The Bonnaroo Music & Arts festival is just around the corner, only a few days to be exact, and with it brings a slew of choices. We know the top names like Elton John and Lionel Richie along with the upper echelon of rockers like Jack White, Phoenix, Arctic Monkeys, Neutral Milk Hotel and Vampire Weekend, but the Bonnaroo food chain has many levels and there is a band you may want to see at every turn of the day. For every Superjam you soak in (there are three this year), there is a one-of-a-kind set taking place at the Sonic Stage in the heat of the day. With that in mind, here are a few of the bands this writer is excited to see this year.
1. St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Friday, June 13, 12:30 p.m.
Hailing from Birmingham, Ala., this band’s ‘Roo credentials were probably already punched before they dropped their first album Half The City this year. St. Paul leads the charge on Otis Redding inspired sweet, Southern soul.
2. J. Roddy Walston & The Business – Thursday, June 12, 11:30 p.m.
For a rocking good time, Walston will keep the party moving on Thursday night. Essential Tremors is their latest and it is full of head-bobbers like “Heavy Bells” and “Take It As It Comes.”
3. Amos Lee – Sunday, June 15, 8:00 p.m.
He has played the farm before, but by judging by his recent set at Hangout Music Festival, he has a few more tricks up his sleeve as he brought out a choir and covered artists such as Queen.
4. Seasick Steve – Saturday, June 14, 1:30 p.m.
Enter a world of strings and country, blues with Seasick Steve. Foot tapping, head swaying are welcome with a musician who has been described as an old American, trainhopping, jailbirding, cowboying, carnival working, migrant guitar picker.
5. Chromeo – Saturday, June 14, 7:30 p.m.
Meet Dave One and Pee Thug, music producers otherwise known as Chromeo. They’ve performed with acts such as Daryl Hall and have their own brand of electro funk with their latest release White Women.
6. Goat – Sunday, June 15, 2:45 p.m.
When Bonnaroo adds international flair, take notice. Goat is a Swedish band that has stage a great stage presence, decorated in tribal garb, with a unique sound.
7. Big Sam’s Funky Nation – Friday, June 13, 1:45 p.m.
NOLA comes to town in the form of Big Sam’s Funky Nation. There’s not too many better ways to pass time away in the Tennessee sun than listening to New Orleans horns and big rhythms.
8. Andrew Bird and The Hands of Glory – Friday, June 13, 6:00 p.m.
Andrew Bird is one of the most talented artists around these days, and on top of that, an extraordinary whistler.
9. King Khan & The Shrines – Saturday, June 14, 1:30 p.m.
A blend of R&B and soul, but with a little more of a twist, King Khan & The Shrines performance will be one you will remember for a good amount of time.
10. City and Colour – Sunday, June 15, 6:00 p.m.
After viewing their Coachella performance, Dallas Green and company have a revved up set full of precision guitar work and playing that was on fire.