review by Michelle Parks
Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final of the stories in the “Seven to See (72C)” series highlighting the acts appearing at the 2014 Wakarusa Music Festival (June 5-8). Link here for an overall story about this year’s festival. Link here for the first story in the 72C series, link here for the second story, and link here for the third. Get regular festival updates by following us on Twitter: @CityWireWaka.
On the agenda for Sunday at Wakarusa is some Kung Fu, Magic Beans and sounds from a band from Australia. It’s the final day of music at the large outdoor festival north of Ozark, and your last chance to hear the most eclectic bands to hit the region.
The 11th annual Wakarusa Music Festival will offer some 130 confirmed acts appearing on six stages over four days at Mulberry Mountain, north of Ozark. Admittedly, that’s a lot of bands and a lot of music, and deciding exactly who to hear can present a serious challenge.
This series of stories, called “Seven to See,” offers daily recommendations for music. Sometimes these include the major, can’t-miss acts. But they also offer suggestions for intriguing acts with the potential to put on a great live show. (Programming note: In assembling these daily lists, attention was paid to performance times, though a quick turnaround might be required to travel between stages.)
72C on SUNDAY (June 8)
• Kung Fu (Revival Tent – noon to 1 p.m.)
Start your Sunday, the final day of the festival with some very groovy guys in the Revival Tent. Kung Fu delivers some serious funk, with playing that is smooth and tight. These seasoned musicians are known for their free form jams, so be prepared.
• The Magic Beans (Main Stage – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.) Get on over to the Main Stage for The Magic Bean, a band from Boulder, Colo., and continue that groovy feeling. The band combines genres such as funk, bluegrass, rock and electronica and are known to freely improvise even as they flow between styles. The five members combine acoustic roots music and traditional instruments with modern technology and electric dance music. The band also recently released its second studio album, “Sites and Sounds.”
• Twiddle (Main Stage – 3 to 4:15 p.m. )
Don’t stray too far because you’ll want to catch the show by Twiddle at the Main Stage. The founding members of this Vermont-based quartet began jamming casually in 2004, soon realizing they had a musical connection and personal commonalities. They released their first album in 2007 and the second in 2011. Their live show promises an eclectic mix that could include a melding of bluegrass, electronica, jazz-fusion, rockabilly, reggae and funk.
• The Silent Comedy (Backwoods Stage – 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.) Get over to the Backwoods Stage, where you’ll find The Silent Comedy. This San Diego band was founded by brothers Joshua and Jeremiah Zimmerman, and also includes their cousin Chad Lee and longtime friend Justin Buchanan. These guys mix Americana, folk and rock to create their own unique sound – especially the way they blend a banjo into their music.
• Mike Love (Revival Tent – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.)
Head on over to the Revival Tent for Mike Love, a musician who grew up in Hawaii. He combines elements of traditional Hawaiian music as he plays guitar and uses a loop pedal to record loops live. He’s joined by Sam Ites, who offers wonderful percussion sounds. Love has shared the stage with artists such as Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson.
• Leagues (Backwoods Stage – 7:45 to 9 p.m.)
After grabbing some dinner, head over to the Backwoods Stage to catch a great new band out of Nashville. Leagues is a band that started writing music and performing in 2010, but its members had much more experience before that. Tyler Burkum was a guitarist for Audio Adrenaline for a decade, and then he played with folks such as John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz and Sheryl Crow. He eventually joined up with singer-songwriter Thad Cockrell and drummer Jeremy Lutito to form this indie rock band that plays upbeat pop tunes.
• John Butler Trio (Revival Tent – 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.)
Stay up a bit later to catch the John Butler Trio, a wonderful band from Australia that played a top-notch show in Fayetteville several years back. Butler, born in California, has a heritage that includes Australian, Greek and Bulgarian. Having started his career busking, he mixes elements of folk, funk, reggae and rock as he plays guitar and sings. He also is known for his environmental and political interests and activism.