Bonnaroo Band of the Day: Main Stage Roundup, Part 3

BBotDWatermark

Just like last year and the year before, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with every single band on Bonnaroo‘s impressive 2014 lineup.  We started from the bottom and have been working our way up, paying special attention to the smaller and lesser known acts on this year’s bill with daily, dedicated Bonnaroo Band of the Day and Bonnaroo Club Stage Band of the Day posts. Now that ‘Roo is fast approaching, and we’ve made our way through the fest’s entire undercard, we’ll be spending our last couple of weeks making sure you’re up to date on the festival’s headliners, this time in the form of group posts. Keep reading for your Bonnaroo Band of the Day: Main Stage Roundup

BEN HOWARD

BenHoward-Roo

Friday | Which Stage | 4:30pm

Some people just HAVE to make music, and, from a very early age, British singer-songwriter Ben Howard has been one of those people. Around ten or twelve he began writing songs, and learned to play guitar simply to make his words flow better. During college, while studying journalism, he self-released three EPs, and, only six months before he was set to graduate, decided to pursue music full-time. After a string of amazing sold out shows, Howard had already developed a following among his fellow students and residents of his hometown, and was snatched up by Island Records. They released his debut studio LP, Every Kingdom, in 2011 in the UK, and, as more and more buzz circulated about this college kid from England, the following year it was released under Communion in the U.S. Howard has been rocketing to the top ever since. In 2013, he won two BRIT awards (Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Solo Male Artist), was certified platinum in the UK, and played the Glastonbury Festival. Next up is total world domination, including a stop in the states for a main stage Bonnaroo performance. Some call him the British Jack Johnson, though deeper and with a darker lyrical edge. Decide for yourself when you see him live on the farm. [JR]

LISTEN | Singles from Every Kingdom (Clips)

WATCH | “Keep Your Head Up” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

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ICE CUBE

IceCube-Roo

Friday| Which Stage | 12am

Bonnaroo is usually pretty good about including some classic hip hop acts in the lineup, and 2014 appears to be no exception. This year the legacy rapper is Ice Cube, who you may know from his stint with N.W.A., successful solo career, and appearances in a number of different movies. You see, Ice Cube’s distinguishing factor is his ability to tell a story, no matter if the medium is music or cinema. The man simply knows how to turn a tale, even if that tale is brutally honest. This ability lends itself quite nicely to Ice Cube’s sets, which often feature a strong driving beats and an awareness of the story arc of the performance. This attention to detail and storytelling is what has helped Ice Cube to distinguish himself throughout his career, and we’re sure it’ll make for one hell of a late night Bonnaroo show.  [JS]

LISTEN | “It Was a Good Day”

WATCH | “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

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UMPHREY’S MCGEE

UmphreysMcGee-Roo

Friday | What Stage | 3:30pm

To many concertgoers, Umphrey’s McGee are the ultimate festival act. There’s just something about the sextet’s jam band sound that fits the atmosphere of being at a major music festival perfectly. The Indiana natives jumble together psychedelia with progressive rock, folk, and just about every other genre in an attempt to create music that’s truly different. If that’s not enough to convince you that their show at Bonnaroo next week is one you won’t want to miss, consider this: the group will be releasing Similar Skin, their sixth studio album, just two days before Bonnaroo begins. That’s basically a guarantee that this show will be a particularly amazing set by a band who’ve made their name playing remarkable sets. See you there! [JS]

LISTEN | “The Floor”

WATCH | “Blue Echo” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

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BOBBY WOMACK

Bobby Womack

Saturday | The Other Tent | 5:15pm

Living legends appear on Bonnaroo stages from time to time, and this year has arguably one of the biggest, at one of the smallest settings of the farm’s main stages.  2014 marks the 80th year of Bobby Womack’s life, and a career that technically began 72 years ago.  The R&B soul legend has a dream resume, including penning the first #1 UK song for The Rolling Stones (“It’s All Over Now”), playing alongside Sam Cooke (and ultimately marrying his wife after Cooke’s untimely death), jamming as part of the Family Stone for Sly for a bit, and even writing “Trust Me” for Janis Joplin.  Needless to say, those accolades are just more trophies on a wall of fame that includes 28 studio albums (the most recent of which will be released this year), countless collaborations, and defeating cancer.  One of our personal recent highlights was his 2010 collaboration with Mos Def for the single “Stylo” from the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach.  If I were a betting man, I’d say there is a good chance that you are going to see something special between him and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn during one set or another at The Roo this year.  Just sayin’, this will definitely be worth your while, kiddos. [MH]

LISTEN | “It’s All Over Now”

WATCH | Gorillaz “Stylo” ft. Mos Def & Mos Def (Official Music Video ft. Bruce Willis)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

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JAMES BLAKE

JamesBlake-Roo

Saturday | The Other Tent | 9pm

Another young Englishman is poised to invade your ear holes and, if you are a fan of synthed-out keys, soul, R&B, or trip hop, then James Blake is the perfect artist for you. While studying poplar music at the arts branch of University of London (Goldsmiths), Blake produced and released a series of EPs including Klavierwerke, which was for actual class credit. It made the rounds and caught the attention of local DJs, and, soon, Blake was signed with A&M Records, which is associated with major British label/distributor Polydor Records. His self-titled debut studio LP, which he also produced exclusively, earned him widespread acclaim in the UK and abroad, helping build a name for the new kid on the post-dubstep, electronica block. It peeked at number one on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, and his latest release, Overgrown, which mega producer Brian Eno chipped in on, continues to build on his momentum, even winning James a Mercury Prize. The album also earned him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, so it looks likes the future is pretty damn bright Mr. Blake. It’s only a matter of time before his crowds won’t fit in a tent stage, so take advantage now, because next time you might be so close.  [JR]

LISTEN |Overgrown (album sampler)

WATCH | “Retrograde” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

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[JR] Jacob Ryan
[JS] Jack Smith
[MH] Matt Hall
[PO] Philip Obenschain

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