The Jeff Austin Band headlines SpringDig on May 4, 2019. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Michael Tucker)
SpringDig is always a special event for me because it’s the first festival of the year that I attend; on top of that, my lovely partner Tara and I have the great honor of working hospitality for the bands and crew of the event which means we provide them with food, cold drinks, and a comfortable area to chill, recharge, or practice. And so, we were happy to be at Sleepy Creek SpringDig 2019 on May 3-5 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
Participants press for federal legalization of marijuana at the National Cannabis Festival on April 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
“To me, pot is just fun. And I’m glad to see the rest of the country is coming around to my way of seeing things,” Keith Richards said in interview in Rolling Stone magazine Sept. 3, 2015. Keith would have enjoyed the National Cannabis Festival at RFK Stadium on April 20.
Ian Anderson (center) celebrates 50 years of Jethro Tull at MGM National Harbor on March 11, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
I first saw Jethro Tull on the Aqualung Tour at Civic Center in Roanoke, Virginia, on April 18, 1971. I most recently saw Ian Anderson and company at MGM National Harbor when they visited to celebrate 50 years of the band.
The 7 Deadlies perform at The Light Horse on March 1, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
It was a cold rainy night, in Old Town Alexandria, when me and a few friends, heard music coming from a restaurant and decided to get out of the rain. We walked into The Light Horse, which offered exciting food, a fun bar, and with great live music upstairs. On a recent night that great live music came in the form of the 7 Deadliest, a cool DC cover band.
Gin Blossoms perform at State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on Feb. 16, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Now in 2019, Gin Blossoms are celebrating 30 years since their debut album Dusted. And that celebration came to the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, recently.
Hot Tuna performs at City Winery in DC on Nov. 27, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Hot Tuna and Hot Plates at City Winery DC
Upon my arrival in San Francisco in August 1975, I heard of a free concert by Hot Tuna in Parkside Square. So with my friends, I traveled to see my favorite Jefferson Airplane musicians — guitarist/vocalist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady.
During that first time I saw them, the gents shared a sort of mystic chemistry, which remained in tact at their recent show at City Winery.
Mary Chapin Carpenter performs at The Birchmere on Oct. 29, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
“Passionate Kisses” awaited eager fans that packed The Birchmere for two sold-out nights recently to hear a hometown troubadour with a voice strong and true! Mary Chapin Carpenter had come home.
Roky Erickson performs at Black Cat on Oct. 28, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Roky Erickson’s Psychedelic Generations Tour, arrived at the Black Cat recently for a crowded house of all ages.
Roger McGuinn and Marty Stuart perform at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, Virginia, on Oct. 10, 2018. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by David Edwards)
There were two overriding themes to the Sweetheart of the Rodeo concert at Roanoke’s Jefferson Performance Center recently — a theme of Americana music and a theme of Tom Petty.
(Empire Strikes Brass and Danny Moore in a red mask lead a parade at Sleepy Creek HarFest 2018 on Oct. 5, 2018. Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Michael Tucker)
When I look back at every festival I attend, there is a definitive moment where everything clicks, and I have an epiphany of sorts wherein I come to understand what that festival means to me.