The Heavy Pets, South Florida’s jam royalty, are preparing for their annual four-day residence at the Dunedin Brewery this Thursday through Sunday, March 23-26, at the 5th annual Spring Beer Jam. As usual, they will be joined by outstanding musicians from the local area and from across America.
The Heavy Pets are: Jeff Lloyd – guitar/vocals; Mike Garulli – guitar/harmonica/vocals; Jim Wuest – keys/vocals; Jamie Newitt – drums/vocals; Tony D’Amato – bass. A dozen years into their existence, they have played most major festivals and toured throughout the U.S. extensively.
Why do they love Dunedin Brewery? Is it just because they have Jackie Bones on tap? Well, that helps, certainly, but Mike Bryant and his DunBrew crew have forged special relationships with many, many bands and musicians, perhaps none stronger than with the Pets. This “rock & roll” band weaves funk, jazz, reggae and deep jam into every performance with unbridled enthusiasm.
Let’s look at the schedule.
Thursday, March 23
The Heavy Pets (B-Sides & Rarities) – 10 pm
Future Vintage featuring Jon Ditty – 8 pm
Friday, March 24
The Heavy Pets – 11 pm
The Juanjamon Band – 9 pm
Mouth Council – 8:30 pm
DJ 45Revolver – 5 pm
Saturday, March 25
The Heavy Pets (Heavy Guests) – 11 pm
The Joe Marcinek Band – 8pm featuring Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Steve Molitz (Particle), Al Ingram (Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band), & Juanjamon
Jahman Brahman – 5:30 pm
Jonathan Scales Fourchestra – 3 pm
Sunday, March 26
The Heavy Pets (Heavy Dead) – 9 pm
Backup Planet – 7:30 pm
First, we see that the Pets will kick off Spring Beer Jam with a set of B-Sides & Rarities. Friday they serve up some Heavy Pets, straight. Saturday, with so many outstanding musicians in the house, Heavy Guests would be inevitable. And Sunday, for the first time, they tackle Heavy Dead. (Wuest and Newitt are also part of a Dead tribute band called Funkin’ Grateful.)
On Thursday, Future Vintage opens the jam with their own jamtronic goodness. The St. Petersburg trio play superb funk, electronica and jazz. Recently, they played at rapper Jon Ditty’s album release party, and their collaboration was dynamite. Expect more of the same this week!
DJ 45Revolver gets the party started Friday. His name is truth in advertising: all he spins are awesome 45s from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. And he keeps the party rolling. Mouth Council will be there to blow minds with their “Spontaneous Group Vocal Looping.” You know you need to check that out!
Next up: The Juanjamon Band, headed by Meesta Juanjamon, the man who sings and plays tenor sax, EWI, keyboards and bass. His five-man band delivers badass funk with two thirds of Future Vintage (Matt Giancola, keyboards, and Trevor McDonnell, bass), guitarist Dre Mack and Michael “Thunderfoot” Garrie at kit.
Saturday is simply jam-packed with music, beginning at 3 with Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, the amazing Asheville collective which plays “steel pan jazz fusion artistic complexities for the modern ear.” Got that? Get it! More greatness from Asheville, this time ‘shred’n’flow,’ appears in the form of Jahman Brahman. These two North Carolina bands are really going to funk you up.
Then, that Hoosier is back again. Except that, by now, Joe Marcinek is probably claiming dual state citizenship, given how many times he visits the Sunshine State. For certain Dunedin ought to give the guy the key to the city at this point.
Marcinek is a great guitar player who has an amazing ability to gather world-class musicians to join him in a band for two, three, maybe half a dozen shows. He has been to DunBrew often, most recently at Oktobeerfest and again in January. Drummer Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident has been here with him before, as has Particle’s keyboard wizard, Steve Molitz. The new kid, DunBrew-wise, is Al Ingram, bass player for Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. And Juanjamon will join this crew on tenor.
[Read more about Marcinek’s current run of shows here.]
On Sunday, a Tennessee band spending lots of time in Florida is coming back: Backup Planet. This quartet stunned us at the 2015 Hometeam New Year’s Rally, and they returned for last year’s edition and Great Outdoors Jam as well. Their blend of prog rock and funk will melt your faces off.
And Joe Marcinek, who knows a Grateful Dead song or two, will be artist at large Sunday, possibly with Backup Planet, certainly with The Heavy Dead.
[The Heavy Pets and Backup Planet are in the midst of a series of dates together — read more here.]
Don’t forget your steins, kids! MusicFestNews will be there.