The Lee Boys
The Lee Boys are one of America’s finest African-American sacred steel ensembles. This family group consists of three brothers, Alvin Lee (guitar), Derrick Lee and Keith Lee (vocals) along with their three nephews, Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel guitar), Alvin Cordy Jr. (7-string bass) and Earl Walker (drums). Each member began making music at the ages of 7 and 8 in the House of God church they attended in Perrine, FL. Here they underwent a rigorous course of training in a variety of musical instruments, including lap and pedal steel guitars. Born and raised in Miami, each of The Lee Boys grew up in the church where their father and grandfather, Rev. Robert E. Lee, was the pastor and a steel player himself.
“Sacred steel” is a type of music described as an inspired, unique form of Gospel music with a hard-driving, blues-based beat. The musical genre is rooted in Gospel, but infused with rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, country and ideas from other nations. Influenced by the Hawaiian steel guitar fad of the 1930’s, brothers Willie and Troman Eason brought the electric lap steel guitar into the worship services of the House of God church in Jacksonville, FL. The Pentecostal congregation embraced the soulful sound, and over time this unique sound became the hallmark of the church. The pedal steel guitar was added to the mix and soon became the central instrument. The Lee Boys are part of the fourth generation of musicians in this faith.
This music form was totally unknown to the world outside the church until the mid 1990’s, when folklorist Robert Stone attended House of God services and recorded the music, as well as its history, contributing the name “sacred steel.” A series of compilations featuring artists such as Aubrey Ghent, Calvin Cooke and the Campbell Brothers, as well as the late Glenn Lee followed on legendary roots label Arhoolie Records, for whom The Lee Boys also record.
When The Lee Boys bring their joyous spiritual sound to the stage, audiences instantly recognize that this is not “sitting and listening” music: dancing, shouting out, and having fun are considered essential parts of their tradition. Founder and bandleader Alvin Lee explains “The inspiration and feeling that comes along with our music is the reason that people feel good. It is like the new music on the block and it’s just getting ready to explode!” It’s mostly original material, with a few standards and hymns the group “blueses up a little.” Audiences often dance, shout out, and always have a great time. In 2007-08 alone they performed for more than 250,000 music fans at festivals throughout the United States. In the process, their unique sound has attracted musical artists such as Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Los Lobos, Michelle Shocked, Gov’t Mule, Derek Trucks Band w/ Susan Tedechi, The North Mississippi Allstars, Umphrey’s McGee, and Victor Wooten – all of whom have played with the Lee Boys and/or invited them to tour with them.
The press has caught on as well, as evidenced by the USA Today review of their set at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in May 2008: “The Lee Boys, from Miami, rocked the blues tent with their rollicking You've Got to Move. The song started slow and low but steadily picked up pace, taking on the feel and sound of a runaway train. As guitarist Roosevelt Collier plucked at his pedal steel guitar, an electric guitar mounted on a stand and played from a sitting position, audience members danced in the aisles, jumped up and down and waved their arms to the mounting melody.”
These engaging artists work well in a variety of venues ranging from intimate club settings to performing arts centers to large festival stages. Their music attracts audiences from the jamband, folk, blues and Gospel worlds. They’ve performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and will continue influencing audiences worldwide with their “sacred steel”. Their 2008-09 tour calendar includes nearly 100 major festival performances, including headline stops at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Memphis in May, and the Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Austin City Limits and Philadelphia Folk Festivals. In December, 2008, the band debuted on national television with a rousing performance on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien that had the host jumping out of his chair and raving about the band.
The Lee Boys are currently in the studio with The Travelin’ McCourys, working on a joint album to illustrate their amazing bluegrass/sacred steel festival shows.
Jahfe is a band based out of Miami, Fl playing a heavy yet smooth fusion of roots reggae with rocking dub-hop. Representing the power of the youth and the wisdom of roots culture, the music of Jahfe not only reflects the city's diverse music scene but also the true ability of conscious music to connect to people of all backgrounds. Band members represent a diverse international background of home countries and cultural roots- Haiti to Spain, Israel to Cuba, Czech Republic to Morocco to all over the US.
JUke's groove-based blues/trance style has been captivating audiences through south florida and southern california for 4 years now. Committed to a new era of high-energy blues, Eric Garcia's growling vocals and vicious harmonica style complimented by Evan Lamb's blazing guitar soul, lead this 4-piece juggernaut. Clever lyrics about modern topics, and a take no prisoners live show have made JUke shows impossible to forget.
ArtOfficial consists of Danny Perez on keys, Manny Patino on drums, Ralf Valencia on bass, and Keith Cooper on the saxophone, with vocals provided by emcees Newsense and Logics. The setup alone beckons the question, “What does a live band with two emcees sound like?” Well, imagine Soulive with a harder edge or The Roots, but jazzier and wildly spontaneous. Envision blending your favorite groups from hip hop’s “golden era,” replacing their sampled beats with jazz musicians and injecting a good dose of future funk into the whole equation. Assembled from the remnants of two bands, one jazz and one hip hop, ArtOfficial has taken the music scene by storm, implementing its previous musical experiences to quickly achieve what Miami.com says is “the fast track to stardom.” Part of that experience is seen in the band’s stage shows. ArtOfficial’s live performances have earned them a reputation as a “superhero team of sorts, comprised of some badass musicians as well as MCs” according to 944 Magazine.
Miami Beach-based singer/songwriter Rachel Goodrich's eclectic blend of vaudeville-inspired indie pop, swing-jazz and country-folk (the artist frequently describes her sound as "shake-a-billy") is made all the more singular by the vast number of instruments at her command. A musician since her single digits, Goodrich's first compositional tool was the guitar, but as the years progressed, so did the bells and whistles, culminating in an arsenal that included ukulele, spoons, mandolin, piano, kazoo, banjo and autoharp. The Florida native's self-released debut album Tinker Toy arrived in 2009.
The Swamp Stomp Revue
A collection of core players with special guests from almost every band in the festival, The Swamp Stomp Revue serves as a way to honor our roots by embracing the musical camaraderie that has become a defining characteristic of the Swamp Stomp Festival. Never been done before, you won't want to miss the magic made when old friends reunite behind their favorite instruments.
Bridget+Luke is an electro-folk duo created in Miami, Florida. Shortly after meeting at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, they began combining their respective folk and electronic backgrounds. The resulting product is a unique brand of pop, lightly infused with R+B and thoroughly entertaining. First place winners of the 2nd Annual Bruce Hornsby Songwriting Showcase, they have opened for Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colvin, Raffa and Rainer, Jesse Jackson, van*gloria, and Sirens and Sea Lions. They are currently recording their first album, due out in May 2010.
Beckham County Trainwreck
Beckham County Trainwreck is a bombastic synergy of dirty stinky blues, mind shattering musicianship and feel good grooves. Born at the University of Miami in late 2006, Rob Faulstich, Nick Albury, Karl Fagerstrom, Ethan Cohen, and Kyle Crossland met in UM’s Frost school of music where they stumbled upon a mutual affection for the musicality and songwriting of bands like Umphreys McGee and Led Zeppelin. Shortly After, in the fall semester of their 08-09 year at UM, work began on the bands first recording: "Particles" which was then released in early August 2009 and is currently free with attendance at any BCTrainwreck show. Earlier last year they had the privilege of opening the stage for the Ying Yang Twins and have continued to wow audiences around the Miami area with their original sound and musical precision ever since. Come out and get wrecked!
Spinning in between sets starting at 8:45 pm
Dj A-TRAIN is easily one of Miami's most versatile DJs on the scene. He fell in love with the DJ culture while living in Tokyo, Japan as a teenager. He began collecting records before his return to the US and by age 16 he was DJing nightclubs in one of the top college party towns in the country, Gainesville, Florida. A-TRAIN can now be found in Miami at underground spots such as Vagabond and Electric Pickle, as well as SoBe hot-spots like The Mondrian Hotel and Aerobar. He prides himself on mixing in all the songs you love, but rarely hear being played. A-TRAIN can throw down classic sounds from Hip-Hop, Electro, Reggae and Rock to Funk, Soul and everything in between. Just expect the unexpected.