Deciphering the Orange Blossom Jamboree Schedule
Let’s do a deep dive into the music schedule for the 12th annual Orange Blossom Jamboree, presented by Dunedin Brewery, which blasts off Wednesday, May 18, and rocks and rolls, shimmies and shakes, and funks and jams into Sunday night, May 22. You might oughta bring a couple pairs of dancing shoes.
There is plenty to talk about besides the music, and we will examine the wonderful Kids’ Row, the mind-blowing programs brought to you through Rising Light, the fabulous artists creative live works on the spot, and much more, but first the music.
For the OBJ newbies, or in case you forgot, there are three stages at Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, Florida, home to dozens of festivals each year including the beloved OBJ. The CYPRESS Stage is under the permanent structure there, and the CITRUS Stage is the temporary structure just off to the side. From that location you can enjoy both stages. Each day (except Sunday), there are five sets on Cypress and four on Citrus, alternating between the two. You could enjoy nine sets a day without moving… much.
HOWEVER, THAT WOULD BE A MISTAKE, because there is a third stage a short walk away, and magic always happens there. ALWAYS. And you will miss that magic if you never get up.
Your OBJ hosts Russ and Toby Bowers, geniuses that they are, have made sure that traveling back to CLEMENTINE will be an essential part of this year’s experience, with an amazing assortment of talent gracing that stage, from HoneyWhat and Electric Kif to Future Vintage and Row Jomah. There are four sets each day, and those do overlap with shows on Cypress and Citrus.
ENJOY THE WALK. WE PROMISE IT WILL BE WORTH IT!
One more thing. OBJ is a parade of Florida music greatness. It would take a month of festivals to showcase everybod… nope, even four weekends wouldn’t be enough, but once again The Bowers have curated one kickass festival: some old, some new, some borrowed, some blue.
WOOKIE WEDNESDAY, MAY 18
Wednesday is the pre-party ($20 entrance with weekend pass), but for those who can make it you get:
 a chance to set up your campsite early,
 lots of extra hugs, fist bumps, or no-contact greetings of your choice,
 the chance to hear 13 truly killer sets Thursday, because you’ll already be there, and,
 two full sets of Uncle John’s Band doing what they do best.
THURSDAY, MAY 19
We’re not lying. FACT: 13 outstanding sets coming your way — on day one!
The whole shebang begins with Ashley Smith and the Random Occurrence (ASTRO), whose set last year was a jaw-dropper, which led to their first appearance at Suwannee Hulaween. Joy Wagon have played lots of amazing late-night slots, but now we get to see them in full daylight. Make your first trip (of many) back to Clementine for the slinky, sexy HoneyWhat, then hustle back for Psychedelic Monks and Branson Welsh.
The greatest advertising campaign in the history of advertising campaigns clearly is the one mounted by some madman in Dunedin hyping the set by Follow the Monarchs. We say TRUTH IN ADVERTISING!
It’s leg day, and Sean has rounded out the usual (actually, more like unusual) suspects for Legacy Orchestra Collective. “Don’t Let Go” of Boxcar Hollow, Beartoe will been joined by The Galbraiths, and StereoType makes a return to OBJ.
Three more killer sets to close the first day: Anthill Cinema’s experimental fusion and two super tribute bands: Antelope (Phish) and Steeln’ Peaches (The Allman Brothers Band).
FRIDAY, MAY 20
Maybe you saw them as Ancient Astroknauts, but now they are Sauce Pocket. Get shot into space immediately, we say. Oxford Noland have been pumping out great sets, and shoeless soul will be the first of four great bands on Clementine.
Tropico Blvd do funky jam rock, Lemon City Trio do amazing jazz fusion, and The Hulagans do swamp roots reggae. No telling what The Reality will do, constantly adding genres to their repertoire. Brilliant to have Shevonne & the Force back (and be sure to check her out in Season 2 of Life’s Rewards on Amazon Prime!).
Prog/fusion masters Electric Kif will crush Clementine. S.P.O.R.E. showed everybody what they could do at Hulaween; if you don’t know yet, you will! Perpetual Guava means the intertwining of Guavatron and Brock Butler (look for Colin and Scott squabbling about who’s the bigger fanboy; never mind: Kevin Mellinger wins). Unlimited Devotion will beat it on down the line, and mighty Ajeva get the last word.
SATURDAY, MAY 21
Wahh World Fusion Band open the day to infinite possibilities. Looking forward to seeing Keegan Matthews Trio live! Also looking forward to a new conglomeration, this one called MiniM with David Rakower. Prepare thyself for the pure electricity of Grindstone Sinners.
Many missed the stunning set last year by Hannah Harber & the Lionhearts; we recommend NOT missing this one. GoldenEra are up before the consummate showman Eugene Snowden, the man with more moves than you can imagine. TAND will use this set to propel them to their debut appearance at Summer Camp (damn skippy). Stick Martin & Jon Ditty do Stick and Ditty better than anyone — tons of fun.
Electric Piquete: Latin funk fusionistas from Miami? YOU BET! Daniel Heitz Band don’t know how NOT to rock! Time for jamtronic fusion funk with Future Vintage, and Florida’s jam kings The Heavy Pets will take it home.
SUNDAY, MAY 22
Start your day with bluegrass-inspired acoustic jams from Low Ground. Row Jomah have a very, very special Latin set all prepared for Clementine. Singer/songwriter/guitar player Doug South makes his OBJ debut. Perennial favorites The Applebutter Express are back, followed by The Tony Tyler Trance, his latest outstanding project. There’s more bluegrass, with lots of variations, on tap from Pensacola’s The Gator Boys. Displace will play the last set on Clementine.
There’s a band you’ve probably never heard of closing down OBJ 2022 with two sets: The Suwannee Mountain Boys. The much-loved Billy Gilmore comes from The Grass is Dead, and Christian Ward is touring with tGID now as well. PJ George III plays with Lindsay Lou, and there are three Walkers on the lineup: Cory, Tyler, and Jarrod. Perhaps you’ve seen Jarrod as an integral part of Billy Strings.
A special vibe for a special day of a special festival.
ICYMI, and for those in the back: If somehow Florida were cut off from the rest of the world, we would be just fine, music-wise.