Holly Gleason Bonnaroo death #vivaroo Bonnaroo 2015 Guy Clark Prada Dada The Zelda Chronicles Zelda pet loss Alex Bevan Emmylou Harris Lee Ann Womack the Wonderspaniel Aerosmith Ali Berlow Bruce Springsteen Dwight Yoakam Eddie Montgomery James Taylor John Oates Kenny Chesney Matraca Berg Patty Loveless Tom Petty Vince Gill Andy Langer Bob Dylan C. Orrico Cleveland country music Dan Baird Dawes disco Donna Summer Earl Scruggs Earth Wind & Fire Ed Helms Jackson Browne Jim James Johnny Cash Lilly Pulitzer Lou Reed Lyle Lovett Michael Stanley Mumford & Sons Music pop music punk Reggie Watts Rita Houston Rodney Crowell Ronnie Dunn Sam Bush Sherman Halsey Steve Popovich Tim McGraw Townes Van Zandt untimely death WFUV Willie Nelson " supermoderls " THE LITTLE PRINCE "Faith "The Voice 27 Club 9/11 addiction Akron Allen Brown Allison Krauss Allman Brothers Almost Famous Americana Amy Winehouse Andy Parker Ann Upchurch Anna Nicole Smith Antoine de Saint-Exupery Ashley Capps Atlanta Rhythm Section Authenticity Bangles Barbara Bush Beatles BeeGees Belle & Sebastian Big K.R.I.T. Bill Bentley Bill Johnson Billy idol Black Prairie bluegrass Bluegrass Situation Bob Seger Brenwtood Vets Britney Spears Buddy & Julie Miller Cameron Crowe Carnival Music Cat Powers Catherine Deneuve CBGBs Celebrity Culture Charlie Sexton Chris Mad Dog Russo Chris Stapleton Chris Whitley Christopher Hanna Cindy Crawford Clash Clive Davis CMA Awards CMA Duo of the Year Cobain cowpunk Cultural Icons Cyrinda Fox Dan Einstein Dan Fogelberg Dan Tyminski D'Angelo Danny Joe Brown Danny Morrison David Bowie David Byrne David Gleason Dazz Band death of a pet Del McCoury Del McCoury Band Delaney & Bonnie Dennis Kucinich Dick Clark Dignity Dolly Parton Doobies Doug Dillard driving Dylan Elegy Elle King Elton John EMI Music Eric Clapton ESQUIRE facing the inevitable Fame Whores father fathers & daughters Feank Yankovic Fellini feminism festival film Flatt + Scruggs Foals Forest Hills Stadium Frank Sinatra Funk Brothers Garth Brooks Gary Stewart Gary W Clark Gary Wells George Bush George Harrison George Jones George Michael George Strait Gerald LeVert Gil Scott-Heron Glenn O'Brien golf Grammy Awards Grammy mourning grief Guitar Town Guster heartbreak heartland hippies HITS Hot Chelle Rae Hozier I Will Always Love You iconic death integrity Jack Johnson Jackie Kennedy James Brown janet jackson Jason Aldean Jason Isbell Jeff Bates Jeff Hanna Jewly Hight Jim Halsey Jimmy Jam Jimmy Webb Joan Didion Joe Diffie Joe Ely John Bassette John Fullbright John Hiatt John Hobbs John Leland John Prine Joni Mitchell Joplin Joyce Reingold Kacey Musgraves Keith Knudsen Ken Weinstein Kentucky Headhunters killing spree KKen Weinstein Las Vegas Leon Russell Leonard Cohen Levon Helm Life Little Feat loss Lowell George Madonna Marlene Dietrich Marshall Chapman Mary Chapin Carpenter Matt and Kim Meatloaf Merle Haggard Midway Midwest Montgomery Gentry moonshiners Morrison mourning MTV music festivals Music Row My Friend Bob My Morning Jacket Naomi Campbell Nas Nathan Bell Nei Young nihilism in pop music Nile Rodgers Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Oct. 1 Of Monsters and Men old huard Nashville Palm Beach Parliament Funkedelic passion Patsi Bale Cox Patsi Cox Patti Davis Paul McCartney Paul William Phil Walden Philip Bailey places polka pop culture Preservation Hall Jazz Band press conferences Prince Princess Diana Purple Rain Radnor Lake Ramones Ray Price Rayland Baxter Reeves Gabrels Retirement Rhiannon Giddens Richard Corliss Richard Gehr Richard Pryor Robin Gibb Rock & Soul Superjam Rust Belt Ryan Miller Sarah Godinez scenes Scooter Caruso sex Shiela E smells Solange Knowles songs songwriiter songwriter spoiled rock stars Springsteen Steve Earle Steven Tyler Stevie Nicks Stevie Ray Vaughn Stevie Wonder stinky goodness Sturgill Simpson Sue Whiting Tammy Wynette Tammy Wynnette Tangiers Tattoos & Scars Tears for Fears Terry Lewis THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN The Bluegrass Situation The Bodyguard The Dreaming Fields the Hermit Club the Kentucky Headhunters the Players the Shaker Heights Country Club the things that matter the wonder spaniel thoughts Tim Hensley TIME Magazine Tin Machine tragedy Trixie Whitley Troy Gentry University of Miami Valerie Carter Verdine White Village Voice Waffle House Walker Cup Waylon Jennings Wendy Pearl WHAM! Whitney Houston Whitney Houston death Wilco Women's Western Golf Association Wonderspaniel Wu Tang Clan WVUM Ziggy Stardust

Postcards from @Bonnaroo: How It All Ends (to be continued)

You get hurt, you get back to it slow. Maybe not dive right in, but drink some tea, think about what’s left… and savor what’s there. You decide sampling might be better, savoring what you get to see and really being with the music.

Clouds pile up like newspapers people forgot to cancel before going away for the summer. Maybe it’s going to torrent. After all, what was muddier than Woodstock?

But weather isn’t a worthy deterent.

Del McCoury and Sam Bush are playing That Tent at 5. McCoury is now the reigning father of bluegrass, Sam Bush its longstanding innovative maverick. Together they represent the history and the expansion of the genre, grounding and exploring what bluegrass can be.

Supple in their embrace of timeworn classics like “Hang Your Head In Shame,” it is the (re)inventiveness of U2’s “Pride (In The Name of Love)” that demonstrates music’s universality. Almost petoit-pointed whorls of Bush’s mandolin sets up McCoury’s sand-paper tenor to hacksaw through many of the attendees’ 24/4 exhaustion to become a siren’s call for Bonnaroo’s not-so-subtly-stated higher purpose.

As the crowd recognizes the familiar rendered in the unexpected hardcore traditional style, they whoop. It may not be a revelation, but they’re drawn into Bono’s words to consider the notions of equality, sacrifice, togetherness and the future that can be made. At the end, there is an explosion of cheers.

For all the neo-hillbilly dancing to the bluegrass music, and in certain groups it borders on burlesque-ing, if not mocking, there is reverence, too. Whether they listen to this music at home or not, the greatness is recognized.

It’s the perfect set-up for Ed Helms Bluegrass Situation Superjam. And it’s funny what a movie can do: because while it had nothing to do with a traditional Appalachian art form, the electricity was palpable as the Bush/McCoury stage was struck – and new gear was moved into place.

To use that sort of fame for something like elevating bluegrass is a good thing, and Helms clearly enjoys his role in fostering awareness, as well as playing with some of the genre’s best practitioners. Never mind the chants of “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!,” the newspaperboy-capped Helms side-stepped fan fair, plugged in his banjo and declared “Let’s do this thing…” and embarked on a brisk “I Was Born To Be With You.”

From there, it was a cavalcade of names, licks, jams and the sheer joy of playing. And play they did! Bryan Sutton, Luke Bulla, John Fullbright, Jesse Cobb, Barry Bales, members of Black Prairie, the Punch Brothers, Chris Stapleton, and Dan Tyminski were among the embarrassment of riches taking the stage with Helms. Indeed, Stapleton, who’d turned in a hybrid Skynyrd/rebel country set the day before, really showed himself to be a power-singer with his two song turn doing truly rooted bluegrass.

The beauty of what Helms has conjured is there’s plenty of room for everybody to come and stomp and play. Not just the comers, but Sam Bush and Del McCoury joined in, making it a truly powerful summit meeting of the tribes, something to rival the cross-pollinating Superjams of the two nights previous.

And it didn’t stop there. Wandering back down to the media center for the walk to position for the event’s Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers closing set, David Byrne & St Etienne come into range. The man who’s seemingly reconfigured punk, art rock, world music and performance art has never flinched at reinvention, and listening to “Wild Life” floating at me slightly stop-start, slightly downhome, you can’t help but smile.

Even grazing, there is so much music of merit, the experience glistens with reminders of what music contains. Joy, mostly, but also catharsis and transformation. Who do you want to be? How do you want to feel? Change your mood? Really commit to what your emotional plane is? Well, set your ears – and go.

Of course, few things can match Tom Petty, the quiet man who makes his music, stays below the radar and remains one of the most pungent straight-up rockers there’s ever been.

Lean songscapes, devoted to losers, not quites and won’t fit ins, Petty has taken his Southern regionalism and made it national in the same way Springsteen turned the Jersey ethos, Mellencamp mined the heartland and Seger took the Rust Belt and made it frame larger realities.
Opening with the Byrds “So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star,” the once song of straight reportage almost invites a social commentary dialogue of fame in the age of YouTube. Not that Petty necessarily thought it through that far; he and the Heartbreakers delivered a chimingly muscular take on a rock standard that showed the power of masters savaging a much loved song.

More than anything, at this point, that’s what this organization is: pirates who know how to plunder. Steve Ferrone hits those drums like he’s killing his worst habit: precise, hard and with purpose. It’s columns of pounding that give shape, drive the songs and provide sculpture and a pulse on the subtler moments.

Mike Campbell remains the man capable of stinging strings of notes that dig into the scalp and tear your most visceral places apart, creating motifs out of rock songs that stay with you long after the lyric’s gone. A clean player, he doesn’t fear the effects, but he’s best on things like the charging “Listen To Her Heart” and the nervously thrilling “American Girl,” while creating the tension that gives “I Won’t Back Down” its charge and the brittle narrowing of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

But it’s more than technicianship with the Heartbreakers. Whether the surprisingly early in the set suspended want and run of “Free Fallin’,” the utter sadness of “A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)” or the shimmering hope of “Learning To Fly,” Petty understands the evocative nature of emotion in songs better than any. He can take 60,000 people standing in on ongoing rain and bring them to feel myriad emotions without manipulating or Hallmarking the moment.

When he leans into the brazen “Rebels,” that taunting song that evokes the polemic indignity and pride inherent in life below the Mason Dixon, then matches it to the Dead’s acoustic reckoner “Friend of the Devil.” Later in the set, he will take that outlaw biteback to his breakout “Refugee” with a vengeance.

Largely a set strewn with hits, Petty still managed to bring “Love Is A Long Road” into play early, tackle the Wilburys’ “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” and find a place for “It’s Good To Be King.” Even those moments that fall a little short of “Running Down A Dream” hit hard, offering the release the best rock & roll should: spending your sentiments and making you scream in recognition.

Never quite counter-culture, not a punk though marketed (initially) as one, Petty has always infused those realities to his stripped down take on what rock is. It’s why standing in the rain with a father and son from greater Nashville, a couple teens from California and a girl from somewhere in Canada, all of the voices raised with equal vigor when it came time to howl along on the choruses.

Great rock is more than timeless, it’s always alive right now. At the end of a hot, wet, dusty, muddy Bonnaroo, there was no better way to set one’s sites on 2014.

And as for the rest of “the experience,” there will be more.
but getting the music while there’s still some echo in the fields was important --

So less than perfect, but vital in the moment, here are the postcards from the final day…