There comes a time when the heat, humidity, unrelenting sun and, of course, the hours of music come together to warp one’s sense of reality. At this point during the 15th annual All Good Festival the only method of recalling what day it is rests on checking the concert schedule.
On Saturday it started to feel as if we lived on Marvin’s Mountaintop for much more than two days. But there wasn’t time to panic because more than 18 hours of live music awaited.
For some such as Donna the Buffalo and JJ Grey & Mofro their appearances solidified their reputation as artists who deserve greater popularity. Donna the Buffalo whips up a potent mix of roots, Cajun, country, folk and rock, while Grey tackles Stax-laden soul to swamp rock with ease.
After recommendations from my friend Eric to check out Orgone followed by bad timing that prevented me from doing so, I finally had that opportunity. With a guitarist who looks like a young Carlos Santana, horn section, fierce percussion breaks and skintight rhythm section this Los Angeles funk act blossomed with a natural groove. Its fearlessness gave way for a cover of the classic Parliament Funkadelic tune, “Cosmic Slop.”
Another classic funk set arrived late in the evening from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.
Marco Benevento played in an “acoustic trio” that included an electric bassist, drummer and sound effects. But what stood out more than the technical imperfection of the trio’s description, was the joy displayed through the inspired instrumentals. When Benevento wasn’t playing on his beat up piano, he was cleaning out his closet by tossing out freebies – t-shirts, vinyl and CDs – related to his 2010 solo album, “Between the Needles & Nightfall.”
Zach Deputy did double duty when he performed a solo set that featured his looping approach and then joined the Rex Jam later in the day. Matt Butler conducted the jam that included Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico (moe.), Marco Benevento, Rob Koritz (Dark Star Orchestra), Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass) and Jennifer Hartswick.
Both Schnier and Amico returned for an amazing 105-minute set by moe. that featured the group’s ability to bring songwriting hooks that are matched by seamless jamming sections on numbers such as “Buster,” “Skrunk” and “Akimbo.”
A longtime favorite among the All Good crowd, Yonder Mountain String Band began its set as if the quartet pounded several quarts of espresso, particularly Jeff Austin. That energy didn’t lead to any sloppy playing, only an enthusiasm that was matched by the crowd.
Primus dealt longtime classics such as “Jerry was a Race Car Driver,” “Harold of the Rocks” and “Groundhog Day” with a taste of new songs from the trio’s upcoming album, “Green Naugahyde,” due Sept. 13.
Later, Papadosio showed poppier elements that gave a surprising twist to its propulsive electronic dance numbers, while Pretty Lights finished the day with an extra long set that matched heavy beats with visual spectacle — Derek Vincent Smith whipping up the recipe for late night revelers at the top of a massive wall that produced an eye-popping light show.