Riverside will be the focal point of Jacksonville’s vibrant music community, this weekend, as local record label Winterland presents the third edition of its eponymous music festival. Each annual outing has been an opportunity to serve the city’s artists and audience, according to Winterland co-founder Glenn Van Dyke.
“We started Winterland as a way to help usher in a new era of music culture in Jacksonville,” Van Dyke told Folio Weekly. “We want to expand on the growing scene and make it exciting to be an artist and a music fan. As a festival, we want to put a spotlight onto our local scene. We exist because there is a demand and a growing culture that could use more outlets.”
As far as grassroots go, Winterland is entirely volunteer-driven and supported by a slew of hometown partners. Iconic guitar brand Fender and renowned skate company Volcom are also sponsors. In between scoring new kits at Trash Panda’s pop-up flea market or recharging at the lounge zone provided by Hotel Palms, attendees will be able to catch some truly special acts including—but certainly not limited to—Dust Fuss, Lady Lamb, Bebe Deluxe, A Place to Bury Strangers, Quarter Roy and Yellow Steve. Concerts will be held at participating venues up and down Five Points’ Park Street strip at Alewife, Hoptinger, Rain Dogs and Root Down. The street itself will be closed to traffic for the occasion.
It’s kind of a big deal, and it’s getting bigger each year. Winterland III’s three-day lineup boasts more than 40 acts, both local and touring. Among the latter is Lady Lamb. Born Aly Spaltro in Brunswick, Maine, where she produced and self-released her first home recordings, the songwriter and musician is now based in New York. Those early efforts, released under the moniker Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, introduced audiences to her smoky, sometimes-gravelly voice—a contemporary echo of Sheryl Crow’s California blues. I was taken aback, the first time heard a live session of “Crane Your Neck.”
Lady Lamb has four albums to her name. Since 2007, her sound has entered into more electric and experimental realms, now recalling the progressive pop of the late, great David Bowie—although Lady Lamb’s style remains her own. She’ll be playing at Root Down, Friday night.
Yellow Steve is one of the local headliners. The young performer is all of 20 years old and hails from Jacksonville. These bits of biography are important, as his music draws from the experiences of a young artist in the city; he distills those experiences into short, undeniably catchy songs and visually stunning videos.
From his tales of Northside to Arlington and Downtown, Yellow Steve paints such vivid pictures that listeners feel as if they’ve lived in the River City all their lives. (Admittedly, some of them have!) His flow and beats recall Rhymesayers artists Brother Ali, the verbose Eyedea, the much beloved MF Doom as well as early Odd Future phenomenon Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris. Last year Yellow Steve released tellthetruth, an 11-track album that truly captures his vibe. You can catch the artist at Alewife on Saturday, Feb. 8.