jazz pioneer Karl Denson appears with members of Slightly Stoopid, a San Diego surf-reggae rock outfit that’s not as dumb as its name, performing a tribute to the Beastie Boys in a late night show Friday night and again on Saturday for a main stage gig at 7:15 p.m.

Denson has a long history of playing strange and interesting stuff with strange and interesting people, including five years with Lenny Kravitz.

Rooted in classic jazz, he was also at the forefront of the edgier acid jazz. He later spread the gospel of “West Coast Boogaloo” worldwide with DJ Greyboy as the Greyboy All-stars.

Denson mixed in funk, R&B and hip hop elements to create the Tiny Universe, dedicated to dance grooves and again touring internationally to great acclaim.

Since then Denson has branched into Afrobeat, but spent much of this summer paying tribute to the Beastie Boys … in the south … Really.

 

Americana galore

The 2012 lineup is laced with solid America offerings, including the Infamous Stringdusters, one of the top progressive bluegrass outfits playing today, a band that jam audiences love and for good reason. They play exceptionally pure bluegrass exceptionally well.

The Infamous Stringdusters are on the main stage Sunday at 1:50 p.m. and also have a late night set indoors on Saturday.

Michigan’s Greensky Bluegrass adds a dobro and some grit to the mix, Sunday at 12:05 p.m. on the main stage.

The Dead Winter Carpenters hail from Tahoe’s North Shore and have played striking roots music at the Cozmic Café and local festivals over the last couple years, winning friends and influencing people. They open the festival on the main stage at 1:45 p.m. Friday, just like Railroad Earth opened Telluride in 2001.

 

Delta Spirit

These pub rockers are garnering all sorts of buzz. They came together in 2007 as “rambunctious, trash-can-bangers,” according to a Rhapsody reviewer who apparently didn’t care for Delta Spirit’s recent self-titled album, calling it “atmospheric classic rock twice their age.” Ouch.

The band defends its 2012 effort as an escape from “rootsy Americana” and “twangy folk” labels — God forbid — and to have discovered themselves as “truly modern rockers.”

Hey fellas, don’t over think this. Yea, the early stuff is rawer and the new stuff is bigger and richer, crossing over into Arcade Fire-land at times. But hey, you can’t bang trash cans forever. It’s all good. Keep it up. You’ll be fine.

 

Nikki Bluhm and the Gramblers

Listening to Nicki Bluhm’s honey-soaked country soul is like hearing your mom’s favorite song on the radio. Bluhm’s striking presence, strong vocals and songcraft made a strong impression on the Coloma audience in a brief cameo during her husband Tim Bluhm’s performance with Jackie Greene in 2009.

Nikki Bluhm and the Gramblers play at 3:30 p.m. Friday on the main stage.

 

Del McCoury Band

Del McCoury cut his teeth with Bill Monroe and brings his boys to Placerville to gather around the microphone on the main stage at 3:40 p.m. Sunday to show us how bluegrass is done.

Several of the bands bearing the jam label cite him as an influence. Railroad Earth and Leftover Salmon played at McCoury’s festival, DelFest, in May.

McCoury’s lonesome high tenor is backed by his band’s impeccable harmonies, delivered on a single microphone, which requires the soloist to get close and the harmonists to lay back, ala George Clooney in “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.”

The resulting choreography adds a delightful visual element to the performance.

In an outfit like the McCoury band, with everyone singing harmony while playing their instruments, it can get crowded around that microphone. “You have some pretty fancy footwork to get in and out of there,” said McCoury in a 2006 interview on the CMT network.

The advantage is “you mix your own show,” he added. Closest is loudest.

In fact, the single-mic technique simplifies all aspects of the performance, from setup to mixing and practically eliminates feedback.

On the downside, the technique sacrifices fine control of mix balance, EQ and effects for individual vocalists.

Many new bluegrass and folk bands are nonetheless experimenting with the one-mic method. “It’s the way that we did it when I was coming up with Bill Monroe,” said McCoury. ’Nuff said.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 35 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments