Escaping the Horde at Roosevelt Collier's Suwannee Getdown

The Groove Orient and Roosevelt Collier cover "Whipping Post" by the Allman Brothers
Roosevelt Collier joins The Groove Orient on stage for its cover of "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers

A chance to see Suwannee Music Park differently

If you don’t already know how I feel about Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, let me tell you now: I absolutely love that place. The setting, the people, the vibes — I always feel at home when I’m there.

On Saturday, June 27, I made it out to Roosevelt Collier’s Suwannee Getdown — one of two happening this summer — for the second night of performances. On both nights, local acts took the stage before closing sets by The Roosevelt Collier Trio.

Saturday featured Post Pluto (Pensacola), The Groove Orient (Orlando), and Squeedlepuss (Jacksonville) on the Music Hall stage. Each band gave its all to the enthusiastic fans who'd gathered for a chance to enjoy the park a bit more intimately than is possible during a larger festival like AURA or Purple Hatter’s Ball.

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Kaleigh Baker & The Groove Orient Announce July Tour Dates

Kaleigh Baker and The Groove Orient Summer Tour Dates

More summer dates coming soon

7/10 - Hard Rock - Myrtle Beach, SC
7/11 - Island Bar - Pawleys Island, SC
7/12 - The Garage - Winston Salem, NC
7/13 - Preservation Pub - Knoxville, TN
7/15 - North Carolina - TBA
7/16 - One Stop - Asheville, NC
7/17 - Pigsah Brewery - Black Mountain, NC
7/18 - The Brothership Abduction Festival (Private)
7/21 - Nowhere Bar - Athens, GA
7/22 - TBA - Atlanta, GA
7/23 - Rhythm & Brews - Chattanooga, TN
7/26 - 7/27 - TBA - Nashville, TN
7/28 - 7/31 - TBA - Alabama
More dates TBA

Two Orlando favorites, Kaleigh Baker and The Groove Orient, recently announced over 10 tour dates in July with stops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Dates in Alabama and other states are still to be announced.

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9 Affordable Summer Music Festivals in Florida

9 Affordable Summer Music Festivals in Florida

Feel the music and delight in the summer sun.

Summer is upon us. That means less time spent indoors and more time spent enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. So, to help you have as much fun as possible this summer without going broke, I’ve put together another list of affordable festivals happening this season in Florida.

Experiencing live music in the open air is one of my favorite pastimes, and each of these festivals is an opportunity to do just that. Additionally, many offer other ways to have fun in the sun, like water slides, yoga workshops, and games.

You can
  • click on the flyer to view a larger image.
  • click on the ticket price to see other available options and purchase tickets (price listed is the cost of a general admission full-event pass at the time this article was written).
  • click to view the website or Facebook event (if one has been created).

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Purple Hatter's Ball Benefits Rachel Morningstar Foundation

Momma Margie at Purple Hatter's Ball at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Momma Margie talks about Rachel and her foundation
before releasing a butterfly on Saturday of Purple Hatter's Ball.

Love inspired by loss

On May 8-10, I once again had the pleasure of attending at festival at Florida's beautiful Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. This time it was the eighth annual Purple Hatter's Ball, celebrating the life of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, a 23-year-old Florida State University graduate who was killed during a failed drug sting run by the Tallahassee Police Department.

For three days (plus a Thursday night pre-party) many people who'd known Rachel and many who hadn't gathered together to honor her memory by sharing in one of her favorite pastimes: seeing live music. Ticket sales benefited the Rachel Morningstar Foundation, which works to educate the public on the dangers of acting as a confidential informant and establish guidelines for law enforcement officers engaged with confidential informants.

The lineup featured Lotus, Nahko and Medicine For the People, Toubab Krewe, The Werks, Random Rab, Greenhouse Lounge, The Malah, and many more. Over 15 live painters, including Alex and Allyson Grey, Christopher Morphis, Emily Kell, and Jerry Cahill were on site over the weekend. The Yoga and Arts Village held space for healing and reflection through workshops and interactive art installations.

Momma Margie (Rachel's mother) took the stage on Saturday to speak of Rachel's life, her death, and all those who had come together to make the festival possible.

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Giveaway: New Album from Rising Appalachia, Wider Circles

Rising Appalachia Wider Circles
Wider Circles

Dynamic folk music for modern times

The latest release from Rising Appalachia breathes new life into folk music traditions of the American South. While traveling the Americas, Europe, and parts of India, sisters Leah and Chloe Smith have studied age-old musical traditions and integrated them with their own Appalachian folk music heritage.

After two years of songwriting, composing, and then recording at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, N.C., the Kickstarter funded album has been warmly received by long-time fans and newcomers alike. It was dubbed "Earth Day's Soundtrack" by The Huffington Post.

Nine years and six albums into an independent career, Rising Appalachia has developed a reputation for spirited music, galvanizing lyrics, and captivating live performances. It continues to abide by values of sustainability and social responsibility, traveling by rail for the first part of the Wider Circles Tour, and inviting up to two non-profits and other community groups to each show to educate audiences on local issues.

Since the tour won't be coming this far South (the closest shows are in North Carolina), here's a chance to win a copy of the new album.

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