Elton John. Kanye West. Jack White. Lionel Richie.
What do these four dudes have in common? No, they’re not all gay. I don’t think they are, anyway.
They’re the four top headliners at this year’s edition of Bonnaroo, the mega-fest held in rural Tennessee for the past 15 years or so. And it’s the most eclectic lineup that I can recall to date. I mean, last year featured Sir Paul, Bjork, and R. Kelly. And a few years before it was Eminem, Buffalo Springfield, and Arcade Fire.
But Lionel Richie? What has become of you, Bonnaroo?
Friday, February 28th
Jason Boland and the Stragglers at the Granada in Lawrence
This Oklahoma native gets his inspiration from Willie, Waylon, Merle, and Hank, using his booming baritone to belt outlaw country tunes made to order for the bar room. Though he’s not a guy that you’ll hear on the radio, his old school style manages to draw in tons of fans, alongside his absolutely relentless touring schedule. And he always seems to draw well at the Granada, so expect a sea of cowboy hats, tight jeans, and cowgirls swilling beer and whiskey. Convinced?
Black Joe Louis at Knuckleheads in KC
This Austin band can be tossed into the mix with other blues-rock-garage-funk bands like the Black Keys, the Black Lips (what’s up with all the BLACK?), maybe even a little Cage the Elephant and Alabama Shakes, but with more funk than all of them. Indeed, BJL features a full horn section that throws down alongside chunky guitar riffs and howling, distorted vocals. Don’t go unless you want to party, trust me.