Americana music lovers camped beneath the live oaks at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for the 17th annual Suwannee Springfest March 21-24.
The first two days of the festival lucked out with fair weather. There were memorable performances by Spirit Family Reunion, Tornado Rider, Scythian, Von Grey, Keller and the Keels, Elephant Revival, Peter Rowan, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Whetherman, Leftover Salmon, the Travelin’ McCourys and countless more off-stage in the campgrounds.
Day three’s weather was not so kind to Springfest. Thunderstorms cancelled many of the day’s shows. Park employees had to bring in bales of pine straw to counteract the puddles and mud.
Despite the heavy rains and tornado-worthy winds Saturday, headliner Old Crow Medicine Show’s set still went on. The 6-piece string band kept the rain-soaked crowd’s spirits high by playing their hits “Wagon Wheel” and “Tell It to Me”. Fiddle player and vocalist Ketch Secor revealed it was not the band’s first time in Suwannee, they had played there 11 years before.
Covering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ songs seemed to be a popular choice throughout the weekend. Keller and the Keels did a rendition of “Breakdown” and Old Crow Medicine Show played “American Girl.”
Artists came together for jam sessions throughout the weekend. Peter Rowan joined Keller and the Keels for a number, as did the Travelin’ McCourys. Violinist Darol Anger played with Leftover Salmon at their Friday set on the amphitheater stage.
Festivalgoers who stuck it out in the rain Sunday morning enjoyed a sunny and warm afternoon of music by The Mosier Brothers, Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan & Friends, Jerry Douglas and Nikki Talley.
Springfest attendees can share their experiences and recommendations on the Suwannee Springfest Facebook page.
Since it formed in 2010, the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance has facilitated the production of two television pilots, two full-length film features, two television series and four short films. The CGFA recently secured two new projects for Camden County, the short films “Mime in a Box” and “Preserve.”
Producer Kim Murray’s “Mime in a Box” is set to begin filming in Camden County in late spring. Murray is the producer of “The Prisoner,” another locally shot film, directed by the award-winning Mahmoud Shoulizadeh. Shoulizadeh’s film “Noora” took first place at the 49th International Film Festival of Taormina in Italy. Samad Banks, the writer of “Mime in a Box,” has said the presentation and plot of the short is very “Twilight Zone”-ish.
“Preserve” is a post-apocalyptic short that was written by Wayne Deegan and filmed at the old paper mill site in St. Marys. The setting of the short is 170 years after a disaster that drove the survivors underground. The film focuses on four people who emerge to the surface and seek safe harbor in an unwelcoming world.
“These survivors are a lot like the pioneers in the early days of America,” Degan said. “Fighting the need to be complacent, they leave a comfortable place to explore life and improve their lot.”
According to CGFA co-founder and chair Doug Vaught, the organization works closely with the state of Georgia to fulfill location requests and see that the filmmakers’ needs are met.
“Georgia’s ‘up to 30 percent tax credits’ for filmmakers is a compelling reason for filmmakers to come to the area,” Vaught said, “but with so many locales to choose from and the potential of economic impact to a community so desirable, bringing film projects to an area can be very competitive.”
“We’re in the business of ‘repeat …
You either love him or you hate him, and he doesn’t really care which side you’re on.
Author, “Parts Unknown” host and chef Anthony Bourdain entertained a full house with anecdotes, laughs and plenty of the unapologetic irreverence for which he’s known April 25 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Moran Theater.
While the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra performed for a dressier crowd next door in Jacoby Hall, Bourdain began his two-and-a-half hour show with what he called “The case against Paula Deen,” displaying a giant photo of the Food Network host with “dead doll eyes” and justifying his 2011 comments to TV Guide that Deen is “the worst, most dangerous person to America” when it comes to cooking personalities.
“The South is the cradle of great American gastronomy,” Bourdain said while showing photos and calorie counts of signature Paula Deen dishes, including The Lady’s Brunch Burger and Deep Fried Stuffing on a Stick. “Did anybody’s grandmother ever in history cook that shit?”
The first part of the one-man show was like a stand-up comedy routine as Bourdain joked about his previous drug problems and justified his career moves to host reality-TV cooking show “The Taste” and go on a lucrative speaking tour.
“This integrity shit is overrated. Guy Fieri makes more money than me!” he said, pausing to say that Fieri is the offspring of a drunken Billy Idol and a panda. “Point is, fuck it. I’m selling out.”
But Bourdain went on in a somewhat more serious tone to say that he would never sell out his principles of respect for food origins and world pluralism.
“I think food is important, that it’s more than just stuff you put in your face,” Bourdain said.
He bemoaned the disconnect of the American chain food industry as he said the best food culture in the world …
The hundreds of football fans who came to watch the Jacksonville Breeze play the Baltimore Charm May 25 were not disappointed.
The Breeze beat the Charm 27-12 in the second game of the season, after overwhelming the Atlanta Steam 48-0. After the March 30 blowout of the Steam, this game was a surprising defensive affair.
The Breeze scored on their first drive as Shelltrice Turner powered her way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown and gave them a 7-0 lead.
After the Charm answered with a long touchdown pass from quarterback Holly Wilson to Ashley Helmstetter and missed the ensuing extra point, The Breeze only led 7-6.
That changed when Breeze quarterback KK Matheny connected with Bryn Renda on a four-yard touchdown to go up 14-6. Saige Steinmetz then rushed four yards on the next drive for the first of two touchdowns in the game making the score 21-6.
After halftime, the Charm immediately scored to make the score 21-12, but their momentum halted, and neither team scored for nearly the rest of the game.
After struggling on offense, but getting two interceptions from Adrian Purnell and an interception from Renda, Steinmetz ran for a one-yard touchdown to make it 27-12, which was the final score.
The win makes the Jacksonville Breeze 2-0, and the team is one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the Legends Football League. The Philadelphia Passion have not yet played a game.
The Jacksonville Breeze will play the Omaha Heart and Philadelphia Passion to finish the season.
The annual “Aquarian” magazine provides an opportunity for Jacksonville University students to get their original works recognized and published.
The first section is for creative writing, including works of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, screenplays and play scripts.
The second section is visual arts, including drawing, painting, mixed media, film, animation, ceramics and metalworking.
Visual and writen forms come together on some pages. Juan Pablo Calvo's digital photography piece accompanies Jacob Schuman’s poem “Dancer.”
Ali Pordeli created the 2013 cover and designed the magazine.
The staff of this year’s 118-page “Aquarian” was comprised of JU students and faculty advisor Sarah Murphy, associate professor of English.
Kyla Wade, part of the editorial staff, thanks Murphy in the acknowledgements: “… you always bring such a fun and cheerful atmosphere to our meetings while guiding us to be the best we can be.”
“Aquarian” publishes every spring and is distributed for free on Jacksonville University’s campus. The magazine is also online at aquarian.ju.edu.
The lights dimmed to black. A near sell-out crowd went silent as a video started to play. The introduction set the tone for a night of chuckles and bursts of laughter.
An upbeat classic rock song began as the lights rose on a dancing Peter Story. The highly energetic “resident Martian” captured the audience from the start with his quick wit and punny humor. Story attempted to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between men and women.
Story described a date night to which many couples could relate. He mimed through the preparation process humming the "Mission Impossible" theme song. Their night at the opera included a comment that one of the largest women he had ever seen seemed to be singing “the Olive Garden menu,” which earned him a jab in the ribs from his wife.
Story described the scene at dinner where he excitedly caught the last few seconds of the Oklahoma City Thunder game at the bar. His wife was not happy. “I’m glad you can have more fun with a stranger than me,” Story mocked in a female voice.
Story asked the audience who all had been married for 10, 20 and 30 years by rounds of applause. The clapping grew fainter with each level.
Picking on a couple in the first row who had been married for 33 years, Story re-enacted their 10th anniversary — one in which the husband “probably forgot.” He described what is known as “guilt charades” when your spouse is upset, but you have no idea why, so a game of charades ensues.
"I forgot my own 10-year anniversary, which wasn’t a big deal,” Story said. “But my wife remember.”
He then showed a video by John Gray, author of the book "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," showing the chemical aspect of men and women’s brains through hilarious animations.
Relating to the book on several occasions, Story spoke about the four words that describe what men and women need. …
One putt separated first and second place at the Junior Amateur Golf Association Jacksonville City Junior Championship for the boys 15-18 division held at Deerwood Country Club June 17-18, according to a press release following the tournament.
First Tee member Jake Nelson won the boys 15-18 division, gaining him a place in the Tour Championship in November. Nelson earned his spot as the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour allowed three exemptions for First Tee players.
Nelson had a one-shot lead over Chase Berlin through 14 holes on the second day, but was level with Berlin after a par at the 16th by Nelson was beaten by a birdie.
More drama ensued as the 17th hole saw Nelson go up yet again after Berlin made his par putt and Nelson birdied.
All the action led to the 18th where Berlin made things very interesting by sinking his lengthy birdie putt. Berlin would end on an even par with a total score of 144.
However, after a brilliant second shot from Nelson that put him only three feet from the hole, a victory was nearly certain. Nelson tapped in his birdie to secure the win and a spot in not only the Tour Championship, but a Florida Junior Tour event as well.
Kathleen Duperval won the girls 15-18 division; she shot 3-over-par for the tournament, winning by four strokes.
Duperval went into the second day down by two strokes but battled back against Nagisa Miura of Bradenton, Fla. Miura shot a 78 on the second day as her seven birdie total of the tournament was not enough to help her overall score of 7-over-par.
Ponte Vedra native George Eubank Jr. won the boys 11-14 division with an even par score of 144.
An impressive first day gave Eubank Jr. a score of 68. However, the second day was a hard finish for the young golfer with a 76.
Cody Carroll, another local golfer, was tied with Eubank Jr. at 68 after the first day. He struggled the second day with an 81, putting him 9-over-par for the day.
The HJGT continues with tournaments …
Our special Fall Arts Preview issue comes out on Sept. 4. The season brings music, dance, theater, visual arts and more. To have your event considered for the preview, send the name of your event, the venue, its complete address, show dates and times, ticket prices, phone number, website, photos (with cutline and photo credit information) and contact information (phone number and email), in case we have any questions, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 5.
“Oh, my wandering eyes, nothing’s gonna take me by surprise I know, nothings gonna take me by surprise,” Kelsey Kopecky and Gabe Simon sing.
Starting with a bang, this “family” band consists of Kelsey Joy Kopecky (vocals, keyboard, bass), Gabe Simon (vocals, guitar, horns), Steven Holmes (guitar, lap steel guitar), David Krohn (drums), Markus Midkiff (cello, guitar, keyboards), and Corey Oxendine (bass, guitar, horns).
“Kids Raising Kids” is the band’s first full-length album after releasing three EPs — “Embraces,” “The Disaster” and “Of Epic Proportions,” between 2008 and 2010.
“Kids Raising Kids” opens up with “Wandering Eyes” as Kopecky and Simon catch your attention right away after a catchy guitar riff leads into their vocals.
Incorporating simple sounds like snapping fingers and whistling gives the band a down to earth feeling as “Heartbeat” opens with fingers snapping to an upbeat rhythm.
“I don’t know, no I don’t know what I can do for you,” Kopecky and Simon sing as clapping comes into the song.
All the sounds come together as the song continues with the full band jamming by the chorus.
Heavy drums begin “My Way,” as a softer guitar and keyboard comes in to join Kopecky’s gentle voice rolling on the beat.
The song picks up for the chorus however as Simon’s voice reaches its high pitch tone, singing “Why can’t you see it my way!” That's something reminiscent of the lead singer of indie pop band fun.
A smooth guitar riff starts “Are You Listening” as whistling is incorporated into the mix that will have you whistling along.
“Don’t be shy now my father said, if you’re honest, no one will complain or ask you are you listening,” Kopecky and Simon sing.
“Glow” begins in a similar fashion with a simple riff and gentle lyrics as the pace picks up toward the chorus.
The band shows its emotional side as “Change” is the halfway point of the …
University of North Florida sculpture professor Jenny Hager, musician and talent manager David “Brad” Lauretti, fine artist Joy Poulard-Leverette (aka Sister Feathertoe) and Neptune Beach playwright Ian Mairs were selected as inaugural Spark Grant recipients.
A privately raised pool of $61,000 will be split among the four projects to be implemented Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014, in the Spark District, according to a press release from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.
Hager’s project, “Art in Public Places,” will seek outdoor sculptures for lending from a national call to artists.
Lauretti’s “Jacksonville Songwriters’ Residency” program is designed to attract songwriters to live and perform in the Spark District — from Northbank Riverwalk to Duval Street, bordered on east and west by Liberty and Hogan streets.
Leverette’s “The Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts” will use four downtown storefronts to feature art of various disciplines.
Mairs’ “Swamp Radio Jax” — a quarterly variety show of local art, culture and history — will broadcast live within the Spark District.
The grant recipients were selected in a process involving art and community leaders, the city of Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Committee and the Cultural Council’s Board of Directors.