Show Reviews

    RnR Resort 2014

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    ROCK N ROLL RESORT RETURNS WITH “v4: THE DREAM MACHINE”

    APRIL 4-6, 2014

    HUDSON VALLEY RESORT IN KERHONKSON, NY

     

    We got to the resort around noon on Friday and checked in; people were getting set up and the circus was just commencing.  At about 5:30 or so our first taste of music started with Asheville North Carolina Band The Broadcast taking the stage at the Empire Lounge.  That room is right off of the main ballroom and is set up with a nightclub vibe. The band is a ballsy funk outfit with drums, percussion, bass, guitar and a female vocalist.  She’s got complete control over the 

    vocals and has that whiskey drenched growl that works perfectly.  They set down a bunch of originals as festivarians started floating in and forming the first crowd of the day.  The first song I recognized was a rollicking and faithful rendition of the Doobie Brothers Without Love.  Nicely done. A few more originals helped to define their style and get the crowd into it.  They ended their set with a cover of Led Zepellin’s Rock n Roll.  This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.  They haven’t spent too much time in the Northeast yet, but I suspect that this is just the begining of their travels to this area.

    Conedhead Buddha is the first band to take the stage at the Manhattan Ballroom, what is ostensibly the main stage here at the resort.  They are a full band with horns and percussion and tons of drums.  

    Hailing from western New York they were big on the jam scene 10-15 years ago, and after an extended hiatus they’ve been back out for I dunno a year or so.  They’re sounding good!  Arranged horns parts and fully orchestrated originals.

    There are really great visuals going in the Manhattan Room, with a mixture of graphics, tripper vision, and live footage going not only on the two screens adjacent to the stage, but also on the walls ande in frames throughout the whole ballroom.  It’s a great enhancement and folks are flowing into the Ballroom now as more people are arriving here on FRI night.  Buddha is putting down a danceable and distinctive vibe.  As a seven piece they are covering a lot of musical ground.  Right now they sound like the cantina band from Star Wars.

    Buddha is covering a lot of ground musically.  Jazz, jam, rock, samba-  in the middle of their set they whipped out Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby Still and Nash.  Their version is solid and their own, the best way to treat a cover!   After that they pulled up Jen Durkin from Deep Banana Blackout to sing with them.  She immediately displayed her rock and roll resort attitude by throwing down on cowbell!

    The Alchemystics came up next in the Empire Lounge, and in a certain way it felt like the real start of the party.  They were kicking down!  With reggae warrior Ras Jahn recovering a bit, they had I-lana on support vocals.  The band fired through crowd favorites like Type a Prayer, Sparkle Pimp, and their new single Thinkin’ Bout You. They got towards the end of their set with Elements which had Ian Eye

    setting down the guitar and really laying into the vocals, which he had done a few different times during the show.  The made it so that Jay Metcalf really had to carry the load on keys, which he was doing with both hands, covering multiple boards.  Nicely done.

    The BRYAC All stars funk band came up next in the Manhattan Room.  They lay down funk classics.  The band members are all from well known CT bands, and I recognized Adrian T from Kung Fu and The Breakfast on drums.  There were keyboards on both sides of the stage, and the instrumental madness ensued.  I recognized more than one tune for sure, in particular Herbie Hancock’s Actual Proof.  Guitar prodigy Bobby Paltauf sat in and displayed his chops.  The guest parade continued with Jen Durkin making another appearance, laying down some vocals with BRYAC.

    I took a walk around and caught a few minutes of another CT native, Frank Viele in the acoustic area.  He had a three piece and was fired up.  I got to chat with him briefly, and he’s been busy, picking up a New England Music award for BEST LIVE BAND a few weeks ago, visiting Austin Texas and putting the finishing touches on his new album.  Guest appearances by Tim Palmieri of the Breakfast and JoeBonnasmassa have him really excited for how it is going to turn out.

    I took a quick stroll through the front ballroom and noticed yet another CT band, Hartord’s Juicy Grapes killing it.  The lazers were in full effect, and playing against the crystal chandeliers.  So much good music is happening all over the place here.

    After BRYAC it was the Trama Unit with Peter Prince in the Empire Lounge.  Prince has all of the energy that he’s always had, and has a new found grace and steadiness that allows his music to reach the audience with even greater clarity.  He rocked out big time, with the flying V guitar shining a bright light on the crowd.  Trama is no slouch on guitar either, and the two gun slingers compliment each other perfectly.  Drummer at large Tom Arey killed it as always.  Well known as a drummer for everyone from Ghosts of Jupiter to J Geils back to his days in Uncle Sammy, it is always a joy to watch him play.

    By the time that Dumpstaphunk took the stage in the Manhattan Ballroom you just knew that the festival was in full swing.  Bringing NOLA to the Catskills, the band got funky and phat right quick.  It’s easy to see when they sing “Everybody Wants Some” that it’s true-  everyone who wants something funky can find what they seek in the Dumpsta of Phunk.

     

    Tauk was the last band that I heard before we turned in. They are an instrumental band leaning toward EDM, but less on the jamtronica end of things and more on the rock end of things.  Their sound verged on heavy at times but was mobile and the combination of organic and synthetic tones is something that they really did well to mix.  They are also young but clearly very talented, and it will be interesting to see where their creativity takes them.  They aren’t the most technically innovative band ever yet, but may soon join bands like Consider the Source, Garaj Mahal and others as technical bands that blow people’s minds.  We’ll have to wait and see if they rise to those high standards or not, but that’s the adventure of teh journey isn’t it?

     

    Check out Jen Durkin performing with BRYAC All Star funk band.  Red Hot Mama.

     

     

    SATURDAY:

     

    Saturday has begun here at the Resort!!  We caught lunch was pretty darned good and heard the first band in Ballroom B fire up.  It’s a band called Eggy and they are a young jam band for sure.  It was a bit like being thrown into a cold pool first thing in the morning, as they were playing with after midnight energy.  I applaud their verve.  I walked in and caught a few minutes of their cover of Rush’s Tom Sawyer.  Their version was fairly faithful to the original which I’m not sure was the best approach for that particular band, but I again applaud their brashness.

    The Hornitz are warming things up in the Empire Lounge. A duo of beat box and horns  ands looping and keys.  They are a more organic form of EDM, much more danceable and fun.  I wandered off to cruise the lobby and got to hang for a few minuets with Peter Prince.  He’s celebrating his increased health and good nature with great music, and it’s good to see him happy and healthy.

    Leroy Justice was on the acoustic stage and their great blend of Americana sound and quality song writing and vocals really makes for a tasty sound.  I’m hopeful to catch them again elsewhere.

    Phish tribute Seven Below are the first band to take the stage at teh  Manhattan Ballroom.  I don’t know if it was the opener, but I walked into the end of their take on Gumbo.  It was different than any Phish version I had heard and was tasteful and creative.  The opening notes of Divided Sky greet me next and this is clearly a much more faithful version.  The band’s careful faith to the original’s dulcet tones is much appreciated. I didn’t catch the whole set but I heard two more tunes, each also faithful renditions of Reba and Birds of a Feather.

    One of the great things about this event is the social nature of things.  I was able to stop and chat with Jen Durkin and we talked about our mutual home town Fairfield.  I just stopped and hung out with Papi Biondo of Cabinet and we swapped stories about our families and kids and firewood and his new place in Burlington.  It’s a great way to get to a conversation going between bands and fans.

    Craig Greenburg brought his band to the acoustic stage.  They are a four piece piano fronted vocal song writer oriented band.  They were a smidge too loud for that particular area and it didn’t allow for me to hang as long as I may have wished there.  I went to the bar and was hanging with Papi some more and caught them doing a jam band version of Lorde’s Royals.  Or I could have totally imagined it, that’s possible too.

    DPR killed the Manhattan Ballroom mid afternoon.  They played cuts from their new album Blood  Sweat and Beers.  They have elements of ska, reggae, metal, rap, and hard core mixed in a way that is very accessible but still retains its balls.  They have an assertiveness that I appreciate and is generally otherwise lacking in the scene.  They did a cover of the Clash, though I didn’t recognize the song.  And in honor of 4:20 they called up their friends from The Hornitz to help them celebrate the hour.  Of course the visuals reflected the imagery that you’d want and expect.  Along with the Hornitz up came rapper Force from the Alchemystics and they all raged a ska tune called Don’t Forget to Stop. 

     

       

     

    Next up in the Empire Lounge- Roots of Creation.  This was a super logical musical transition and Roots of Creation, straight up-  slayed it.  The band is hitting on all cylinders with core member Brett Wilson, Tal Pearson, and Mike Chadinha on guitar and vocals, keyboards, and drums respectively. Add to them a great horn section on this show with not only regular sax player, dub mechanic and vocalist Andrew Riordan, bassist NIck Mini, and trombonist, vocalist and relative newcomer Billy Kottage.  The combination of the solid foundation and new creative energy is making for a vibrant chapter in the story being written by Roots of Creation.  There is a very clear musical mission of the band, elements of hard rock, reggae, Cali reggae, dubstep and jam all moulded and shaped into their potent sound.  The band’s ability to adjust the dynamics and manipulate their collective energy and sound is at its height.  I’ve seen the band a half dozen times in the last year or so and I can tell you they are either peaking, or ascending to a new level.

    They filled the set with recognizably material of theirs including That’s Just How My Love Is, and 6 AM early in the set.  They ranged through a new and as yet untitled punk song that brought the energy way up, and then held the audience with a raucous Row Jimmy. Keeping the crowd right there with them they fired into Rise Up, Three Times a Lady, and closed out with Mammoth- which lived up to its title big time.  Wilson is crushing the lead guitar riffs, and has perfectly shaped his vocal style, and the two horn guys are totally supporting him vocally.  Pearson on the keys is better every time I see him.  The horns can bring the darkness and the light with equal intensity, and Mini and Chadinha are locked in.  The drums drive the band, and his comfort level behind the kit allows Chadinha to engineer the whole locomotive that is the band’s sound and energy.

    I’m completely stoked to see what this summer’s season brings for the band.

    They’ll be joining the Alchemystics, The Movement, Sophistafunk, Royal Hammer and tons of other bands at Ziontific June 20-22 in central Vermont.  But before that many of the Resort bands will be returning along with Roots of Creation to Strangecreek Campout May 23-26 in Greenfield, MA.

    Roots of Creation is doing the Friday night late night cabin, and it likely will be the breakout moment both of the festival. Now that the bug is in us, festival season seems both around the corner and not soon enough!

    Cabinet played a late night set in the Empire Lounge between sets in the ballroom with the Motet.  Like many of the other bands that weekend they were joined by 14 year old guitar phenom and artist at large Bobby Paltauf.

    The Motet did two full sets in the Ballroom, reports are that they were good and super funky.  Jen Durkin sat in with them, as she did all weekend with almost

    everybody!  They have a dedicated lead singer and some percussion, a back up vocalist who doubles on saxophone, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards.

    The band played a mix of classic funk and original tunes.

     

    SUNDAY:

    Sunday continued the funk jams at the resort.  Beau Sasser Trio, Akashic Record, Turkuaz and an All Star Jam.

    Turkuaz encored their set with Monkey Fingers.

    That jam featured the weekend’s host on a special guest appearance on drum set, Shannon Plaquet.  The guitar player for the Kind Buds, and the very flamboyant Neph were visible members.  Beau Sasser and Danny Mayer (keyboards and guitar from PlayOnBrother, nee the Alan Evans trio) were joined by Darien Cumming from Goosepimp Orchestra.  Reports have Neph and Shannon going neck and neck for most costume changes for the weekend. Force from the Alchemystics and Michael Angelo from Turkuaz joined the fun.

    While costumes were not a huge part of the crowd, there were certainly plenty.  I myself saw a Superman, a Wonderwoman, Shannon as some sort of superhero bird (apparently Super Cock), French Reolutionaries and more.  Joel was in a muscle man costume (GI Joel).  So everyone was certainly in a festive mood.

    The theme for the weekend was Decades of Decadence and people took it to heart for sure.  Overall it was a decadent weekend for suree, from a mini-golf tournament to yoga to music to dining and hanging out with a great group of people, Rock n Roll Resort seems to have really hit its stride, beyond question.  The facilities weren’t elegant, but everything that was needed was either supplied by the resort or by the RRR staff, who seemed to have thought of just about anything you’d need.  The whole time I was there the lack of problems was quite evident.  Smoothly run operations help everything to combine for a perfect music weekend.

     

     

     

     

    ABOUT ROCK N ROLL RESORT:

    Artists Included: BRYAC Funk Allstars, Roots of Creation, The Alchemystics, Frank Viele, Nephrok! Allstars , Peter Prince & The Trama Unit; IIvan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, The Motet, Everyone Orchestra w / Steve Kimock, John Kimock, Reed Mathis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & many other guests. 

    Rock n Roll Resort is a relatively new, yet familiar experience for festival-goers of any and all ages. Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is an ideal setting – expansive, inviting and intriguing, you will feel right at home inside the grand resort. Funk bands, electronic acts, jam bands, bluegrass, and a little bit of every music genre can be found throughout the event, with music running from early afternoon until well past sunrise the next day. Dance yourself into a frenzy, then walk back to your hotel room to reenergize.  You can shop for affordable merchandise from a wide-variety of unique, handmade crafts from the vendors within the event.   No matter which direction the end up, you won’t find a dull moment at Rock n Roll Resort.

    “The Dream Machine is a future music festival and boasts that your next festival experiences will never be the same again after this weekend of nearly endless pleasures. Our setting will be amidst non-stop music, within a professional party environment,” says Shannon Plaquet, producer of Rock n Roll Resort.

    The Rock n Roll Resort v4: “The Dream Machine” confirmed lineup includes:

    Dumpstaphunk • The Motet x2 • Everyone Orchestra w/ Steve Kimock, John Kimock, Reed Mathis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & many other guests • Turkuaz x2 • Cabinet • Conehead Buddha • Peter Prince & The Trama Unit • Nephrok! Allstars • TAUK • The Alchemystics • The Z3 (A tribute to Frank Zappa) • Leroy Justice • Goosepimp Orchestra • Roots of Creation • Cosmic Dust Bunnies • Mark Mercier Band • BRYAC Funk Allstars • Dr. Westchesterson • Danny Pease and The Regulators • The Kings of Belmont • Mister F • Big Takeover • Sarah Michelle Band • 7 Below (A tribute to Phish) • Akashic Record • The Kind Buds • Business Casual Disco • The Juicy Grapes • The Broadcast • Solaris • Arclite • Darian Cunning Band • The Hornitz • The Big Sway • Positive Mental Trip • Frank Viele • Cheatcode • DJ Adam Amrod • Digital $torm • Political Animals • Space Carnival • Honeycomb • APEL • DJ Icculus • F.A.M. • DJ Nomadic • Craig Greenberg Band • Jordan Simms

    Artists at Large: Michelle Sarah • Rebecca Jean Smith • Bobby Paltauf

    Rock n Roll Resort is a unique, intimate music experience designed by fans for fans and quickly becoming the ultimate, music destination event for die hard live music junkies and avid fans. A sonic, visual and intellectual voyage promising to be a full resort takeover wherever it lands, Rock n Roll Resort explores different music themes and resorts throughout the Northeast and beyond. Woven throughout each experience of multiple indoor live music stages, incredible visual art installations, poolside cocktails, spiritual exploration, fun activities and workshops, eclectic food and an amazing music lineup all within the walls of a VIP resort.  Guests have exclusive use of the resort during this weekend only. Pack your suitcases and leave your tents at home as the next Rock n Roll Resort invades your town soon. Locations, performing artists and theme vary with each event. It’s a “takeover” not to be missed!

     

    ABOUT HUDSON VALLEY RESORT & SPA

    Just 90 miles from New York City, the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is ideally situated in the heart of the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains.  Set within 400 wooded acres adjacent to Minnewaska State Park, and surrounded by gorgeous Catskill views, you’ll enjoy our resort accommodations while exploring the best of the Hudson Valley! Hudson Valley Resort & Spa 270 guestrooms and suites have been recently refurbished to offer both comfortable surroundings and modern conveniences.

     

    Amenities: Guest can enjoy the fitness room, arcade centers, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, heated indoor pool, on-site shopping, and more!  You’ll find exciting opportunities for outdoor recreation all around the resort like Tennis and basketball courts, mini-golf and more!

     

    Golfing: Featuring rolling hills, flowing creeks, long lush fairways and perfectly manicured greens, the golf course at the Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is enjoyable for all levels of play. This 6350 yard 18-hole championship course affords spectacular views of the Catskill and Shawangunk Mountains while putting every part of your game to the test.

     

    Spa: Offering a full menu of spa treatments and massage therapies, the Spa professionals at the Hudson Valley Resort can help you select the right service for you.  Whether you choose to ease your mind and body with Shiatsu, discover deep relaxation and tranquility with a Swedish massage, or treat yourself to a European facial and algae body treatment, you’re sure to walk out refreshed, revitalized and rejuvenated.

     

    Hudson Valley Resort & Spa is located at 400 Granite Road, Kerhonkson, NY 12446

     

    For more information about Hudson Valley Resort & Spa, please visit: http://www.hudsonvalleyresort.com/