Nothing Like a Little Pre-Party to Get You Ready for Hometeam New Year’s Rally

Hard to imagine that New Year’s Eve is only four weeks away. In the Central Florida area, there are many fine options for that with a wide variety of musical options. We have *hinted* at the fact that one of the safest is the Hometeam New Year’s Rally at Maddox Ranch in Lakeland, a three-day celebration December 29-31, and you can wake up whenever you want to New Year’s Day. Incredible music, and NO TRAFFIC!

To encourage you along those lines, Cody and Jenelle Bean, your HTNYR hosts, are throwing a massive pre-party this coming Saturday, December 9th, at Skipper’s Smokehouse. Come early and stay late — this party starts at four and loses its glass slipper at midnight. Four outstanding bands and two amazing artists at large will be on hand for your musical pleasure, followed by an all-star jam from all those performing during the afternoon and evening!

Actually, the Skipper’s show should be called the pre-pre-party, because the real pre-party is on Thursday, December 28th. The main Hometeam Rally is Friday to Sunday, December 29-31, exactly the way it’s done at Hulaween, Wanee, Ochechobee and similar events.

Posted by Skipper's Smokehouse on Friday, November 10, 2017

The Groove Orient are one of Orlando’s true treasures, a quintet that funks and rocks and wails the blues. They have traveled extensively throughout the country and play regularly at events such as Hometeam, Great Outdoors Jam and Orange Blossom Jamboree; they have played numerous events at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park as well. Chuck Magid leads the band on guitar and shares vocal duties with bassist Harry Ong. Bucky Buckingham on drums and David Vanegas on percussion (and bass) provide a strong foundation, and double-threat Tommy Shugart kills on both Hammond B3 and guitar.

St. Petersburg’s Ajeva also dig deep into the funk and likewise show a resume loaded with festival appearances. Lead vocalist and guitar player Reed Skahill fronts this outstanding quintet, with young guitar shredder Skyler Golden and Travis “Too Tall” Young powering the band from drum kit. Two members also play in JOOSE and Come Back Alice and have been electrifying: Taylor Gilchrist, bass, and Mark Mayea, keyboards.

Borrowing this from our Great Outdoors Jam review:

Between Bluffs had been on hiatus for what seems like a long time, but Kenny Blair knew their return merited a feature slot. To say that the band made the most of it would be a gross understatement. The Dunedin quartet immediately dug into their new concept album, a medley of seven songs (more or less) with the them of space and cosmic-derived philosophy. it was superb. They played in white lab coats befitting of the theme.

Justin Davis was superb on the upright bass, and Mel Walsh, more recognizable as guitarist with Row Jonah, really had the opportunity to stretch out throughout the set. After “How Do You Need to Feel,” leader Jerrod Simpson invited Scott Minehart up to play jaw harp on “Tuesday Morning.” Next was a Tool cover, “Eulogy,” with Simpson utilizing a little megaphone. Juanjamon sat in on “Gadget,” and then he and Corbitt helped out on the closing “Florida Song.” Welcome back!

Between Bluffs

Bass player for The Reality Caleb Bone has been concerned about something, so we’ll put that to rest right now. Yes, I have seen this band eleven times this year, several more than any other (I assume this was some sort of competition — for better or worse). There are few bands out there right now dishing out more deliciously fun funk than this trio, and we recently saw them with a new keyboard player and another guitarist. Dan Jones and his ginger ’fro lead this groove-infested band on vocals, guitar and trombone, propelled from the drums by Brian BA Jones.

The Reality

We’ll let Shannon Allman, widow of the late great Gregg, talk about Kaleigh Baker:

“I recall vividly one night, in a hotel room on the road, playing him about six or seven female artists, each one of which he sort of shrugged at and asked me to skip to the next, not feeling that their vibe aligned with his ‘blues flavored rock n roll. After about 12 seconds of listening to Kaleigh Baker, he excitedly pointed at the screen and exclaimed, ‘YES! We watched several more of her music videos.

Many have described Kaleigh as a bluesy Adele, and while I can’t quite ignore the obvious similarities of their soulfulness, powerhouse vocals, and Kaleigh’s bone deep blues, I hesitate to compare women – or anyone. They are each their own extraordinary artistic selves. I immediately emailed Live Nation and multiple managers but the season was booked and, as happens, life and medical issues shifted our focus in other directions. Bringing Kaleigh on to open for Gregory is a dream we had to let go of.”

Matt Weis is a man of many musical disguises. He fronts his own outstanding Americana/roots band Boxcar Hollow (and that description is a mere introduction), channels Jerry with Russ Bowers Isn’t Dead Yet, channels Trey with Antelope, and simply lights up a stage with his smile. His bands always end up funking up the place, and thank heavens for that! He and Baker make two excellent artist-at-large additions to this already superb lineup.

Matt Weis

Hit that Google calendar now! Get that first taste of Hometeam New Year’s Rally (and perhaps a blackened base Rueben)!

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