Backwoods Pondfest has just released its final artist announcement. New additions include Lucid, Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis & Friends (a Twiddle and Lucid fusion), Balkun Brothers and artist-at-large Ian McGuire, and will be joining previously announced artists such as Melvin Seals & JGB, Pink Talking Fish Is Bowie, Spiritual Rez, The Nth Power, Sophistafunk, Hayley Jane and the Primates, and more (purchase tickets HERE).Full Audio Of Pink Talking Fish’s Tribute To David Bowie & Prince Has EmergedEntering its tenth consecutive year, Backwoods Pondfest is ready for its biggest year yet, and takes place August 4th – 6th at Twin Ponds Campsite in Peru, NY. This also marks the beginning of an indefinite hiatus for Lucid, as the band has set plans to take time off the road. Lucid frontman Lowell Wurster discussed the band’s decision to play the fest this year, “When we made the decision to take a break from life on the road – from playing live shows … Pondfest was always sort of a grey area. We’re really psyched that we’re going to be up there playing music for everyone, we felt like it wouldn’t feel right if we couldn’t make it happen”. For additional information, check the festival website.We had the opportunity to chat with Backwoods Pondfest organizer and owner of Full Circle Music Productions’ Derek Haviland about this year’s event.L4LM: Tell us your thoughts about this year’s headliners.DH: Melvin Seals and JGB has always been a personal favorite. Going back to ’80 when Seals first started taking the stage with Jerry Garcia Band, his style and his presence on that B3 is unique and unrivaled in the Grateful Dead musical community. Pondfest has never had JGB and Melvin Seals before, but they did co-headline Backwood Pondfest’s predecessor festival along with Pork Tornado for Pondstock way back in 2001.Pink Talking Fish is another first-year artist, and we’re looking forward to this special Bowie incarnation they’re bringing us for Pondfest. We’re pretty sure we’re going to see Hayley Jane, and maybe even an artist at large in there to jazz things up even more. Mihali & Friends featuring members of both Twiddle and Lucid is also one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend. With Lucid’s recent hiatus, and a ten year history playing at Pondfest for both Mihali and all the members of Lucid, the collaboration is really an awesome thing to have coming to fruition this year. We’re expecting a high-energy, electric performance from this fusion of artistry. L4LM: What are your expectations for this year’s event?DH: Expectations are high: we’ve got more bands, more days of music and more years of wonderful experience under our belts then ever before. L4LM: What do you think makes Backwoods Pondfest so unique? DH: Most festivals that are able to offer the scope and quality of bands that Pondfest does aren’t able to keep some of the little things that help make a weekend feel at-home and comfortable. Fans look forward to driving in and camping next to their vehicles, bringing their four-legged friends if they want to, and even having their own small campfire at night while they listen to bands and artists from throughout the country. L4LM: Which act on the bill do you think will surprise people the most?DH: The Lucid sets and Mihali & Friends are really going to blow people away, we can count on that based on experience. Lucid has always done two sets since the band and Backwoods Promotions helped create this thing ten long years ago. I can’t imagine Backwoods Pondfest without them, and a lot of fans made it clear that they couldn’t either. Mihali is another familiar face that’s never missed on opportunity for an on-stage appearance at Pondfest, and when you put the Twiddle boys and the Lucid boys together, ‘surprising’ seems like a bit of an understatement.L4LM: Thanks for your time, Derek!For ticket and additional information about Backwoods Pondfest, check out the festival website HERE.[Cover photo credit: Jerry Cadieux]
Those weren’t little orange cones on the Kohl Center ice sheet this past weekend, but for most of the series, the UW women’s hockey team skated around, past and through visiting St. Cloud State like it was only there for practice.However, much more than the final scores of the two games (10-0 on Friday night and 6-0 on Sunday afternoon) meant something to the Badgers.As St. Cloud State came in with the league’s worst record (0-22-1, 0-17-1-1), it was likely that No. 1 ranked Wisconsin would put some gaudy offensive numbers up against them.But to say that the weekend was a waste is probably false. The Badgers were able to work on some things and give several young players a great opportunity to play in game situations when normally they wouldn’t have the chance.“There is always stuff to work on. If it’s not putting the puck in the net, it’s your break out in the [defensive] zone or chipping it off the glass. There are always fundamentals that you can work on and skills that you can achieve in these games and really iron out because you don’t get the opportunity to do it in other games,” junior winger Hilary Knight said.The lopsided contests gave Wisconsin the opportunity to do a few things with their personnel as well. On Friday night, head coach Mark Johnson put freshman defenseman Kelly Jaminski at left wing on the fourth line.“I think sometimes, for young players, it’s okay to play other positions, especially for a defenseman to go up and maybe play forward to get an understanding of how to play that certain position,” Johnson said.One of the reasons that Jaminski was able to play wing was because sophomore defenseman Alev Kelter returned to the lineup now that the soccer season has ended, which gives the Badgers seven solid defensemen to choose from. Mark Johnson recognized the potential Jaminski possesses in the offensive zone despite her lack of experience.“I thought she was going to score there in the third period. She was on for one of our goals. It’s probably the first – I don’t want to say in her life but certainly in a long time – where she has had to play forward,” Johnson said.In the game on Friday, junior winger Carolyne Prevost appeared to tweak something in her back. The coaching staff and trainers elected to keep her out of Sunday’s game for precautionary reasons.“We held her out today. She probably could have played, but the one thing is when these kids travel overseas they get tired, you work with jet lag, you get nicks and bumps along the way. In a game where you can rest her and do some things with our trainer to get her prepared for Tuesday’s practice, we felt that was in the best interest,” Johnson said.Her absence paved the way for several young Badgers to get to play in situations that normally they wouldn’t.Freshman defenseman Laurel Miller got the nod at forward, and toward the end of Sunday’s tilt was able to play with none other than Hilary Knight.Knight did everything in her power to earn Miller a point in front of the home crowd.“I really wanted to get either Laurel Miller or Lauren Unser a goal, so we were working at that,” Knight said.The other player who Johnson put in a new situation was Breann Frykas, who he moved up a line to play with Kelly Nash and Mallory Deluce.“That’s good for her to get some ice time and create some more opportunities for her to play,” Johnson said.St. Cloud State likely isn’t the team that will ready the championship-hopeful Badgers for close games down the stretch, but the games did provide Wisconsin with, if nothing else, more confidence on the offensive end and some invaluable experience for the young players on the squad.