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June 9, 2010

Artscape 2010 lineup announced. What do you think?

warren haynes is the front man of gov't mule. here, he kinda looks like a zombie. or maybe he's about to consume the microphone.After blogging for three years, I've come up with a saying: Online, there is no 'best' -- there is only 'first.'

That said, I might not have the best announcement of this year's Artscape festival roster, but I have the first one.

The folks at the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts gave me a sneak peak at the lineup, which will be formally announced at a press conference today.

In case you missed my short piece in today's paper, the headliners are:

Jam rock band Gov't Mule, neo soul singer Musiq Soulchild, Washington-based rapper Wale and indie rock group Cold War Kids are the big names this year ...

Other national acts such as soul singer Maysa, singer/songwriter Jackie Greene and reggae group Rebelution round up the lineup. Of course, these bands are a mere taste of the 50-odd acts performing on four stages. This year, festival organizers added another stage featuring local music, called the Charm City Stage. Sweet!

So ... what do you think of the headliners? I've seen a couple of them before. Gov't Mule front man Warren Haynes has played with half the jam bands under the sun -- Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh, the Grateful Dead. I last saw him with Phil Lesh several years ago. He's a nasty (in a good way) guitarist, with a gravelly, soulful voice. I love how, in this photo, he looks like a zombie about ready to eat the microphone.

I caught Wale when he opened for Jay-Z at 1st Mariner Arena last year. He's probably the highest-profile rapper to come out of Washington, but he's still not a household name yet. At the end of his set at 1st Mariner, he chucked a water bottle way out into the crowd, where it struck a woman in the head, if I remember correctly. Ouch.

This year's lineup doesn't have many older performers with vintage appeal, like Dionne Warwick or Roberta Flack. Usually there's a few of those on the bill. So maybe this year's show will appeal more to a younger audience.

What do you think?

(AP photo of Gov't Mule front man Warren Haynes)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:21 AM | | Comments (39)
Categories: Local music, News


Thrilled to hear about "Mulescape" I've seen Gov't Mule, and Warren with other bands many times. I suspect they will draw a lot of fans. It also looks like Mule has dates on 7/16 and 18 in North Carolina so I guess it's Baltimore on the 16th?

Warren rules. I wish I had something more articulate to say about the guy, but I think that just about covers it. Those not into the incessant noodling of most jam bands should still find plenty to like in Mule. They're a lot harder than most bands, harkening back to the southern rock roots that gave birth to the scene.

If Warren treats this the way he treats most festivals, we'll be seeing plenty of him that weekend. He's assumed the hardest-working-man-in-show-business superlative from James Brown, tending to sit in on a handful of sets with all kinds of different bands whenever he's present at a festival.

It'd be a shame if people wrote of Mule for fear that it'll be like the stereotypical jam bands that (most) people hate. If you like the guitar, you'll like Mr. Haynes.

Right on AK.

Warren Haynes is da man.

Warren really proves the point that after a certain age people shouldn't have long hair.

Looks like Artscape is feeling the effects of not having Dave Gellar and his IMP connects.

@Anon -- Hasn't Dave been gone from IMP and the area for a few years now?

Wale is good stuff

WALE!! super excited for some great,local talent to play!
(especially one appealing to the younger crowds)

@AK, Warren does rule and I second your prediction of a sit-in. I'll take it a step further and say that it will be with Jackie Greene, who also played in Phil & Friends. Very excited about the acts announced so far.

seems like a pretty typical artscape lineup - high profile locals and low profile national acts, almost all of which i'm excited to see.

Agreed on the Warren/Gov't Mule love- I hate that jam band umbrella b/c so many good, real rock and roll bands like GM and the Crowes get lumped into the incessant noodling scene that Phish spawned. Also think Cold War Kids could be a good show, I only know a handful of their songs but I like what I know. And Jackie Greene is great- pleasantly surprised by this lineup.

I enjoyed last year's lineup of Cake and Robert Randolf. And I think this year's is just building on a great tradition.

Warren is Awesome, WALE is great and I am super excited to see the Cold War Kids play Hospital Beds.

Good Job Artscape.

@sdr -- Actually, I think the Grateful Dead spawned this whole "incessant noodling scene." The Grateful Dead passed the plate to Phish. Food pun!

Sweet! I was thinking about heading up to Philly to catch the Mule/Jackie Greene/Trombone Shorty show in August, but wasn't too keen on the $52 price tag.

Free - and in my backyard - is much better.

got to get behind the mule!


Big fan of the lineup. Warren can shred the guitar, so I'm expecting some great energy. Kind of disappointed they don't have a big reggae act like they have the past few years, though.

I am a Wale fan, but hip-hop shows always disappoint, in my opinion.

The lineups are getting better every year. Nicely done, Artscape.

Musiq has got to be Friday on the main stage. Will be packed by young and older. Wale should set it off on Sat. And Baltimore's own Maysa is not to be missed. Not the older bigger names, but Artscape is the best festival we have by far.

I think I'm pretty excited that Baltimore's own DAMN RIGHT! will be hitting the main stage!!

In my mid-40s I guess I’m getting too old for ArtScape. I can honestly say I’ve never heard of a single one of these artists. Cake, Robert Randolph, Joan Jett, Oranges, and many of the “big name” artists they used to land would draw me. Not this year. It’s too bad.

I also guess that the recession may have had an impact on money available to land artists.

Incessant noodling has been part of jazz forever... have any of you who insist on telling us how bad Phish and other jam bands are actually seen or even listened to any of the music or do you just regurgitate what others say about them and judge them based on your stereotypes of their fans? Gov't Mule is going to rip your faces off and play too loud for you to have a voice for your opinionated opinions and I am ohhh so happy about that


If I recall correctly, Brian Shupe who runs the 8x10 with his wife Abigail used to tour with Warren Haynes as a photographer. Also, Warren and Brian look suprisingly similar.
Could this mean some kind of suprise small show or late night set at the 8x10?

waka waka waka...just saw 2 nights of mule this past weekend at Mountain Jam, thrilled to see them play artscape.

Baltidelphia's DAMN RIGHT! is not is not to be missed either!! They'll be warming up the main stage crowd for Jackie, Cold War Kids and Warren at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday...

If you have not yet experienced one of their electro funk dance parties you HAVE to check them out!!

Dave, yes, and Eddie Vedder will be there too!

Seriously doubt that Mule will be sticking around for any late nite shows as they are scheduled to be back in NC the following day/ Sunday 18th just as they are the day prior/ Friday 16th... Hardest workin' band in the business and 1 of the best without a doubt!!

Appreciate the acknowledgements. I enjoyed booking the event for many years. In more recent years I had the help of Paul Manna who now books the whole event - and does a fantastic job, in my opinion. This year's line up is really great and Paul, along with BOPA deserve nothing but Kudos. It is a tough event to book due to increasing budget restrictions and stiff competition from local and regional buyers all trying to get the best talent on tour. It is a gem of a festival and Baltimore is very lucky to continue to enjoy it! That said, come and visit me in my new home City of Austin and the Austin City Limits Festival in October!! Rock On Baltimore!!

Eh, i'm only psyched about the Billy Thompson Band.. because i know them. Such a simple creature i am..

Sorry, but as a follower of the original incessant noodlers since 1972 and also an anal fan, I have to correct the article in that Warren NEVER played for the Grateful Dead. "Grateful" was retired out of respect for Jerry, when he passed away in '95. Warren DID play with "The Dead" in two of their recent (2004 and 2009) line-ups. Just sayin'

Eh, i'm only psyched about the Billy Thompson Band.. because i know them. Such a simple creature i am..

Thanks Sam- of course the Dead were first class noodlers but I do love them, because a lot of their songs were just straight up rock and roll (One More Saturday Night). I don't get that vibe from the Phish types though I'll admit I don't spend any time listening to them, Widespread, et al. I just don't consider Mule, the Black Crowes, or other rock n roll bands jam, but I often see them get hit with that label. Noodles or no, bring on outdoor summer music!!

Really psyched for Damn Right, should be a great time!!

I think the line-up pretty much sucks.

Cold War Kids and Wale are cool but they should book more good local bands like Beach House and Wye Oak. I guess you would be better of skipping artscape and seeing whartscape the next week.

I think this year's line-up is terrible.

Well I look forward to the older artists. I enjoyed seeing Tina Marie and Erica Badu and Patti Labelle, But when the younger crowd gets involved there is always a problem so I hope more security is there.

Granted Government Mule is good, but none of these groups had the broad family appeal that Artscape should be fostering. The idea is to have entertainers that everyone has heard of to draw people to the festival. There is nobody on the schedule that would draw a family crowd like the Smokey Robinsons and Dionne Warwicks of the past/

Warren Haynes and Govt Mule are the only ones I'd suffer the heat for, anyone who has worked with David Alan Coe and The Alman bros has got to be the Best

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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