Rock and Roll Resort Kerhonkson NY March 23 2018

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The latest Rock and Roll resort, this year The Grateful Escape, is going full speed in Kerhonkson NY.  Friday night we arrived in time for dinner, and got right to it. We had already missed Kind Bud’s welcome party but our good friend Andre was there and captured this song, Captain of the Trip. Bud hosted the Welcoming Party at the Rock N Roll Resort, setting the tone of the festival by opening with Terrapin Station and playing a two and a half hour set.  He even dedicated a song to Stella, the newest festival family member (congrats Alison and Jeremy).

West End Blend kicked off the main stage with a 6 PM set that everyone says was great.  We were checking in to get our passes and hotel room, dropping our luggage and heading out to dinner so sadly we missed it.  The check in procedure was executed perfectly and we were able to quickly find some friends with whom we could eat dinner in the dining room.  My wife had pasta and meatballs and I had the sweet and sour tofu (on a whim, not usually a tofu guy) plus lots of fruit and salad to get powered up for a big night and a big weekend.

We were on time to see the opening set of two for Golden Gate Wingmen.  This is the third show for the band on their annual spring run of the northeast, having already visited Philadelphia and Washington DC in the two nights prior. They threw down two full sets of great music, featuring both favorites from the Grateful song book and originals and less frequently heard non Dead material. Kadlecik also showed why he is the true arbiter of this scene and its music with a tale about the song Givin Me the Business relating that it was originally written for John Lee Hooker by Robert Hunter, the lyricist we all know and love.  But because of Hooker’s passing it ended up on the album American Spring by the band The Mix which included Kadlecik, Greg Anton of Zero and Melvin Seals plus Jeff Pevar and Kevin Rosen. Full show audio, use the arrows to toggle between songs.

Set list: Cleaning Windows Half Step Givin Me the Business They Love Each Other Crazy Fingers Ripple Set two: Women R Smarter Sugaree Love Sick Help on the Way Slipknot Black Muddy River Tough of Grey Not Fade Away

For the rest of the evening we wandered the resort which has been updated some since the last time we were here.  The vibe was welcoming and friendly and people were very happy to be here.  The food was also a bit better than the last time we were here and for those not able to hit dining room hours, there are food trucks parked right outside. In between the two Wingmen sets was a funk all star set featuring Jen Durkin and I know that the band included Johnny Durkin on percussion, Doug Wimbish (Living Colour) on bass, Adrian T on drums (Kung Fu, the Breakfast) but lots of other folks too on horns and guitars and keys and vocals.  As usual the queen of festival funk, Ms Durkin had it going on and was giving everybody the business were her fun funky band.  It’s always so fun to see her smile and having a great time on a festival stage. Full show audio, use the arrows to toggle between songs.

We got a chance to see some of Hartford’s funk favorites, West End Blend.  A stage full of singers and horns who were in sync and throwing it down.  They played two sets including I believe one on the main stage prior to the Wingmen, and I know that it’s a band I have to keep my eyes on, everyone is raving about them.

Kung Fu took the main stage and were a funky jammy force of reckoning.  The light show kicked it up to another level and the Fu got deep into it.  They were definitely more on the jammy side, but B3 master Beau Sasser was keeping it funky while Tim Palmieri and Rob Somerville were trading licks all set long.  Adrian on the drums seemed to be inspired on this night, with a nice lengthy drum solo that had me seeing his progressive interpretation of the masters like Buddy Rich. Full show audio, use the arrows to toggle between songs.

Gratefully Yours was the final slot that I saw as two AM was turning to three AM was turning to four AM.   It was nice to catch Feels Like a Stranger into Franklin’s Tower during their set.  My first Dead show opened with those two songs (Providence 9 7 87) so I appreciated the look.  Lowell from Lucid was sitting in with them on harmonica and percussion and it was great to see him up there.  It was adding a really cool vibe to the band, for me.  I caught the Music Never Stopped and that was for me, where it would stop.

I settled into my room and we crashed for a few hours before Saturday was set to begin.  Pace yourself man, pace yourself.

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

To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at [email protected]