It’s March in Macon, which means that spring is in the process of revealing itself. Blossoms bloom. Temperatures rise … and … wait for it. … It’s almost Cherry Blossom Festival time.
Many of the usual events surrounding the Cherry Blossom Festival seem to be on the books again this year, including some of my favorites: the Bed Race and the Food Truck Frenzy.
But this year’s biggest source of excitement for me came last week when it was announced that George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will be headlining this year’s Street Party on April 1. This not an elaborate April Fool’s Day hoax. Even better news: Mavis Staples, Chuck Leavell and the Randall Bramblett band (and others) fill out an impressive bill with the recently-announced leader of all things funky and his funky band headlining this year’s Street Party.
If you don’t understand the significance of George Clinton coming to Macon, take a few minutes, get out your Googler and check out some videos. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic’s show is just as much a visual experience as it is aural.
While you’re surfing the web for an education in music, take some time to check out Mavis Staples, of the Staples Singers. She’s touring in support of a new record, “Livin’ on a High Note,” which was produced by M. Ward and has songwriting credits from a surprising cast of characters on a gospel record (see: Nick Cave and Neko Case).
Moving down the bill, you’ll notice Chuck Leavell and Randall Bramblett, two guys who are no strangers to Macon — or success in the music business. Between the two of them, they’ve played with everyone from the Allman Brothers Band, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, to Hot Tuna, Steve Winwood and Bonnie Raitt. These guys also used to have a kickin’ little jazz group called Sea Level, which was signed to Capricorn Records back in the day.
The Cherry Blossom Festival will always get attention from locals and visitors alike, but this year’s news regarding the headliner for the street party has got this guy right here ready to party. I haven’t been this excited since Big Boi was announced as the headliner (but that year’s Street Party was rained out and got canceled, so I don’t know if it counts anyway).
My point is this: You can catch some great music in the heart of downtown (Cotton and Poplar streets) for less than $30 a person. The Mothership will be landing smack dab in the middle of Macon and y’all should be there.