As the Grateful Dead celebrates 50 years, Gathering of the Vibes, which was inspired by the iconic act, marks its 20th year. The festival, held July 30-Aug. 2 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has, once again, put together a unique lineup that should find inspiration in the tranquil surroundings and supportive crowd.
Stretching his musical muscles even further the exhaustingly busy Warren Haynes leads the Seaside All-Stars on Saturday. The lineup features such stellar players as George Porter Jr., Branford Marsalis, Jackie Greene, Joe Russo, Marco Benevento and Eric Krasno).
Haynes already surprised his longtime fans last month when it was announced that he collaborated with Railroad Earth for “Ashes & Dust,” an album that introduces him to the Americana genre for the first time in his career. The 13 acoustic tracks include material that Haynes’ has been developing for nearly 30 years. With the members of Railroad Earth he finds a sympathetic set of musicians who can transition from gorgeous arrangements to adding a touch of aggressive spark when necessary. They’ll perform together at Vibes on Saturday.
“Ashes” also finds Haynes working with Grace Potter, Shawn Colvin, Mickey Raphael, Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quinones.
Other collaborative sets at this year’s Vibes includes String Cheese Incident getting down to its bluegrass roots with Peter Rowan and David Grisman, Dark Star Orchestra joined by Melvin Seals (onetime keyboardist with Jerry Garcia Band and current leader of JGB), Electron, which brings together members of Disco Biscuits, Lotus and American Babies and Oktopus with Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident) and Todd Stoops (ex-Kung Fu).
With a roster that includes Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Gregg Allman, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Billy and the Kids, The Word featuring John Medeski, Robert Randolph, Luther and Cody Dickinson and John Chew, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lettuce, Greensky Bluegrass, Doyle Bramhall II and New Riders of the Purple Sage, it’s highly likely that a number of guest appearances will take place over the weekend.
The festival also hosts Wilco, Weezer, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the Gaslight Anthem, Zappa Plays Zappa, Tea Leaf Green, John Brown’s Body, Cabinet, Earphunk, Kung Fu, Twiddle, Max Creek, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Strangefold, Turkuaz, Bombino, Ryan Montbleau, the Nth Power, Trevor Hall, Moon Hooch and David Gans.
For more information, visit https://gatheringofthevibes.com/.