10451068_10206525684355079_1641809277566755266_nGratefulfest at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park

July 17 and 18 2015

Garrettsville OH


To Submit a review for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.

 Check out day two review and audio here.

So this idyllic spot aside a lake in northeast Ohio was a frequent stop for us as we did our tours of summer festivals.  We saw Dark Star Orchestra during the John Kadlecik days, saw the last DSO Gratefulfest four day marathon headliner, and then the first Gratefulfest post DSO.  There is an amazing lake, and our kids loved to swim and hang out here.  To them, and our New England home base, we don’t have to say the name of the place, just refer to it as Ohio.

So it is with great excitement that we return here in 2015 to soak up Gratefulfest.  They down sized the number of stages and perhaps the number of bands, and made it a more concise and perhaps a bit more organized in terms of a compact two day weekend festival.  We would be here a lot more were it not for the 600 miles that separate it from our home.

We left around 5:30 PM on WED and drove, figuring that at 1AM or so we’d find a rest area in western NY to park and rest.  But at that point we were within about 100 miles so we took a break, and hot footed it to Garrettsville, arriving at 4 AM.  We figured that we’d have to park outside the gate and wait til dawn, but nope, dude was at the gate with his little campfire and let us in and was informative, especially for the hour.  We spent Thursday setting up our vending spot amid the summer long vendors and the ones just arriving for the weekend, and took a swim in the quarry lake.  We started meeting new friends and connecting with old ones, a great sign for any festival.  We turned in early and got a great night sleep while the festivarians were starting to ramp up.

Friday morning dawned, and we opened up the booth after taking a stroll through the woods / camping areas.  It was now Dead Ahead Ohioclear that the line of cars that were coming in 1-5 at a time since we arrived 30 hours earlier were amounting to something and I’m guessing that even FRI morning there is more than a thousand people here.  But that’s nothing, this place can take a few thousand it seems.  

The sets began on both the main stage with the Maui Pranksters and on the second stage after, Dead Ahead Ohio.  Bost were almost exclusively Grateful Dead tribute bands, and both bands were spirited and while not competing with their mentors, were fun to listen to.

Set lists, which may not be complete, but just might be…

Maui Pranksters
That’s what Love Will Make You Do         Shakedown West LA Fadeaway         Althea  Jack Straw
original by someone in the band named Troll  Going out for people’s birthdays: Sugaree
Passenger    Alligator (with kazoo) into Liberty
row jimmy  doin that rag    They Love Each Other   Foolish Heart  US BLUES

 Check out day two review and audio here.

second stage Dead Ahead Ohio

Mr Charlie  China Cat Sunflower  Jack Straw Feels Like a Stranger Sugar Magnolia -> SSDD

Cornmeal Audio

 At exactly 3 PM, right on time, Chicago’s jam grassers Cornmeal took the stage.  I’ve been hearing them for years, and have run into them a few times including at the Mighty High in 2012 I think it was, and in Northampton at the Iron Horse in Northampton.  The lineup seems to change all the time, and I’m seeing upright bass, fiddle, acoustic guitar and mandolin upfront, with drums behind.  They opened hard and hot and segued directly into the second song.  The band threw down a lengthy set of great tunes- stretching past the bluegrass boundaries and into rock band territory with exploratory jams.Melvin

Up for another set on the second stage Dead Ahead Ohio opens their second set of the day with a spirited version of the Rascals Good Lovin, done in the Bobby late 1970s Shakedown Street style.  They are having a super good time, with members of the band’s crew hanging stage side.  I happened to be sitting within a few feet of the stage and it’s fun to hear them talking on stage while they are tuning about what upcoming songs to do.  “You’ve got the Truckin Terrapin, right dude?”  Scarlet Begonias has just begun:  4:57 PM OHIO TIME!  

 second stage Dead Ahead Ohio…  

Good Lovin      Eyes of the World    Hell in a Bucket     Scarlet Begonias  Me and my Uncle

 There is a live feed happening at:  http://mixlr.com/rippleish20/


Melvin Seals and JGB

Lay Down Sally   Cats Down Under the Stars   Sugaree     Evangeline

 The band is in really good voice, both in terms of the vocals, but also in terms of executing and delivering tight versions of the material.  They are hitting the notes and the energy perfectly.  

Expressway to your Heart   Positively Fourth Street   (Bob Dylan)    Johnny Too Bad  (Jimmy Cliff)n  Sisters and Brotherggws   Midnight moonlight

  Check out day two review and audio here.

second stage Dead Ahead Ohio…  

Half Step   (*  with Corinne Henahan guesting on vocals)    Playin in the Band (*)   Terrapin Station (*)


Golden Gate Wingmen:

opening jam ->   Train to Cry     in the last few notes, the rain that has been threatening for a day has arrived, with a quick downpour.   They Love Each Other    Brown Eyed Women    Standing in the Doorway (Bob Dylan-  I asked Reed Mathis why he played that song, and he said it was within his working top 20-  no matter where he was, no matter which band, he could bust out this song and know that he could lead a band and really deliver.)        John Kadlecik Gratefulfest July 17 2015

 Check out day two review and audio here.

What’s Become of Mary  ( a song from the band The MIx with John Kadlecik and Melvin Seals, who played earlier tonight)    Cleaning Windows (Van Morrison)   Masterpiece (Dylan)  set break..  it’s been raining on and off during the set, with occasional lightning.  It’s been sporadic enough so that no one seems to care really.   The band is in good form-  having fun with the material but they have yet to really walk the tight rope.  Likely they will after set break.

I’m recording on audio, for my first big project in this regard.  I recently bought a Tascom DR something digital audio recorder and I’m giving it a try.  I got some of the Cornmeal set, 90% of the Melvin set, and all of the GGW set so far.

Golden Gate Wingmen set two!

 Set break brings a pretty big deluge, along with some thunder and lightning.  We are all sorts of hot and humid to start set two but it seems that the rain is going to let up on us at least to start.

Bertha     Looks Like Rain   (while the humidity would make you feel so, it’s not actually raining right now!!)   Givin Me the Business (A song by the band with John Kadlecik and Melvin Seals, plus Greg Anton-  The Mix  Lyrics by Robert Hunter and Music by Greg Anton.)   The Ladder (Reed Mathis original, a truly happy and bouncing song-  I’ve only heard it within the context of Golden Gate Wingmen.  It’s a great song and demonstrates what is special about this band.  Having band members and song writers within the band performing material heretofore unknown.  We’ve been seeing Reed in bands for years, but it is the Wingmen that allows him to step forward and take control of his music and present to us within this context.  reed This is the secret of the Wingmen and what makes them more legit than almost any other band on the scene.  The ability to take the material we are familiar with and make it new, and to take new material and make it seem familiar.  They are taking flight now.

Up next an alternate version of Women R Smarter.  The song is steeped in a slightly different tea, with the emphasis swinging to a different shuffle.  It’s more of a Dixie Chicken than an Aiko beat, and the band is bending and moulding the song to their will.  It’s the lovechild of the two songs, Little Feat meets King Radio (Norman Span) via the Grateful Dead- but not?   Guys,  let’s check out the other side of this song-  This Side??  No, we’ve seen that one before,  the other, other side….

A bit of a Reed Mathis solo leads us through a dark quick jam, hinted at the John Kadlecik original River Run, but spills into the Garcia classic, Crazy Fingers.  Reed Mathis sings, melodic as can be.

Help on the Way leads into Slipknot as you would expect.  What you may not expect is the Ripple that it spills into.. is that a DC Gogo beat?  It’s some alteration similar to what they did last weekend, Sunday, in Santa Cruz at Mountain Sol festival.  This is the first appearance east of the Mississippi of this particular mashup.  And that was that.  No encore, a capper of a song to end the second set, all the way up to the time limit.


To Submit a review for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.


Check out day two Gratefulfest review and audio here.

Check out Night One of the Recovered Series which featured Marco Benevento and The Primate Fiasco.

Review:  The Who Ohio Stadium May 15 2015 by Jack O’Handley

Review:  The Rolling Stones Ohio Stadium May 30 2015 by Jack O’Handley

Review:  U2  Chicago July 2 2015 by Jeff Rabin

Review:  The Dead  Chicago July 5 2015

Review: The Dead Chicago July 3 2015   

Fresh Hops out on national tour!

Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Melvin Seals and JGB with John Kadlecik The Warfield June 26 2015 by Steve Kennedy

Review of the Start Making Sense Boston Boat cruise from June 28 2015

Check out the review of two nights of My Morning Jacket in Columbus, OH.

RUSH R40 review June 23 2015 Boston MA

Adam Ezra Group release new video for Let Your Hair Down while out on national tour.

Check out the review by Marc Lovely of The Avett Brothers and Shovels and Rope from June 14 2015.

Check out the review of Golden Gate Wingmen at Toad’s on June 14 by Miles Hurley.

Check out the review of Rusted Root, the Wailers and Adam Ezra Group from Hampton Beach, NH here.

Mike Gordon reviewed in Columbus OH.

Upcoming John Kadlecik and Golden Gate Wingmen tour dates.