Silopanna Music Festival – A Festival Close to Home
By: Ryan Hickman
As summer draws to an end (in spirit, at least), music fans will be seeking one last chance to experience a day or a weekend of great music and great times before returning to the lull of what some experts call the “post-summer blues”. For most people, this final pilgrimage requires a great deal of time, travel and expenses, which prompts them to ask the following question: Can’t I just have a music festival featuring great local and national musicians that is close enough to be in my backyard? Well, the Rams Head Group decided to answer said question, and the answer is “Definitely.”
Enter Silopanna Music Festival. Set up by the Rams Head Group (of which Rams Head Live, Rams Head On-Stage and Pier Six Pavillion are a part), Silopanna will be held on August 11, 2012 at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville, MD, just minutes from Annapolis. The Festival’s slogan is “Annapolis’ Biggest Music Festival,” and it is certainly no exaggeration given the lineup.
Silopanna was supposed to have celebrated its inaugural year last summer, boasting the likes of Matt & Kim, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Fitz and Tantrums, and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. However, due to Hurricane Irene, the concert did not take place. As disappointing as this was for the performers, promoters and fans, the festival has returned in fine form for 2012. This year’s lineup, which features a host of recognizable names, is sure to live up to people’s expectations.
CAKE is found at the top of the list. Anyone who lived during the 1990s knows their songs “The Distance” and “Never There,” (both of which made people wonder why the trumpet wasn’t used more often in rock music). These songs, along with “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”, “Rock n’ Roll Lifestyle”, “I Will Survive” (their glorious cover of Gloria Gaynor’s classic) and “Frank Sinatra” have become staples of FM rock radio. Led by John McCrea’s expressionless half-sung/half-spoken lyrics, CAKE helped usher in the alternative rock wave of the 1990s. However, Vince DiFiore was arguably the pioneer of the group, making the trumpet, guiro and melodica major components of the group’s distinct sound. These two original members will be joined by Xan McCurdy on electric guitar, Gabe Nelson on bass and Paulo Baldi on drums. (As a side note, be sure to check out CAKE’s cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”; you’ll be glad you did!)
Citizen Cope is one of the supporting acts. His style simultaneously combines hip-hop, jazz, blues, alternative rock and reggae. His gravely, sorrowful voice is reminiscent of contemporaries Ray Lamontagne, David Gray and Iron & Wine. His jazz/blues songwriting could easily be seen accompanying the most expert of bluesmen, (in fact, he has shared the stage with Eric Clapton and recorded with Carlos Santana), yet it would seem right at home alongside the Dave Matthews Band or Sublime. While many of CAKE’s songs are humorous and sardonic, Citizen Cope’s far-more-somber songs are emotional reflections of personal experiences, social injustices and poetic expression. He first gained exposure with his song “Let the Drummer Kick,” which was featured on his debut album. His next album featured the hits “Sideways,” which was featured in a number of films and television shows, and “Bullet and a Target,” which was notably featured in the film Alpha Dog and a variety of television shows. While these three are arguably his most well known, “Pablo Picasso”, “Healing Hands” and the more-recently-penned “One Lovely Day” have all received a great deal of radio airplay.
G. Love & Special Sauce and Robert Randolph & the Family Band are the other two supporting acts. GL&SS first achieved recognition in the 1990s with their first album, which featured their hits “Cold Beverage,” “Blues Music,” and their cover of “The Things That I Used to Do.” In subsequent albums, they would fuse hip-hop and alternative rock, giving them a laidback, cheerful feel and making the band affectionately synonymous with summertime. Robert Randolph & the Family Band are a nationally known blues/funk band that has found success with their songs “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” and “Going in the Right Direction.” Randolph, an innovator of the pedal-steel guitar, was named to Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time List. They have worked in the studio with the legendary T-Bone Burnett, and have toured with Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews Band.
Besides these nationally known names, Silopanna features lesser known acts like J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Yuna, Joe Pug, Audra Mae, and many others. For a complete list, including set-times, visit Silopanna’s website at Silopanna Music Festival
Like all festivals, Silopanna has a strict list of policies, allowed/disallowed items, vendor information, hotel information (this is a one-day festival; no camping), site maps, etc. on their website at Silopanna Music Festival Info Also included is the Directions tab.
Tickets are still available. The early bird tickets are sold out, but regular price tickets are still available. They are $59.50 (plus taxes). Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the show for $75 (plus taxes). For ticketing information, and to purchase them, visit Silopanna Music Festival Tickets Ticket sales will benefit AM/FM (Annapolis Musicians’ Fund for Musicians). For more information about their cause, visit http://www.am-fm.org/.
Overall, Silopanna will be a great festival for the whole family. It’s a small scale festival with a lot of big name draw. Get your tickets today!