Nearing the end of my stay on Marvin’s Mountaintop there’s a sadness that the good times experienced here will soon be over. At the same time, due to the exhaustion that’s set in following more than 44 hours of live music that’s taken place over three days and nights, a sense of relief arises with the knowledge that I will be reunited with loved ones and conveniences left at home.
Boosting my spirits, the 15th annual All Good Music Festival & Campout sent me on my way on a high note.
Greensky Bluegrass completed the daily dose of bluegrass artists. But, as dobro player Anders Beck pointed out, the group isn’t just bluegrass it’s also “greengrass.” In other words, like the other roots artists that played the fest, Greensky puts its own creative spin on a traditional style.
Ironically, a day after the members held a discussion on how it adapts rock songs into a bluegrass format, the band avoided any covers during its hour-long set. The quintet did offer a preview of its upcoming album, which is due this fall, by playing the new song “Jaywalking.”
J. Roddy Walston & the Business became another worthwhile discovery at All Good. Its sound combined Led Zeppelin with Guns N’ Roses, Humble Pie and Kings of Leon.
Toots & the Maytals offered a set of classic reggae that began with “Pressure Drop” and included “Monkey Man” and the fitting “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” The set actually began with a couple numbers performed by Toots’ daughter, Leba Hibbert, including a cover of John Waite’s “Missing You.”
The Bridge played an emotional set because it was more than likely the Baltimore act’s final All Good. After years of recording and touring the group is ready to call it a day later this year, with hometown shows scheduled this November. Its set started with “Brother Don’t” and the radio-friendly “Rosie,” then ended with the appropriately titled “Coming Home.”
For the thousands who didn’t make an early dash to beat the traffic from Marvin’s Mountaintop they were rewarded when Dark Star Orchestra played the final set at the 15th annual All Good Music Festival & Campout. The group constructed a scorching original set of Grateful Dead tunes that included “The Music Never Stopped,” “Franklin’s Tower” and “Shakedown Street” and then added a twist by covering Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue” during the encore.
It was a great way to end this edition of All Good and put everyone in the right mood to start making plans to attend next year.