Zac Brown Band: Everywhere Is Southern Ground

Zac Brown may have first broken through to the mainstream on the country charts, but the Georgia-bred musician is a far cry from your typical country artist. Brown has busted down the borders between country, rock, pop, jam and many other styles, thanks to his highly collaborative group’s spontaneous live shows and iPod-like ability to shuffle between eclectic covers with ease. Offstage, he continues to redefine the fan experience through a series of unique Eat and Greets and fan-fueled setlist choices. He’s an entrepreneur, too, who oversees everything from a knife company to a camp for special needs children. Executive editor Dean Budnick spent time with Brown and his band during a recent run of shows at Red Rocks and discovered why, these days, everywhere is Southern Ground.

MGMT: Surviving Saturn’s Return

Few bands of MGMT’s stature are as consistently overanalyzed and misunderstood. Despite their commercial success and celebrity status, the wide-eared musical duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser remain independent-minded, making unabashedly psychedelic music on a major label in an era when indie rock has become mainstream. Executive editor Mike Greenhaus sat down with MGMT and explored why their new, self-titled effort is their Saturn’s Return album.

Robert Randolph: Between Rock and a Holy Place

Robert Randolph seemed destined to grow into the jamband scene’s next arena-size star. Yet, as time went on, the lag between his studio releases increased and Randolph admits that he was at a creative standstill. Now, after parting ways with his longtime label Warner Bros., Randolph is ready to take control of his career. Wes Orshoski explains how Randolph plans to return to his roots with the help of a few high-caliber friends.

Bobby Whitlock: Further on Down the Road

Like a rock and roll Forrest Gump, Bobby Whitlock was everywhere for a brief while, contributing to Derek and The Dominos, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and the hotshot soul revue Delaney & Bonnie. Then, he slipped out of sight. Contributing editor Jeff Tamarkin caught up with Whitlock on the eve of a long overdue reissue of his first two solo records.

An Excerpt from Owsley And Me

For all of the legend that surrounds Bay Area fixture and Grateful Dead associate Owsley Stanley—his fastidiousness about sound amplification, scientific mind, carnivorous diet, renowned temper and encyclopedic knowledge of drugs—he was an intensely private person. He largely remained out of sight until his death in early 2011. Now, two years later, his lover, friend, lab assistant and mother of one of his children, Rhoney Gissen Stanley, has published Owsley And Me: My LSD Family.

Plus: Festival Guide: Set III, Spin Doctors, Tom Jones, Os Mutantes, Big Star, The Features, Honey Island Swamp Band, Gramatik, Yellowbirds, and much more!

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