Benham Jones Reports from Bonnaroo, pt 8: Elvis Perkins, Patterson Hood, Allen Toussaint, Renard, Booker T & the DBTs, Dearland, Mike Farris

by Landry on June 14, 2009

Sunday, June 15th

10:54 am CDT

Overcast this morning in Manchester and it’s easy to tell that everyone is both grateful and scared. It’s tough here when the sun really rises to snap at the concave of your knees or the back of the ears, so a dusky simulation is probably the sweetest morning salutation you can get at Bonnaroo. But then there’s the anxiety of rain, which feels worth all the sunburn in the world to avoid at the moment.

The weather only adds to the “living dead” atmosphere embodied by the campground this morning. It was a marathon of robust sets from a bunch of this weekend’s heavies last night and it’s obvious that the ever-flowing enthusiasm of this place is starting to take its toll. After catching Elvis Perkins in the afternoon, I went over to make good on a promise and check out Allen Toussaint’s set; there was my friend Renard on stage left, sporting a super-fresh and bright lime jumpsuit. Toussaint and his band very extremely pro, drawing from a tradition of boogie-woogie showmanship that can be lost on so many artists in today’s modern music irony fest. Renard was pretty special with his six-string, vacillating between the classic and clean rhythmic crackle of soul while veering into sonic turf that leaned in an unusual (but gratifying) way towards metal.

I swung back towards the other side of the festival to check out Booker T. and the DBT’s, a collaboration that works as well on stage as it does on paper. Floating up towards the stage, I swore that I heard some kind of amalgamation of “Green Onions” and “Hey Ya,” nothing if not a testament to exactly how influential Booker’s heavy organ attack has been on the contempo maturity of the instrument. Patterson Hood is a dynamic front-man, slung somewhere between Joe Strummer and Lowell George, with a band as tight and unpretentious as the music itself.

I was set to interview Patterson Hood after the DBTs set but really wanted to catch the end of Bon Iver, so I shagged ass to the other side of the farm once again…please click here to continue reading


Benham Jones currently lives in New York City with his four year old cat Stella.

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