- Graham Wilkinson – The Spiritual Accessories EP [Little Windmill Records 2011]
- Trombone Shorty – For True [Verve Forecast 2011]
- Various Artists – O Brother, Where Art Thou? [Lost Highway 2011]
- SuperHeavy – Super Heavy [Universal 2011]
- Preservation Jazz Hall Band and the Del McCoury Band – American Legacies [McCoury Music 2011]
- Various Artists – Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs [VP Records 2011]
- The Secret Sisters – The Secret Sisters [Universal Records 2010]
- Bunny Lee – Dub Will Change Your Mind [King Spinna Records 2011]
- Aloe Blacc – Good Things [Stones Throw Records 2010]
- Various Artists – Listen To Me: Buddy Holly [Verve Forecast 2011]
- Augustus Pablo – This Is Augustus Pablo [VP Records 2011]
- Various Artists – The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2011 [VP Records 2011]
- Wilco – The Whole Love [dBPM Records 2011]
- James Blake and Bon Iver – Fall Creek Boys Choir [Universal Records 2011]
- Tom Waits – Bad As Me [Anti/Epitaph 2011]
- Olivia Tremor Control – The Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3 [Cloud Recordings 2011]
- Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days [Warner Brothers 2011]
- St. Vincent – Strange Mercy [4AD 2011]
- George Strait – Here For A Good Time [MCA Nashville 2011]
- Zee Avi – Ghostbird [Brushfire Records 2011]
- Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah – Hysterical [CYHSY 2011]
- Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter – Marble Son [Station Grey Records 2011]
- Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus – Barlande [InFine 2011]
- Lisa Hannigan – Passenger [ATO Records 2011]
- Lenny Kravitz – Black And White America [Atlantic Records 2011]
This year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival offered a fine mix of music from bluegrass to reggae to indie rock and jam bands to afro-pop and electronica music. The reggae musicians included Midnite, the Itals, and the Wailing Souls. I unfortunately missed Midnite on Thursday but I got to see amazing sets from the Itals and Wailing Souls. The Itals played roots reggae including songs like “In a Dis Ya Time.” And they played new cuts from the upcoming album Let Them Talk. The Wailing Souls played Saturday and dropped roots reggae classics like “Shark Attack ” alongside reggae covers of the Doors song “Love Her Madly” and the Grateful Dead classic “Casey Jones.” The Wailing Souls also played “War Down at the Pawn Shop” a track written by Sublime headman Bradley Nowell.
Phish played two shows. The first show on Friday night rocked with originals like “You Enjoy Myself” “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Wading In The Velvet Sea,” and “Chalk Dust Torture” and a cover of AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell.” For an encore Phish covered the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life.” The second show on Sunday night included a guest appearance by the Boss–Bruce Springsteen. The Boss and Phish played a brilliant extended version of “Mustang Sally.” Trey Anastasio and the Boss traded and then dueled guitar solos. It was an amazing show with a jammed out version of “Glory Days.”
Bruce Springsteen played his three hour show on Saturday Night with the amazing E-Street Band, which included Max Weinberg on drums. “Outlaw Pete,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Devils & Dust” among other favorites kept the crowd on its feet. The Boss is quite a performer and storyteller.
The Beastie Boys played an amazing and energetic set with favorites like “So What’Cha Want [Explicit],” “Sabotage,” “Shake Your Rump,” “Paul Revere,” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” on the set list alongside punk rock favorites “Gratitude [Explicit],” “Tough Guy,” “Egg Raid On Mojo [Explicit],” and “Heart Attack Man.” Instrumental Jams like “Sabrosa” laced the Hip Hop and Punk Rock tracks. The Beastie’s DJ Mixmaster Mike is more than a DJ. The man is an exquisite turntablist and musician. MCA, Mike D, and AD Rock still have it going on after all these years. Also rapper NAS performed with the Beastie Boys on a track coming soon on the new Beastie album.
Rodrigo y Gabriela, Santagold, Girl Talk, Brett Dennen, Amadou & Mariom, Booker T with the Drive-By Truckers, Gov’t Mule, Merle Haggard, the Decemberists, and Snoop Dogg all played notable sets. I caught Booker T and the DBTs (Drive By Truckers) playing “Green Onions” and Merle Haggard covering Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Jackson.” The Hag played his own hits too, singing “Mama Tried,” “Working Man Blues,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.”
Immediately after seeing Merle Haggard’s set I trucked to the main “What Stage” to see Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound. Snoop strolled through hits “Gin And Juice,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?,” “Ain’t No Fun.” The LBC rappers paid tribute to 2pac with “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Snoop can still move the crowd. He even transitioned into Jamaican patois at one point sounding pretty good as a potential dancehall artist. Snoop needs to do a reggae album. Merle Haggard and Snoop opening for Phish Sunday night seemed a perfect way to end this diverse mix of music.