Bear Creek 2014 Orchestra At Large
November 16, 2014
Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Music Festival – Purple Hat Stage
01. Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock cover)
02. The Chicken (The J.B.’s cover)
03. Superstition (Stevie Wonder cover)
04. Will It Go Round In Circles (Billy Preston cover)
05. If You Want Me To Stay > It’s A Family Affair (Sly & The Family Stone covers)
06. Chameleon (Herbie Hancock cover)
Part 1 of 5:
George Porter Jr – bass, vocals, drums Bernard “Pretty” Purdie – drums Grant Green Jr – guitar, vocals Brandon “Taz” Neiderauer – guitar Oteil Burbridge – bass Roosevelt “The Dr” Collier – steel guitar Khris Royal – sax, keys Jennifer Hartswick – trumpet, vocals Farnell Newton – trumpet Carly Meyers – trombone Pee Wee Ellis – sax Skerik – sax Corey Fonville – drums Nicholas Payton – keys, trumpet Eric Vogel – bass
Every year since 2007 the Bear Creek Music & Art Festival has brought together a huge family of artists from around the country who are steeped in the underground funk scene. This festival prides itself in having more sit-ins than any other festival and this is encouraged by having several Artists At Large that roam around the festival, jumping in and playing with as many different acts as they can.
In 2012, the Artists At Large included Alecia Chakour, Andrew Block, The Atlanta Funk Society Horns, Billy Iuso, Freekbass, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, Michelle Sarah, Pee Wee Ellis, Robert Walter, Roosevelt Collier and Will Bernard. The Orchestra At Large set, an annual tradition begun in 2011, gives all of these artists, plus others, the chance to really come together and play in unique formats. For 2012, the Orchestra At Large set took place at 12:30pm on Sunday morning at the Big IV Amphitheatre. While most festival-goer’s were not quite up and out of their tents yet, I was able to capture most of the set with 2 video cameras for your viewing pleasure.
It was truly a pleasure to see the once in a lifetime rhythm section of George Porter Jr & Billy Martin. Other highlights included Jennifer Hartswick belting out Led Zeppelin‘s Whole Lotta Love over a psychedelic haze of guitar fuzz, Michelle Sarah showing her vocal chops on a cover of Bill Withers‘ hit When I’m Kissing My Love, as well as the interplay, respect, and love between George Porter Jr & Nigel Hall during their cover of Billy Preston‘s Will It Go Round In Circles. ENJOY THE ENTIRE SET BELOW IN 6 PARTS:
Song 01. Play It Back [Robert Walter] (Robert Walter, Billy Martin, George Porter Jr, Will Bernard, Billy Iuso, Andrew Block, Pee Wee Ellis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
Song 02. Zig Zag [Pee Wee Ellis] (Robert Walter, Billy Martin, George Porter Jr, Will Bernard, Billy Iuso, Andrew Block, Pee Wee Ellis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
Song 03. Whole Lotta Love [Led Zeppelin] (Jennifer Hartswick, Freekbass, Robert Walter, Billy Martin, Will Bernard, Billy Iuso, Andrew Block, Pee Wee Ellis, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
Song 04. Love Having You Around [Stevie Wonder] (Nigel Hall, Alecia Chakour, Freekbass, Nikki Glaspie, Robert Walter, Will Bernard, Billy Iuso, Andrew Block, Pee Wee Ellis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
Song 05. Will It Go Round In Circles [Billy Preston] (Nigel Hall, Roosevelt Collier, George Porter Jr, Nikki Glaspie, Will Bernard, Andrew Block, Pee Wee Ellis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
Song 06. Trippin Over Dragons [Billy Iuso] (Billy Iuso, Freekbass, Nikki Glaspie, Robert Walter, Will Bernard, Pee Wee Ellis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
Song 07. When I’m Kissing My Love [Bill Withers] (Michelle Sarah, Roosevelt Collier, George Porter Jr, Derrick Freeman, Wil Blades, Will Bernard, Andrew Block, Pee Wee Ellis, Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman & The Atlanta Funk Society Horns)
PART 6: (shot by CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS)
Song 08. He Bite Me (The Dragon) [The Meters] (George Porter Jr, Roosevelt Collier, Terrence Houston, Robert Walter, Billy Iuso, Will Bernard, Skerik & Pee Wee Ellis)
At the risk of making this blog too NOLA-centric, the next few posts will feature Jazz Fest related content. While I was in New Orleans for the 2nd weekend of Jazz Fest I shot around 9 hours of video footage in the span of only four nights. As that footage makes its way to youtube I’ll be posting it here.
The first night after we arrived, I went straight to the Maple Leaf for a unique lineup that’s been over 2 years in the making (thanks to Deborah Vidacovich for the booking efforts, and the cookies). As some of you may know, Johnny Vidavovich (the legendary New Orleans drummer) has a weekly gig at the Maple Leaf on Thursday nights billed as “the Trio”. Although the gig doesn’t always consist of only 3 players, it almost always consists of the Johnny Vidacovich / George Porter Jr rhythm section. One of the most usual third players is June Yamagishi, guitarist for Papa Grows Funk. In fact, this Trio configuration has actually released a live album that you might want to check out: We Came To Play.
On this particular night, George, Johnny & June were joined by heavyweight Ivan Neville. Ivan’s barebones rig preference, like John Medeski, is a Hammond B-3 organ and Leslie speaker coupled with a clavinet. When Ivan comes to the Maple Leaf, he comes to bring it, and this night his chops were as deep as I’ve ever witnessed.
The night opened right up with some greasy funk improvisation until George broke a bass string. [about 5.5 minutes into the video located below] As he re-strung, Ivan & June locked into a nasty groove. That groove began to build up higher and higher until [about 10 minutes into the video] George releases all of the energy in the room and opens up the second weekend right, belting out the opening lines to “Let The Good Times Roll.” Then June let’s loose a straight fire guitar solo. Yeah, You Right.
This next video includes 4 tunes, beginning with a cover of the Jessie Hill classic “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” which segues into another New Orleans classic “Don’t You Just Know It” by Huey Piano Smith. Then Ivan drops right into the “Cabbage Alley” organ riff, which really allows Johnny to show off his second-line drum rhythms. Johnny’s second line will have you mesmerized as they segue into another groove that George turns into a swampy version of Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour.” Quite a first set, and captured from the perfect vantage point in the front row.
The second set began with more improvisation, which quickly turned into a cover of the Billy Preston tune, “Will It Go Round In Circles.” See the next video to watch Ivan get a little gospel with it.
Unexpectedly, Corey Glover, the singer for Living Colour (and more recently, Galactic), jumped on stage for a riveting cover of the Temptations’ mind-bender, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”! There isn’t much else to be said, so just watch/listen to it!
This final video begins with Ivan leading the crowd on a sing-along through Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.” This moves into another very unexpected selection, “Come Back Jack” an unreleased tune by Leo Nocentelli, original guitarist for The Meters. That then turns into a song that I had hoped to hear, a tune that Ivan & George tend to bust out when they play together at the Maple Leaf, the Tami Lynn classic made famous by the Neville Brothers, “Mojo Hannah.”