Hey gang, welcome back to another edition of Test of the Boomerang.  Happy summer solstice. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy these long summer days with some sweet tunes, either on the road or on your patio. Festival season is in full swing and rather than try and cover everything, we’re going to take a look at a few notable shows from the past month or so. We’ll call it “Best of the Fests” or something clever like that. Pass me a beer and let’s get to the music!

Railroad Earth at DelFest, May 23rd. Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland, MD.

Warhead Boogie>New Jam, Saddle of the Sun, Little Bit O’ Me, Fisherman’s Blues, 1759, Long Way to Go
encore: Railroad Earth

You may have heard about the terrible storm that tore into DelFest on Saturday, May 23rd. It destroyed the stage area and Railroad Earth’s late-night set was moved into a indoor multi-purpose room. The band delivered one solid set the previous day, but after the terrible events of the 23rd, the band played one of their most intimate and heartfelt sets ever.

Highlights include a 25-minute suite of “Warhead Boogie” into “New Jam,” guest appearances by Jason Carter and Ronnie McCoury, and a sweet “Railroad Earth” encore. Tim Carbone wrote over at his blog:

“That night when we encored with Railroad Earth at the late night show, I never meant it more when I sang…. Oh Mama, ain’t it good to be alive! It surely is… it surely is.”

Go check it out HERE. Also here’s some goodness from 5/29/09  — a good chunk of that night’s way cool version of “Like a Buddha.” Enjoy!

BK3 (Bill Kreutzmann, Scott Murawski, and James “Hutch” Hutchinson with Special Guest Tara Nevins (of Donna the Buffalo) at Mountain Jam, May 31st, Hunter Mountain, Hunter, New York

Louisiana Sun>Scarlet Begonias, If You Only Could, Thunder>He’s Gone>Bertha

After the Dead’s spring tour, Bill Kreutzmann couldn’t wait to get back to his new side band. Now officially called “BK3” (nee’ Three, Bill Kreutzmann Trio and others), their incendiary set with surprise guest Tara Nevins was one of the most talked about sets at Mountain Jam.

Tara Nevins is the leader of Donna the Buffalo, an eclectic roots-rock band from New York. She really showed the crowd the business end of her bourbon-smooth voice (and a washboard). They tore through a blend of originals, old Dead chestnuts, and “Thunder” a new Robert Hunter-penned tune.

So far, none of the BK3 stuff is up at the Live Music Archive, which means you guys are gonna have to fire up the torrents. But trust me, you’ll be so, so glad you did. Go check it out (and other BK3 shows) over at bt.etree.org

Here’s a video from the previous night at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Listen to that crowd sing along. Great stuff.

Jackie Greene at Mountain Jam, May 30th, Hunter Mountain, Hunter, New York

Don’t Let the Devil Take Your Mind > Farewell So Long Goodbye, Uphill Mountain, Gone Wanderin’, Shakin’, I Don’t Live In a Dream, The Rusty Nail > New Speedway Boogie > I’m Waitin’ For My Man, Ball and Chain

Of course we all know Jackie Greene from his string of brilliant bluesy and folksy records and his inspired tenure with the latest incarnation of Phil Lesh and Friends. He’s constantly attracting new fans,who say “Hey, I’ve heard of this guy!”

Jackie brought the goods to Mountain Jam in the form of a watershed performance that included such Jackie faves as “Gone Wanderin'” and “Don’t Let the Devil Take Your Mind”, but the set climaxed with a double header of “New Speedway Boogie” and “Waiting For the Man.”

Go check it out at the Lama here!

Also here’s some fan-shot footage of “New Speedway.” Jackie is always on the road, folks. Go show him some love.

That’s it for this week, kids. Send me your scene reports, music, haiku — whatever to ben At popdose Dot com. Let me know what shows you wanna see featured!

Take good care, and stayyy in touch!