Coconut Times’ Melissa took her son Matthew to the Firefly Festival in Dover last Sat. Her observations: It was huge: four stages, the first one right as we walked into The Lawn. We saw Cake there; down and to the right of that was The Porch where Lower Case Blues was set to play. Prepared for the heat, there was a Cool Down & Charge up Station, an air conditioned tent with plenty of electrical outlets for charging up devices; plus a FREE Water fill-up station. Nearby was a FREE Arcade with classic titles and ALL FREE. Way down a path lined with endless food vendors and ending in a wine tasting vineyard was another path through a beautifully decorated and lit up forest, a magical entry way to the other side where there were 2 more stages, The Backyard and The Firefly Main Stage where we saw Modest Mouse and Matt’s favorite band, The Killers. Two areas had hot air balloon rides and a hammock lounge. The huge festival site was so cool being in a wooded and grassy area. St. Jude’s benefited from sales. Firefly was quite a success (about 80,000 tickets sold) and 2013 is already being planned.
We have two big national acts visiting our town this week. G. Love will appear Mon. on Seacrets’ main stage in the Morley Hall. Opening for him will be our own Bryan Russo Trio. To introduce him to those who may not have heard the name, I’m going to quote just a brief part of his online bio by Sonya Shelton. “Combining blues and hip-hop into what he termed “ragmop,” G. Love (born Garrett Dutton) rose from the streets of Philadelphia into the American music scene in 1994. At the beginning of his career, he fused his vocal and guitar talents with his band Special Sauce – acoustic bass player Jimmy “Jazz” Prescott and drummer Jeffrey Clemens. As G. Love and Special Sauce, they released such popular singles as “Cold Beverage” and “Baby’s Got Sauce.” Love went on to work with other bands, as well as playing and recording with Special Sauce. His good looks, smooth vocal delivery, and unfailing dedication to touring provided a steady climb to notoriety. Kevin Klein described Love’s persona in Weekly Alibi as “the Elvis Presley of hip hop: part [blues singer] John Lee Hooker and part [actor] Christian Slater.”” We are fortunate to have this singer/songwriter include us in his summer solo tour. Come check out the depth and sincerity of his music about which he has said [in Rolling Stone] “ Blues is just a feel of what’s going on, whether you’re an old black man in Mississippi or a white kid in Philly. I can only write about what I see and feel.”
Our second national act will be appearing Sat. at Trader Lee’s in West OC. What can I tell you about Dick Dale? Much more than would fit in this column, that’s for sure. Again, I would direct you to his extensive biography online where you’ll learn why he has earned so many titles over the years. “King of the Surf Guitar” was the first bestowed upon him by his fellow surfers in 1950s Calif. When guitar and amplifier guru Leo Fender and he met, history was made. Leo asked Dale to play his newly created Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar. Of course, as the story goes, “Fender broke into uncontrolled laughter and disbelief; he was watching Dale play a right-handed guitar upside down and backwards. Dale was playing a right-handed guitar left-handed and changing the chords in his head then transposing the chords to his hands to create a sound never heard before.” Watch him play and you’ll see he has never restrung a guitar to suit being left-handed. Together they tested amps, continually upping the wattage as Dale blew out speakers with his over-the-top loud style. These ‘experiments’ resulted in the 15-inch JBL-D130 speaker, the “Single Showman Amp.” Dale wanted more. As the crowds at his shows increased, his volume increased giving rise to the more powerful JBL-D130F teamed with a 180-watt output transformer. Dale came up with another creation because he thought his singing voice lacked vibrato. Using an old Hammond organ and reverb unit, he and Fender came up with the “Fender Tank Reverb.” Later he plugged his Stratocaster into it to sustain his guitar notes which became Dale’s trademark sound. Being the first to play at such an amped-up volume, Dale has been dubbed the “Father of Heavy Metal” by Guitar Player Magazine. Dale’s first album, Surfer’s Choice, was the first Surfing album to be commercially sold with a picture of Dale surfing by the pier in San Clemente, Calif. It sold more than 80,000 copies in the late ‘50s which would be comparable to about 4 million today. Six of his songs have been in movie soundtracks including “Miserlou”, the title song for Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” He appeared in three Beach Party movies as himself. Self-taught, Dale is also a master at acoustic, electronic, bass & spanish guitars; ukulele, banjo, drums, piano, organ, electronic keyboard, harpsichord, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, harmonica, xylophone and accordion. Now in his 70s, Dale continues to play with all the vigor and passion of a man half his age. You’ve got to come out and hear him, one show only, this Saturday, 7p.m., at Trader Lee’s in West Ocean City. How often do we have a legend in our midst.
As always, check out the “Who’s Where When” to check out the many awesome music opportunities, both day and night offered in our fair city - lovin’ these tribute bands.
I must close by saying how much my dear friend Carmel Wiley meant to me - a person never too timid to say ‘I love you” - and mean it. Her sense of fun was boundless as was her energy. I can still picture her in her Minnie Mouse costume for Halloween at the old Ocean Club - too cute. Her passing was sudden and therefore shocking, but I know she’s enjoying her new party venue with her dear husband Dean - and maybe saying hi to my hubby Ronnie too. We’ll miss you, Carmel.