by Coachella Valley | October 13, 2014 1:18 pm
As Joshua Tree Music Festival ends we take a moment and look back at an amazing weekend. From the artist, musicians, food and beauty of the desert, Joshua Tree Music Festival stimulates all your senses.
So where does one start when they try to re-cap a music festival? With the music of course….
Artist Ayron Jones showed great flexibility as the leading man Ayron Jones and the Way. His voice had the right amount of sweet and gravel. I was wowed by his versatile vocals, ripping guitar licks and crushing leads. It was a true marriage of Jimmy Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. Hailing from Seattle’s urban rock scene, this is the band to watch for. Secure in his urban manhood, Jones pulled off Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean as if that song was written for grunge and blues.
T-Sisters did not disappoint. Based in the San Francisco bay area, these women have been singing together all of their lives. Their simple, yet vibrant style of down home folk music had me very engaged. A banjo, standup bass and a wash board were the tools of their trade, harmonizing beautifully and most important; in key. The last song was sung in a cappella. I found myself floating back to the days of early adulthood when I listened to the Roaches over and over on my cassette player.
The Cerny Brothers turned out to be one of my favorite bands. String driven by banjo, guitar and a standup bass, this LA based band sang mostly original songs. There was the feel of old school, country, folk and rock combined. They did an inspiring rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. The banjo gave a nice tick to the song; melodic and romantic, with a nice country twang.
Junior Marvin’s Force One was a pleasant surprise. This reggae master who played with Bob Marley and the Whalers from 1977 to Marley’s death in 1981. Is there any such thing as a bad reggae song? I think not. The signature beat and bass lines were tight and Junior was the consummate reggae performer. He played many songs from his days with Bob Marley as well as some original compositions. Everybody was on their feet and I had to fall back on old skills of dancing and weaving to get to the front of the stage for pictures.
Dynohunter cleverly integrated canned beats and rhythms with a live drummer, sax, bass and synthesizer. Band member Clark Smith played saxophone so well that if I closed my eyes I would not be able to tell the difference between him and sax player Ronnie Laws, who’s music I have loved since I was a teenager. Integrating jazz fusion with modern technology, this trio of young men have a unique sound.
One of the things I just love about the Joshua Tree Music Festival are the artists. My mother was a painter as well as my uncle and my daughter. I have roamed the halls of art museums in my youth and fell like I have a good eye when it comes to good original art here are some of the artists I met and photographed today. Not wanting to miss anything I took some time and interviewed some of the local artist showing here at the festival.
I have to say one of my favorite artists was Diana Durr from Joshua Tree. She has been doing her art ever since she can remember. Her soft lines and brilliant colors make her painting stand out. I bought some cards that had reproductions of her paintings and I’m excited to figure out who in my life will eventually receive one.
Zach Jackson 24, he moved to Josua Tree from Texas several years ago. He loves living in the desert. This self taught artist caught ny6 interest with his smooth, wavy lines and careful attention to details. He calls himself a visionary artist.
One of the Coachella Valley’s Team favorites is Amara and Thomas Alban from Pioneertown. Their pottery is rustic and useful. Their are quite a few of thier pieces in the CoachellaValley.com office. Coffee mugs and bowls with such unique character and not one the same as the other. They have a studio and showroom open weekends and most days at 53626 Mane Street, Pioneertown CA and can also be found at Art Under The Umbrella in La Quinta starting October 25th in Old Town La Quinta.
You can find Aaron Hansen’s art all over the Coachella Valley. He paints collective art and has done many wonderful murals for local schools and business’ as well some of the mural art that is a permanent fixture at the festival. This talented young man has done a lot of gallery showings and is always working on something in our area. Keep an eye out for him!
Toby Verhines is an artist, designer and photographer also from Joshua Tree. This piece is called Sacred Joshua which is a mixed media digital collage. He can be reached at www.heathendivine.com.
Kim Mayhew 58 is another artist who lives in Joshua Tree. Her unique style with mixed media and dia de los muertos themes make her stand alone. She is able to support herself by selling her art at festivals and online. Visit her Facebook page at Kim Mayhew’s Ant Farm Studio.
All of the artists painting at the festival will have their works of art sold in a silent auction on the last day. Half of the proceeds going to the artist and the other half to the kids music program at Friendly Hills Elementary.
The Joshua Tree Music Festival had a little of everything; food, music, art, yoga and even a place for kids to occupy their time. Driving away, the blood moon a half mast, I looked back on my weekend and let out a huge sigh. How lucky we are to have music in our lives and the availability to listen to it live if we choose. I can’t imagine what my life would look like without music in it. Listening to bands I’ve never heard of before is the true test of the eclectic listener. It was a very mellow affair and something to experience at least once.
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