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50 States in 50 Weeks… Week 27: Utah

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Fun Facts:  State Motto: Industry, State Song: Utah, We Love Thee, State Cooking Pot: Dutch Oven

Home of: David Archuleta, Jewel, The Used

The Venues:

DRlogo2Originally from a neighboring state, this writer has been privy to the geologic jewels Utah has to offer for years. When these spectacular canyons and desert rock formations are combined with outdoor music festivals, the result is breathtaking. The Desert Rocks Music Festival (hosting more styles than just desert rock) is a 2 day camping festival located in the desert outside Moab with a past roster that includes The Derek Trucks Band, Del The Funky Homosapien, Hot Buttered Rum, Alkoholics, and The Motet. Though subject to inclement weather (such as flash floods literally washing tents away forever), this small festival in the middle of nowhere (just follow the directions down the dirt road) is bound to be a good time if you can find it!
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50 States in 50 Weeks…Week 26: New Hampshire

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Fun Facts: State Flower: Purple Lilac, State Insect: Ladybug, State Song: Old New Hampshire and New Hampshire, My New Hampshire.

Home of: Ray Lamontagne, Mandy Moore, Steven Tyler,  Brian Viglione, Adam Sandler, John Irving, Sarah Silverman

The Venues:

The tents at Great Waters

The tents at Great Waters

Designed to appeal to both fans of classical music and popular music is the Great Waters Music Festival located in New Hampshire’s lakes region. They have stuck to that mission to this day, hosting performers such as Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Arlo Guthrie, Glen Miller Orchestra and many more. Over the past 14 years, attendance has grown from 325 visitors for 1 classical performance to over 7,000 guests (more…)

50 States in 50 Weeks…Week 25: Mississippi

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Fun Facts: State Tree; Magnolia, State Insect; Honeybee, State Song; Go, Mississippi

Home of: B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley, Afroman, Milton Babbitt, Sam Cooke

The Venues:

2007 Blues Festival PosterBlues and the South go hand in hand. Many would argue that there is no other community in the country that holds such a strong bond with its musical heritage. As is to be expected, the Deep South is flourishing with blues festivals of all kinds. In Mississippi, the non-profit Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival is the pinnacle cultural celebration. The second longest continuously operating blues festival in the country, (more…)

50 States in 50 Weeks… Week 24: New Mexico

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Home of: John Denver, Neil Patrick Harris, Demi Moore, Xzibit, The Shins, aliens.

Fun Facts: State Flower: Yucca, State Song: O Fair New Mexico, State Insect: Tarantula Hawk Wasp.

The Venues:

globalquerque_300New Mexico is the 6th most sparsely populated state and, not surprisingly, the music venue population is even less dense. Luckily, for the few bands that do decide to play a show off the beaten path in this beautiful state, there are some legitimate options.

Quite possibly the most fantastically named festival in the entire country, the annual ¡Globalquerque! World Music and Culture Festival in, well, Albequerque has been bringing culturally diverse music to the state since 2005. (more…)

50 States in 50 Weeks… Week 23: Kansas

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Home Of: Melissa Etheridge, Kansas, Martina McBride, Pat Metheny, Chet Nichols, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Kenton.

Fun Facts: State Flower: Sunflower, State Tree: Cottonwood, State Song: Home on The Range.

The Venues:

Ex-Idol Kellie Pickler at Stampede '07

Ex-Idol Kellie Pickler at Stampede '07

Kansas’ Country Stampede festival is arguably one of the nation’s biggest musical gatherings dedicated solely to country music. Located just north of Manhattan, KS (appropriately nicknamed the little apple), Country Stampede is one of the few country music festivals to offer camping spots to their customers, and because the festival is located (more…)

50 States In 50 Weeks… Connecticut

Home of: Dave Brubeck, John Mayer, Hate Breed, Charles Ives, Meat Loaf, Liz Phair, Mark McGrath, Michael Bolton, Moby, Rivers Cuomo

Fun Facts: State Insect: Praying Mantis, State Song: Yankee Doodle, Nickname: Nutmeg State

The Venues:

n2397644150_5134The state of Connecticut may be malnourished when it comes to quantity of music festivals, but the quality of the few they do have make up for the otherwise lack there of. One of such festivals is (more…)

50 STATES IN 50 WEEKS… WEEK 21: FLORIDA

Home of: The Backstreet Boys, The Allman Brothers, Matchbox 20, Jimmy Buffet, Bo Diddley, Tom Petty, Elvis Presley, Gram Parsons

Fun Facts: State Flower: Orange Blossom, State Bird: MockingBird,  State Song: “Suwannee River”

The Venues:

logo1 Florida has given birth to many a jam band over the years, hence the reason why so many Jam Band-based festivals have flourished. The most pure of these events is the Wanee Music Festival in Live Oak, FL. Planted on the banks of the Suwannee River halfway between the Eastern coast city of Jacksonville and Western coast city of Tallahassee, this festival allows customers to take full advantage of the natural Floridian paradise, and even instills secret midnight jam sessions to enhance the weekend’s spontaneity. Did I mention that the festival has been hosted and headlined by local treasure The Allman Brothers since 2005?

The St. Petersburg / Tampa region of the state is one of the few cultural hot spots falling between southern Miami and northern Jacksonville, and is thus loaded with venues. The Crowbar is decked out with a state of the art sound system, and stunning interior design. Best of all, it’s Chameleon-esque, hosting bands from famous ska act Big D and the Kids Table to up-and-coming DJ Pretty Lights. The interior atmosphere and staff seems capable of catering to all genres, from garage rock to rave, in turn creating a happy musical environment hybrid of sorts.

The Music:

UTJYBUGXKMEA-largeFlorida is the Southern most state in the contiguous USA. That being said, it should be expected to host some pretty legitimate dirty southern blues rock. Quartet John Q. combines nasty slide guitar riffs and effected solos with first hand lyrics everyone can relate to. Check out their bluesy tale of a vengeful backwoods arsonist, “BrushFire.”

USVAQAIWRDJV-520x520Placing in the top of her class, speaking three languages fluently, and holding a masters degree in architecture are a few reasons why Maja Sar is a real life Wonder Woman. Her angelic voice is just icing on the cake. Equipped with a background in Opera, Bosnia-born Maja translated her talents into the Pop/ R&B realm ( it won’t be long before you hear her on the radio). Take a listen to the beautifully minimal “A Cappella” and you’ll understand what I mean.

NLQLJXTGDCBT-520x520As a southern paradise, Florida is swamped with tropical influences. Safe to say, Latin mega-star Leon Cheva is adequately representing a multitude of those influences. Originally from Puerto Rico, Leon and his band Anonimo Music Group play every Latin style under the sun including, but not limited to, salsa, rhumba and tropical. Having won the Latin Channel 4 times, Cheva’s smooth grooves will have your hips swinging within minutes. Check out their rich, big band effort “Un Nuevo Comienzo.”

Check out these acts and other great Floridian artists in the playlist below! Who are your favorite OurStage Floridians? Where do you like to see live music in Florida? Let us know in the comments!