written by Connor Hayes
It’s not always easy for a festival to come back from having Kid Rock as the biggest headliner the previous year, yet Sweetwater 420 is an entity that listens to its detractors and listens even more intently to its feedback. That being said, this year’s installment of Atlanta’s biggest (with the exception of maybe Music Midtown and Shaky Knees), weirdest, craft brew shindig, is set to be one for the books. While there may not be last year’s Disco Biscuits, attendees get 4 sets of Athens legends, Widespread Panic spread out over two days as well as 2 sets of the Trey Anastasio Band. Other classic jam bands and groups round out the event include Ween, Moe, Dark Star, and Twiddle, just to name a few.
However, this year an almighty force has infused itself into the 420 lineup, and that force is the funk. Trombone Shorty is well acquainted with this force, and so are the boys from Lettuce. Some say Kevin Donohue of Sunsquabi was quite literally born in it, and CBDB dabbles in it from time to time. The Werks are funk-benders, capable of manipulating the funk into any shape or matter they choose. Dopapod studies the arcane funk and derives their own musical alchemy from it.
Much like “spiritual healing cities”, they exist in the world with a select number of funkoordinates, sites of tasty, funky, shake-what-ya-momma-gave-ya goodness, so powerful, they’d make the immortal George Clinton exclaim, “Damn”. Atlanta, Georgia, will be one of those sites this April.
Disclaimer: There are no workshops onsite for Funk-bender training, sadly.