Orange Blossom Jamboree is Calling YOU! So Heed the Call Already!
Russ Bowers has unveiled the schedule for the 2018 Orange Blossom Jamboree. OBJ is an annual opportunity to show off the massive talent in the Sunshine State. Now, realistically, it would take a month to be able to put most Florida bands on stage, so Bowers has done well to winnow it down to a mere five days. FIVE DAYS!
OBJ begins on Wookie Wednesday, May 16th, and concludes Sunday evening, May 20th. Start to finish, more than five dozen bands will display their talents at Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. That means we’re barely two weeks away from the musical bliss that is OBJ.
A large number of fans would come this year if there were only one band on the bill, as long as that band was CopE. The Tampa quartet played their final shows at the Great Outdoors Jam in July of 2015. All of the members of the band have been active to some degree on the area music scene, but we can’t WAIT to hear Dennis Stadelman, Kenny Stadelman, Juanjamon, Brad Elliott, Dave Gerulat and Michael Garrie live on stage again.
OBJ will once again utilize three stages. The Cypress is the main stage with the permanent roof. The Citrus stage is the one to house left of the main stage. And, toward the back of the property, those amazing Bath Salt Zombies will return and again construct their oh-so-cool Zombie stage.
Wookie Wednesday will likely again be on the Citrus stage. Silent Disco will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (more accurately, at 12:45 AM), probably on the Cypress stage once the headline band has finished.
Crazy Fingers, who just blew out two superb sets at the Wanee Music Festival, will close the evening, with new-to-OBJ (lots of those this year!!) R&B rockers Grindstone Sinners up first. In between, the aforementioned Dennis Stadelman and his band, Sonic Stew, perform, along with heavy funk rockers Blackwater Grease.
For the remainder of the weekend, music bounces back and forth from the Cypress to the Citrus, with sets overlapping back at the Zombie stage. On the two main stages, funk machine Holey Miss Moley and the Melody Trucks Band headline — so great to have Melody in the house! Throughout the day, you’ll find numerous genres and subgenera represented. From Resinated you get reggae, from Guavatron you get jamtronic magic.
Antelope channels Phish and more, while Mind Medicine plays psychedelic funk. With Llamas on the Loose you get prog funk, and the Daniel Heitz Band electrified us last year. For truth in advertising, check out the fun with Uproot Hootenanny, and Souljam does, well, what they say.
On the Zombie stage, the selection is even more varied. Honey Hounds were formerly N.W. Izzard, blues trio. Flint Blade is a Chapman Stick solo artist, K2theC is a lady who plays many styles, and Razed by Wolves honor rock, soul and blues. And then there’s Skallop — improv brilliance from a conglomerate of locals curated by Michael Lyn Bryant. And we will proudly acknowledge that his Dunedin Brewery is the primary sponsor of the 9th annual OBJ.
The Zombie schedule for Friday is equally eclectic, finishing with maniacal funkers The Reality, who just released their third album. How about gypsy folk rock from The Getbye, bluegrass and outlaw country from Rusty Shine, and great Americana from Oak Ramble? Throw in some heavy grooves from Bird Tribe, and you’ve got a great day.
Meanwhile, back at the Cypress and the Citrus, CopE is at the top of the pack, headlining along with Trae Pierce and the T-Stones. Be sure to check out “new” band Mama’s Batch with Nalani Rockroth and three-fifths of the Groove Orient! There will be Latin funk fusion from Electric Piquete and Fusik, great jazz funk from Leisure Chief and JOOSE.
The Psychedelic Monks are psychedelic indeed, and Somatic play a wide range of music; Sosos brings the Americana folk roots, and Lemon City Trio will perform as well.
The Cypress/Citrus tennis match again finds CopE on top. Bobby Lee Rodgers, fresh off five sets at Wanee and several sit-ins, brings his trio to the party. We’re very excited to see Tallahassee’s Ecology at OBJ; they KILLED at Hulaween! And there are those of us who might suggest that Shak Nasti is the best band on the lineup (AHEM). Also coming after a great Wanee set are blues masters JUke.
Amazing funk rockers Displace play, as does Evan Taylor Jones and his smokin’ band. Thank heavens The Funky Nuggets will be back — if you didn’t know, now you know. Side Hustle just plain jams, and then you have Fugu. First of all, they play prog dance improv. If that’s not enough, know that their keyboards master is Daryl Wolff, the man who ran the incredible AURA Music and Arts Festival (one of the two best festivals in Florida along with Bear Creek — COME AT ME, BRO).
In Zombie-Land, the host Bath Salt Zombies play. We’ll also get intergalactic booty phunk from Universal Funk Orchestra, and Dizzle Phunk from that band will be doing silent disco all three nights. There will be reggae from NoNeed, more funk from Xotic Yeyo, and honky-tonk and folk from Firewater Tent Revival.
You can do this — the schedule’s a little lighter today!
The Zombie stage starts with the always-amazing Blue Skye Pipes and Drums, that all-female Celtic group. Grumpy Ole Trolls sounds terrifying, but they’re all in their early teens! Tropical rock will come from Oklahoma Stackhouse, and there is big buzz about The Conglomerate; any time somebody uses Snarky Puppy as a reference point, you tend to take notice.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, The Applebutter Express, all 4.5 of them, get the last word. Between Bluffs has amazed at the last cycle of festivals and shows. High Cotton returns to do their WSMFP thing. Universal Green stirs up funk, reggae and hip hop, and you know what Spread the Dub plans to do. And High Test blends the good octane stuff — classic rock and modern rock.
Three notables left. Este’s Church of Love is back to keep us all centered and grounded, while Legacy Collective Orchestra means you could see anybody on stage with Sean Maloney and compatriots for a great time. And Ella Jet and Future Soul will also delight.
What? you say! Is that ALL? Well, no, actually. Artists at large for this year are Travis ‘Too Tall’ Young, drummer and rapper for Ajeva, along with his bandmate Skyler Golden, an incredible guitar slinger. And Isaac Corbitt and his case of harps will join in the fun as well.
But wait! There’s more! Chris ‘Critter’ Ricker has previously crossed the state line from Georgia to play OBJ; he is a superb guitarist with Copious Jones and a fine sound engineer as well. And then there’s Joe Marcinek. By now, Marcinek may actually BE a Floridian, he spends so much time here with us.
Can’t make it for all five days? Get here when you can, and stay as long as you can. It doesn’t get any better than this, Fam.