Posts Tagged ‘new jersey’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

The entrance to the Westfall Winery. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The entrance to the Westfall Winery. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful privilege of venturing out to the Westfall Winery in Montague, New Jersey. The day couldn’t have been more picturesque — there were big puffy clouds in the sky as my group of women and I tasted one delicious wine after another.

We started out our tour in the main tasting area. The winery spokeswomen gave us a list of wines we could try and we went through quite a few! They have many different kinds, including special reserves and newly bottled fruit wines. (My favorite was Stella Blue, a new blueberry dessert wine, which I promptly bought a bottle of and will drink very soon.)

Then we purchased. Cranberry wines, blueberry wines, red special reserves, and sangria were all bought. If you like fruity wines, the sangria, which is called Spanish Passion, is amazing.

The main tent area where the chili cookoff was held. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The main tent area where the chili cookoff was held. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

We wandered our way down the hill to the large tent, and wouldn’t you know it — it was chili cookoff day! Over twenty different locals came together with their own brews of the spicy food for wine lovers to try. After patrons were finished sampling the many chilis, they voted for their favorites. I actually ended up liking a moose, elk, and caribou concoction called the hunter’s chili. Who would have thunk it?

The rest of the day we spent sitting on the hill in the shade, drinking the rest of our bottle of sangria and just enjoying the cool summer breeze. I would definitely recommend checking out this winery if you live anywhere near the state of New Jersey.

A cool thing about it — it’s situated on a horse farm, so the atmosphere is very natural. It’s actually preserved farmland. There are few places like it left in our ever-growing suburban sprawl world. Not only will you get a nice glass of wine, but you’ll also get your own piece of horse farm for the day, too!

There are many events going on throughout the rest of the summer and fall. Just check out the Westfall Winery website for more details.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Aw, poor Bob Dylan. He’s not getting the love and respect he deserves lately.

Who's this guy? Photo from tonemarrowreviews.wordpress.com.

Who's this guy? Photo from tonemarrowreviews.wordpress.com.

It was reported yesterday that the singer was strolling around a Long Branch, NJ neighborhood simply looking at houses. The residents must have thought he was real creepy so they called the police on him. When the cops finally arrived, they asked Bobby D for some ID, but he had left it in the hotel he was staying in.

The police officers had no idea who the star was, being the young’uns they were (24 years old), and escorted Dylan back to his hotel where he could find someone to vouch for his identification. After all was said and done, the officers thanked him for being so cooperative and left the building.

Read the full report from Associated Press.

This being said, it must be awfully hard to be an aging rock star…especially one as aged as Bob Dylan. Although his music is timeless and his spirit is great, the music has a hard time holding its own when it comes to a younger generation hellbent on bubblegum pop and rap music.

Personally, I would much rather pick up a vinyl LP of Bob Dylan than listen to some rap artist anyday. (I am trying to think up an example of a rap artist, but because I don’t know any, a name escapes me.) But then again, if you flipped my ignorance to rap on the other foot, well, that is why this whole thing happened to Bob in the first place — because people are ignorant to him.

Life lesson for the day: You always have to look at the other side of the coconut.

Either way, you still have to respect the man. He’s been playing for YEARS and still hasn’t retired. Now that’s real dedication to your art.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

If you’re at all into jam bands, the summer time is the best time for music festivals. There are fests all over the United States, in places like New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Minnesota.

The only downside to some of these music havens is that if you’re low on cash, you might as well stay home. Sometimes, tickets to music festivals can run up to $250 for a weekend, not including food other expenses.

The good news — I have found you a mini festival that will satisfy all your jam band cravings and desires. If you live near the tri-state area, you’re set. The Mighty High Festival in Vasa Park (Hackettstown, NJ) is no three day camping extravaganza, but it’s just enough to give you a little taste of a big summer fest.

Three bands will play on the 18th of July, starting at 1pm. The Donna Godchaux band, featuring Donna Godchaux of the Grateful Dead, will kick things off. Then Keller Williams will take the stage, followed by a nice long set from Dark Star Orchestra.

Donna Godchaux has been touring for ages. Come on, she started out with the Grateful Dead for pete’s sake. It’s amazing that she is still out there, doing her thing. The same can be said for some of the Dead’s other members, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.

Keller Williams jams out at a past performance in Pennsylvania.

Keller Williams jams out at a past performance in Pennsylvania. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

If you don’t already know him, let me introduce you to Keller Williams. You never know what you’ll get when you go to see him in concert. Sometimes he plays alone, other times he plays with a few back up performers, but it’s always great.

Keller usually breaks out several different instruments when he plays. Sometimes he stands in the middle of all of them, which he has arranged around him in a circle. He goes through them and picks which ones he wants to play, giving each one it’s turn. His instruments range from things like wooden sticks he bangs on his legs to something that looks like a xylophone. But he doesn’t hit the plates on it — he pulls up his hands above the plates to make incredible alien like noises. Some of his music is truly weird, but very creative.

You can read a review of a Keller Williams concert here.

John Kadlecik of Dark Star Orchestra.

John Kadlecik of Dark Star Orchestra. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

And finally, I will get to Dark Star Orchestra. In the Mighty High Festival, it is safe to say that this band will take the longest set. They are basically a cover band, but they cover a very special band that is near and dear to every jam band lover’s heart — the Grateful Dead.

The cool thing about them is that they usually recreate an entire GD show. They play the whole setlist from start to finish, and then at the end they tell their audience what set from which year they have just played.

But these guys sound SO much like the Grateful Dead. It’s really amazing. If you’d like to hear a podcast that yours truly composed about the band, click here.

Might I add on a side note that Vasa Park is a wonderful place to see a concert. It’s outside, it’s open, it’s full of trees and shade. You can come with a chair or blanket, or just chill on the grass. I promise you one thing, my friend. You won’t be disappointed.

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