Sunshine Blues Festival, 2013 - Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton - January 19

Categories: Music Festivals
Over on the secondary stage, British guitarist Matt Schofield treated the crowd to his band's brand of sophisticated guitar tunes. Schofield has been the feature of many guitar mags in the past few years. And for fans of the Ford/Carlton school of laid-back blues with a jazzy twist, the man is considered the absolute next in line to the throne.

Max Reed
Scholfield did not disappoint with his exceptionally Boca Raton approved take on the genre, locking into deep grooves with his trio, and playing with only the prettiest of tones, courtesy of his Two-Rock amplifiers and custom made Stratocasters. There is a subtlety to what Schofield does that might have been lost a bit in the muddy field, lined with BBQ carts and filled with a crowd that was starting to hit the inebriation mark. But the guitarist and his band seemed to be enjoying their playing so deeply, that it might just be our imagination.

As Schofield soothed mud-caked feet into dancing across the way, the main stage was being primped and prepped to host a living legend: Mac Rebennack, Jr -- Dr. John (the Night Tripper) for most. A purple cloth was laid across the top of a piano, a human skull then laid atop that, and the band took their places.

Max Reed
As a showband style intro played, the Gris Gris man himself waltzed across the stage looking like the unholy love-child of a pimp and a voodoo apparition, supporting himself with his ever-present and artfully adorned walking stick. He sat at a keyboard and gave the audience one of his telling smiles before hitting the groove from the title track of 2012's Dan Auerbach produced Locked Down.

The band was on-point, though the early half of the set could have benefited from a bit more volume. Rebennack sat and plotted each twinkle of the piano, every riff of the Rhodes, and every lyric he chose to conjure. Rarely did the man sing so much as channel something from another dimension -- or at least another time. The set was largely built from tracks off of Locked Down, which disappointed few considering the albums popularity, and also when considering that it might be the best Dr. John album since the early Night Tripper-era stuff.

Toward the end of the unfortunately shorter set, Dr. John moved slowly across the stage, picked up a guitar and played some bluesy leads on "Getaway," and also led his impeccably well oiled band through "Let the Good Times Roll," reminding everyone that he was an axe-man before a small arms incident placed him at the piano bench. While the tracks from the Starbucks-sold Locked Down were all well-received, the top reaction of the set came from "Right Place, Wrong Time." Dr. John left as he had entered, a mystic vision in maroon and pinstripes drifting into the night to the groove his band provided.

Max Reed

Location Info


Mizner Park Amphitheater

590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL

Category: General

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Even with the rain for most of the day, I made it from 11 to 11 and saw every band there. All were excellent! It was the best $60 music fest I have seen in a long time.

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