There were a whole bunch of great covers down in the Suwannee this weekend. The sacred land is breeding ground for fun and funky surprises, like when The Roots busted out “Jungle Boogie!” I couldn’t catch them all, but there are some burning favorites that I can’t wait to share with you! Here are some of the best covers we heard all weekend and thanks to Cheesehead Productions, we have videos of a few too!
The Roots – Jungle Boogie (Originally by Kool & The Gang)
So I just got goosebumps all over my body when I heard the opening riff in “Jungle Boogie” played again. The Legendary Roots Crew is much more than just a hip-hop group…much much more. The Kool & The Gang cover sandwiched a ?uestlove / Frank Knuckles drum duel in a way that the Bear Creek crowd simply ate up! When the riff reemerges around the 6 minute mark, everyone loses their shit. Check it for yourself.
Kung Fu – Eruption (Originally by Van Halen)
This is somewhat of a “holy grail” solo for guitar players. It’s arguably on the same level as “Freebird” or “Stairway to Heaven,” so when you hear someone try and emulate it, they better be on point. Luckily for us, New York’s Kung Fu comes correct. Guitarist Tim Palmiery absolutely nailed this while the crowd (and rest of the band) watched in awe.
Jennifer Hartswick Band – 25 or 6 to 4 (Originally by Chicago)
Jennifer Hartswick definitely has a pair of pipes on her. I mean, my god…this chick can really sing. She honestly sings this way better than anyone from Chicago in this writer’s humble opinion. Go ahead and judge for yourself.
Nigel Hall + Roosevelt Collier’s Gospel Surprise – Before I Let Go (Originally by Frankie Beverly & Maze)
I’m not a religious person, but boy oh boy did I appreciate the good Reverend Nigel Hall’s Sunday afternoon gospel set. I counted 17 musicians on stage during the set-closing Frankie Beverly & Maze cover, which was a phenomenal site. It’s these one-off sets that make festivals, particularly the Spirit of Suwannee festivals, unique.
Monophonics – Bang Bang (Originally by Cher, but I prefer Nancy Sinatra’s version)
Monophonics got me feelin’ like I’m a soulful brother from the 60s or something. I’m talkin’ straight time-travel status. This is blues, soul and rock’n’roll how it was meant to sound. BANG BANG!
Bear Creek All-Stars – Dr. Funkenstein (Originally by Funkadelic)
I still have these lyrics stuck in my head, “thank you Dr. Funkenstein, your funk is the best!” I was runnin’ around and singing it all weekend. Members of Dumpstaphunk and Lettuce collaborated for an epic rendetion of this Funkadelic classic.
Kung Fu with Jans Ingber from The Motet – 1999 (Originally by Prince)
So what if Jans had to read the lyrics off an iPhone; this cover kicked ass. Kung Fu had the Technaflora Music Hall partying like it was 1999 during this funky cover.
Galactic with David Shaw from The Revivalists – When the Levee Breaks (Originally by Led Zeppelin)
So I had already seen this at Wanee earlier in the year, which means it was just slightly less epic. The shock-factor was decreased anyways. But on a day that started with hours and hours of rain, this was awesome to hear. David Shaw does Robert Plant justice and with Galactic as his backing band, this definitely jump-started the evening.
The Roots – Move on Up (Originally by Curtis Mayfield)
The Roots did this 30-minute jam / mash-up thing where they played a butt-load of classics. “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Immigrant Song,” “Jungle Boogie,” “SpottieOttieDopaliscious,” and more all made appearances. But luckily for me, “Move on Up” by Curtis Mayfield made an appearance. I love this track and it was a nice jump-start in to The Roots ending portion of the set, which boasted fast-paced hip-hop fused with neo-soul in an energetic blast from the past.
Jennifer Hartswick Band – Haven’t Done Nothin’ (Originally by Stevie Wonder)
I could probably put Jennifer Hartswick on this list a few more times. Partially because they did a lot of covers, but partially because she’s just so damn good. Here is another awesome video courtesy of Cheesehead Productions and Adam Firtel.
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