When the Allman Brothers Band first began over 40 years ago, they were always a close knit family. Remarkably, they remain that today growing into new generations. Wanee serves as a welcoming musical family reunion. This is the Allman’s own celebration to share with their fans & the rest of the world.
The idyllic day started for me at the Peach Stage with a beautifully rootsy set from blues master Taj Mahal & his trio. Some songs that moved me most were “I’m a-Goin’ Fishin”, “Checkin up on my baby”, “Corinna”, “Queen Bee” & closer “The Blues is alright”.
From here, I wandered over to the Mushroom Stage to catch some of Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band. Their electric jazz savvy demeanor won me over instantly as I’d never heard them before. Jaimoe created a fusion of style lovely to the ears with his world class musician friends.
Rusted Root sounded earthy & nice in the rustic groove filled grove of people & trees strung with hammocks. Highlights were “Send me on my way” & “Back to the Earth”.
The esteemed cult band Ween meandered mightily thru an eccentric long fun engaging set that included dusty gems like the Prince-esque “Monique the Freak”, Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, my personal fave “Voodoo Lady” to touch on a few.
The buzzed up highly anticipated Tedeschi Trucks Band turned out to be an enormous hit with me & the massive crowd gathered at the Peach. The TTB have just recently started their maiden voyage as a rejuvenated wildly talented 11 piece band. Their soulful charm & instantly pleasing musical chemistry led by the dynamic team of (my friends) Susan Tedeschi & Derek Trucks was completely awe inspiring. Susan mostly leads the charge of this joy generating soul infused rock revival collective stellar effort.
Many original songs were prominently featured in the magnificent set like “Bound for Glory”, “Love has something else to say”, “Midnight in Harlem”, “Learn how to love”, “Standing on the edge of love”, (all from TTB record “Revelator” dropping 6/7) as well as “Comin’ Home”, “Sing a simple song” & Wonder’s “Uptight “ > Herbie Hancock’s “Space Captain”. This gracious group is true Wanee royalty.
Steve Miller Band remains a force in the rock scene & they brought their A game to Wanee this year. Steve appeared dashing & sounded strong as ever. He spoke of his brand new guitar he just got that day, a gleaming Warren Haynes model & joked that it even had a “special” switch.
Some of my faves played were “Jet Airliner”, “Wild Mountain Honey”, “Dance Dance Dance”, “Swingtown”, “Fly like an Eagle”, “The Joker”, “Space Cowboy” (from 1968) & “Jungle Love”.
Cruising back to the Mushroom stage, I was able to catch some of the raging hot Mike Gordon show. Some heights reached here were the likes of “Walls of Time” > “Black Tamborine” > “Down to the Nightclub” > “Suskind Hotel” (with O’teil Burbridge from ABB & TTB jamming the funk), “I miss my mind”, “Horizon Line” & sultry “Sugar Shack” closer. The kids loved it. Everybody did.
The Allman Brothers Band lit up the big stage under a potent nearly full moon opening eagerly with “Don’t Keep me wondering”. My personal standouts in their rip roaring 2 hours plus set were Warren’s “Rocking Horse”, “Southbound” (with Jr. Mack sitting in), “Blind Willie McTell”, “No one left to run with”, “Leavin’ Trunk” & “Statesboro Blues” (both with Taj Mahal). Finishing off with all high peakage: Gregg’s “Dreams”, Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic”, a frenzied reprise of “Mountain Jam” & the climax surging “Whipping Post” encore.
[Freak note: Both ABB shows & other Wanee sets are available to buy thru the good folks at Munck Music, who are located at the Live Recordings Tent back by the vendors. You can also get them by visiting their website munckmusic(dot)com. I always say the very best souvenir you can bring home from a fest or music event is a high quality recording of what you saw & heard. Munck also offers New Orleans Jazzfest & other liveness. Tell them the freak sent ya. Thanks in advance.]
Me with the Munck Music krewe at Wanee: Mike, Crisitina, me & Brad
It was clear that these ol’ southern boys the Allmans were showing that as long as they host this wondrous festival in their balmy backyard, they were gonna bring it with such full blown passion that this was convincingly their legacy to share. I could feel it.
New Orleans funk purveyors Galactic for late night at the psychedelic Shroom stage was the quintessential finisher for this festive freakout of a fest. The ultimate late night all night band Galactic with special guests Corey Henry (Rebirth) & Corey Glover (Living Colour) broke out the revved slamtastic Nola groove.
The dancing & music were non-stop. Some of my apexes for this cosmic occasion were bouncy “Funky Bird”, “You don’t know”, “Keep steppin”, krunky “Total Destruction to your mind”, sexy fired “Give it up”, “Boe Money” (kind nod to Eddie), “Can I be your main squeeze?” (old school Chuck Carbo funk), fantasmic “Love rears its ugly head” & heady Mardi Gras indian strut “Ooh Nah Nay”. The encores were “Santa Cruz” & “How many more times”. I sincerely didn’t want this to end. Ever.
I have known & been friends with Galactic since day 1 & I must say they are always improving & getting more honed in their mindbending craft. I was happy to chat with bassist Robert Mercurio (aka Bobby Mac) & guitarist Jeff Raines as I wandered thru the night.
After seemingly many days of fun outdoors in the sun & nights under the moon, I knew something right away. I knew that i would come back here to Wanee next year & the year after that. And so on. I hope to never miss this one. You could say I fell head over dancing heels in love with Wanee. I just hope Jazzfest doesn’t mind.