Reviews > Shows
Jungle Jam: Playing Dead in Costa Rica
Photo by Britt Nemeth
Of course, it helps that his room at Doce Lunas was just 20 feet from the stage. “Usually, at festivals, I don’t really play with all the bands,” he said. “But my room is right there. If anybody says my name from stage, I’ll bring my bass and play.” Turns out, he doesn’t even need to bring his bass – Oteil sat in on percussion, drums and keyboards at various moments throughout the event. And when he wasn’t scat singing or performing a song that he learned on the fly, Oteil could be caught in the pool or around the grounds, engaging as often as being engaged.
Also: another one of the weekend’s biggest assets turned out to be Ryan Montbleau. He had many fans already in the audience, but by the end of the weekend, everyone was a Montbleau fan. There were times he stopped the crowd dead in its feet, such as during his solo acoustic rendition of “75 and Sunny.” And then other times he had even crotchety old men up and dancing, like when he kicked off the festivities on Friday with a cover of Taj Mahal’s “Nobody’s Business But My Own.” (“You have to play Taj down here,” he told Relix at one point. “It just fits the environment so well.” And he was right. It does.)
Zach Deputy also won over any remaining holdouts by the end of the weekend, with his likeable demeanor and musical slight of hand. On Friday night, he handled the late night from a gringo bar called Los Amigos, operated by a trio of Floridian expats. A taste of Fort Lauderdale in Central America in more ways than one. And it was ladies night. But as soon as Zach brought up Max Creek’s Marc Mercier – and then some other Max Creekers after that – ladies night quickly turned into hippie night. Deputy also performed at a beachfront bar during a surf competition on a nearby beach (Playa Hermosa) on Saturday afternoon, and closed out the final jam of the entire event, playing the late-night at the Monkey Bar and then hosting his own after show at a hotel hot tub party down the street.
As for headliners, BK3, they delivered the most psychedelic set of the weekend and they delivered it to the weekend’s biggest audience. Bill Kreutzmann demonstrated, plain as day, why he was the engine that drove the Grateful Dead’s rhythms, with his instantly recognizable drumming. And with Burbridge and Murawski in the boiler room, the band brought the heat and were the perfect anchor for a festival with the word “jam” in its name. I mean, they jammed. Long, hard, with enough intent to make it transcendent without ever letting it merely meander. Predictably, they tore through some of the Grateful Dead songbook, hitting on favorites such as “Bird Song -> the Other One,” “Sugaree,” and “Help on the Way” with a “Slipknot” and “Franklin’s Tower” in there somewhere as well. Sometimes they were joined by guests, like Marc Mercier and an unknown spoken-word poet. But as a power trio, they reminded anyone paying attention why Kreutzmann was such an integral and irreplaceable part of the Grateful Dead’s sound. After all, BK3 was not only the most psychedelic band of the weekend, but they also remain the most psychedelic project that Kreutzmann’s been a part of since the Grateful Dead proper.
Naturally, the all-star jam also lived up to its name. Starting with a drum jam that was preconceived and instigated by Oteil, a rotating cast of the weekend’s musicians all put in their two cents – sometimes on their usual instruments, sometimes on foreign ones – for a string of all-star classics that included the Band’s “The Weight,” Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie on Reggae Woman,” and the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street.”
While its location two hours south of the San Jose airport in Costa Rica makes Jungle Jam one of the toughest festivals for just about anyone to get to, anyone who does make it has the luxury of patting themselves on the back when the airport shuttle comes to take them away at the end of it. Good work, kids. After all, it’s a jam… and it’s in the jungle. And that adds up to a place you’d rather be.
You’ll be hearing more about this festival in the years to come. Stay tuned.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
- Visions of Bonnaroo Thursday (ALO, Jack Johnson, Polyphonic Spree, Allen Stone…)
- Deer Tick Share "The Rock"
- Win a pair of passes to The NINES Festival
- Robert Hunter Will Return to the Stage for Eight Shows
- Mumford & Sons’ Ted Dwane Shares Photo, Update
- Jack Johnson: Bonnaroo Song, Mumford Cover, "Mudfootball" with Preservation Hall Jazz Band
- The Making of Pretty Lights’ A Color Map of the Sun
- Craig Taborn Trio: Chants
- Crystal Bowersox "Dead Weight"
- Interlocken Confirms Daily Lineups, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Punch Brothers, Keller & The Keels and More Added
- Mumford and Sons Cancel Bonnaroo Show, Summer Tour
- Premiere: Robert Randolph & The Family Band "Born Again"
- Ed Helms: Bonnaroo, Banjos and a Bit of Phish
- Tedeschi Trucks Band Share New Song
- Patty Griffin in Boston
- Robert Hunter Will Return to the Stage for Eight Shows
- Doctor’s Orders: So what should we call the Super Ball IX Newspaper?
- John Kadlecik Posts Statement on Bob Weir’s Collapse
- "I Wanne Be In moe.": The Latest Volunteers
- Bob Weir Escorted Off Stage During Furthur Show
- Vote for Your Favorite "I Wanne Be In moe." Contestant
- Furthur Cancels BottleRock Show as Bob Weir Is Out Of Commision
- Doctor’s Orders: What’s Your Favorite Furthur Song? (Win Copy of Relix Signed by Phil and Bobby)
- On The Verge Poll