Mulberry Mountain Harvest Festival, Ozark Arkansas

Real magic happens on Mulberry Mountain and anyone who has been can attest. This was my first time to attend Harvest festival but not my first festival on Mulberry Mountain, in fact its now my fourth festival on the grounds and I had possibly the most magical time. I say that after every festival up there but it always gets better. My involvement with the production , the people, the pure power of nature there grows deeper each time. Mulberry Mountain was the first place where I found my niche, my people, my self.  I simply cannot stay away. I could write forever on the way the mountain made me who I am today but enough about that, how was the music you say?! Well I volunteered this time around to earn free admission so I missed a lot of the music. These are the groups I was able to see: Les ClayPool’s Duo de Twang, Dirtfoot, SpaceCamp, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Beats Antique, Everyone Orchestra, Andy Frasco & The U.N.

But out of those groups these deserve a review:

Everyone Orchestra- This review goes at the top of the list because it was by FAR my favorite set, favorite idea behind a group of musicians, and really everything I love about living life organically. Everyone Orchestra consists of conductor Matt Butler, who invites different artists from various groups to play together improvisational style with no pre-written material, thus truly organic music. I danced, jived, spun, and possibly cried this set was so good. The musicians feed off the crowd to determine the energy and Butler gives musical direction by means of a whiteboard. So no two shows can ever even be similar based on the artists invited to jam.

Les ClayPool’s Duo de Twang- My only questions is why didn’t you play any of your handmade instruments Les?

Dirtfoot- Gimme that sax baby. This band right here converted me into a bluegrass lover. They come from Shreveport, LA and I can’t wait till they make it big.

Yonder Mountain String Band- Yonder are the headliners of the whole festival so they play all three nights of Harvest. We went to see them all three nights. If only my parents could have had faith I’d be a country convert in time they might not have tortured me with it as a child. Their ability to pick and fiddle will spin your head, I swore they all had eight fingers playing that quickly.

Railroad Earth- RRE played two sets and I caught them both. The set held inside of the Harvest Tent late Friday night was by far the better of the two for me. It was heavily influenced by the Eastern scale and I danced danced danced the night away.

Beats Antique- Review to come after their 11/6/13 show.

Andy Frasco & The U.N.- OK,OK,OK, I have to give Andy a big ole’ two thumbs WAY up. Don’t watch his videos on youtube, they’re terribly corny and that isn’t how his live shows are in the least. Andy closed out the festival Saturday night/Sunday morning and his time slot was a perfect end to the festival. They brought the most energy and good time party vibe you could want at 2:00 am to end a great festival, it was funky jam central.

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