Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 13
Music in the oaksThe Live Oak Music Festival by KCBX Public Radio meets for another year of quality music in a beautiful setting
BY JOE PAYNE
Anyone who’s been to KCBX Public Radio’s three-day Live Oak Music Festival can attest to the quality of music, passion, and fun to be had. Happening under the peaceful oaks of Live Oak Camp, right next to Cachuma Lake off of Highway 154, the festival is a relaxing weekend of camping, cooking, jamming, dancing, and much more.
Always taking place on Father’s Day weekend, the Live Oak Music Festival is enjoying its 24th year of providing two booked-solid stages of local musical artists, as well as big-name touring acts.
“It’s three days of just amazing music and making new friends,” said Frank Lanzone, general manager at KCBX Public Radio. “Our tag line is ‘Peace, love, dirt.’ It’s in a beautiful, rural area.”
The festival also includes vendors of delicious foods, fine arts, and other fun detours. Day passes are available, as are camping passes, where the buyers receive their own campground from which to enjoy the entire weekend.
“Everybody that shows up has just a wonderful time enjoying the workshops, music, and camaraderie,” Lanzone said. “It’s a magical weekend.”
Workshops are often scheduled with some of the performing artists, Lanzone explained. With the help of a moderator, the artists talk about their art, take questions, and jam. There are also jamming workshops where interested musicians can join in on a group, not to mention all the jam sessions that start up spontaneously around campfires and under trees.
This year has quite a lineup of talent scheduled to perform on the main stage. Three main headliners are showcased each night of the festival. This year, performing on the first night of the festival (Friday, June 15 at 9 p.m.), is the Rebirth Brass Band. The Grammy-award-winning jazz band creates a modern fusion of classic New Orleans style brass with funk, soul, jazz, and hip hop. Headlining Saturday, June 16, is Carolyn Wonderland performing her distinct Texas blues-style rock, including her ripping guitar solos and powerful vocals.
Headlining the entire festival this year and performing Sunday, June 17, is the folk rock duo the Indigo Girls. Singer-songwriters Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been collaborating for more than 30 years, since they met in high school in Georgia. They’re known for their songwriting skills that incorporate several styles of American music, as well as their vocal harmonies. Their tight, intricate harmonies characterize their music and are simply wonderful to listen to.
"I would guess we sort of have an instinct for harmonies because we have been playing together so long,” Ray said. “We try a lot of things, different combinations, but the way we blend has always been there.”
The pair has performed as an acoustic duo over the years and has organized a full band a few times. For the Live Oak concert, the Indigo Girls will be backed up by the Shadowboxers, a band that will also be opening for the pair. They’ll be performing music from all of the Indigo Girls albums, Ray said, including tracks from their latest album, Beauty Queen Sister.
The Live Oak Music Festival is actually KCBX Public Radio’s No. 1 fundraising event. What’s simply three days of awesome live music supports a good part of a year of quality public radio. The Indigo Girls have offered their support to KCBX in the way of a discount on their performing price. Activism is a huge part of the Indigo Girls’ outlook, including politics, environmentalism, civil rights, and especially public radio.
“I like community events, and I think public radio is very important,” Ray said. “It’s important to make sure radio waves stay free.”
KCBX Public Radio continues to lend its support to the musical community by promoting quality music, be it classical, world, folk, jazz, or underground.
“We are one of the only places where you can get music that is put together by people, not by a computer or a board of directors,” Lanzone said. “It’s kind of a dying breed of information and entertainment that is important for people to hear.”
Tickets for the Live Oak Music Festival are still available. Ticket information, as well as a complete lineup of talent, can be found at liveoakfest.org.
The Central City Swing Big Band presents its annual summer jazz concert featuring vocal numbers by Michelle Swanson and Mitch Latting on June 12 at 7:30 p.m., Unity Chapel, 1165 Stubblefield Road, Orcutt. Donations accepted. More info: 937-3025.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including country music by Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols in concert June 8 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. The “8th Annual Maverick Music Festival” presents Wil Ridge, The Grasshoppers, Magnificent Bastards, The Belmores Band, Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols, and DJ Totem on June 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or email@example.com.
Contact Calendar Editor Joe Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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