Plenty of Sunshine in the Sunshine State – Sunshine Music Festival, That Is!

January is somehow right around the corner, and that means that the Sunshine Music Festival is, too. This will be the sixth time that the Tedeschi Trucks Band and friends bring their traveling road show to St. Petersburg and Boca Raton. This cavalcade of stars hits Vinoy Park on Saturday, January 13th, and Mizner Park Amphitheatre Sunday, January 14th.

And cavalcade is an altogether apt description for this amazing lineup, which features Mike Gordon, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Galactic, Hot Tuna, Foundation of Funk, and The Suffers. Music alternates between two stages, so you won’t miss a single note during this amazing day of music.

Photo by Stuart Levine Photography

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is a true powerhouse of music, a dozen members strong, the very embodiment of the modern big band. They and Snarky Puppy have redefined that concept. TTB calls Jacksonville home, where Derek Trucks grew up and where he lives with Susan Tedeschi and their family. Both of them are dazzling guitar players, and Tedeschi is one of the greatest female vocalists on the scene.

Mike Gordon is certainly best known as the bass player from Phish, but his massive talents as songwriter, documentary film producer and all-around mensch truly expand his resume. Every band he has put together has been superb, but perhaps none as powerful as the band which played dates this past fall, including a spectacular performance at Suwannee Hulaween. Expect greatness.

Medeski, Martin and Wood are masters of jazz, funk, the avant garde and rock. They have two dozen albums to their credit and have often collaborated with John Scofield. Keyboard wizard John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin and Chris Wood on bass have helped define the keyboard trio. From these shows they’ll hop on Jam Cruise in Miami.

Galactic brings New Orleans to the party. They threw down a great show at Sunshine 2014, punctuated by the incredible drumming of Stanton Moore. The band is tighter than tight, and this sextet will join MMW on Jam Cruise.

Hot Tuna also played Sunshine 2014, a magnificent performance, and Jorma Kaukonen also gave Sunshine 2016 a truly great solo show. He and Jack Cassidy have built a storied career beginning with their tenure with Jefferson Airplane. Hot Tuna has been a going concern since 1969, and they’ve never sounded better.

Foundation of Funk may not immediately ring a bell, so let’s try this: half of The Meters, a third of Soulive, and a third of Medeski, Martin and Wood. That represents royalty in every aspect. George Porter, Jr., and Zigaboo Modeliste of the original Meters comprise the rhythm section, with guitarist Eric Krasno and John Medeski on keyboards joining them. This is truly amazing.

The Suffers impressed last year on Jam Cruise. Their Gulf Coast soul from Houston is deep, fronted by dynamic vocalist Kam Franklin, who can shout and wail and also touch you with tenderness.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band have once again delivered an A-list of artists for Sunshine Music Festival 2018, the best yet!

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