McDowell Mountain Music Festival also known as M3F is a 100% non-profit music festival that first came to life in 2004.  With its 3 C beliefs, Community, Culture, and Charity this festival is dedicated to the local people and causes throughout Arizona.  Celebrating its 15th year this year it has grown immensely since its early 2000 beginnings.  With some of the top performing artists such as Kid Cudi, The Roots, & Slightly Stoopid playing at M3F over the years, the festival has become known and loved among festival lovers.   In fact since its 2004 beginning festival proceeds of a little over a million dollars have been donated to local non-profit organizations and charities throughout Arizona.  Last years 2017 festival donated $150,000 to local charities making it the biggest year yet!! This years March 2-4 festival ticket sales are expected to exceed last year’s sales and hopefully will make it another record breaking year of donations!

The festival lovers out there that may not know completely of this festival are probably wondering about ticket prices and amenities!  Well we have good news!  There are a variety of different tickets available.  First you can choose between single day passes or a 3 day pass which will give you access through the festivals entirety. Next you may choose between general admission or VIP.  VIP access comes with some pretty sweet benefits which include meals, snacks, complimentary chair massages, 5 beers or mixed drinks, access to the VIP Poser deck, Private bathrooms, VIP exclusive entrance and valet parking.  The great thing is if you buy a 3 day VIP pass you get ALL of this each day you attend!    For those that wish to do only general admission there will be food trucks available for all diets.  This means there are vegetarian and gluten free options available!  I think that the people behind this festival really know how to put on a great show! Also,the festival is family friendly and for all age groups.  In fact, kids 10 and under are given free admission!

Music festivals are a lot of fun to attend and it’s always great to be able to enjoy a variety of musicians all in one place and LIVE!  What stands out for us regarding M3F is the fact that this festival was established to help local charities and that not some but ALL of the profits are donated every year.  Music is one of life's better gifts, it has the ability to heal, to speak to people as well as create an outlet for creative juices and feelings.  The fact that an entire music festival proceeds can go to continue to help people in all walks of life just makes it that more touching.  Not to mention the attendees of McDowell Mountain Music Festival can enjoy themselves even more with the knowledge that the purchase of their passes are doing something great for the communities of their state! We applaud you M3F and wish you a very prosperous record breaking festival this year! Cheers to music and charity!



With all this talk about Festivals in my last post and the great Spring Time weather that is bestowed on us Arizonans, another great Musical Weekend is sure to be mentioned and given it’s fair share of credit.  While people have mixed feelings on Country Music there are many of us who appreciate the genre and show it mad respect!  For those of us that would love no other than to attend an awesome weekend filled with that music, and also a little bit of camping before the weather reaches scorching temperatures welcome COUNTRY THUNDER!!

Country Thunder is a four day festival that starts on April 6 and goes through the 9th, located in Florence, Arizona.  Festival attendees are encouraged to get a camping permit along with their admission tickets, to camp on the premises.  Those that camp are in for a weekend full of drinks, fun, campfires, laughter and great music!  Many bring RV’s or camping trailers along to add a bit of comfort and a reprieve from the constant partying going on around them. It’s almost like a tailgating party that lasts for 4 days!

The festival line up is well worth your money and the 4 days you probably had to take off of work.  With this years ensemble featuring famous musicians along the lines of, Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett and Frankie Ballard to name a few, you Country fans will be in heaven!

Not so big on camping in the outdoors or in a cramped trailer?  You can go Glamping at this festival.  Glamping which is glamours camping includes a erected Safari style tent, a queen or twin beds, air-conditioning, vinyl flooring, table and chairs and a refrigerator!!!  They have thought of everything to make these 4 days nothing short of luxurious or as luxurious as camping can get!  As a matter of fact this festival is so popular here in Arizona that people purchase their tickets months and even a year in advance.  Same goes for the camp sites offered on the site grounds.  To obtain a camping permit you have to plan and purchase them in advance.  

There are so many types of music genres that can be made to be fun to explore.  If you want to explore the different types I always suggest attending different music festivals.  Whether it be a smaller one or the grandest of them all, music festivals are a great getaway, and fun filled time.  You basically live your life to music for a string of days enjoying the experience and the people and fun to be had along with it.  Make this your year of festivals!  Rock on as always my friends.


Spring time is fast approaching and with it comes BBQ’s, pool parties, friends and family, fun and laughter.  Let’s also not forget the good music that is associated with it all. I myself, love having spring get togethers with the music cranked up and plenty of food, drinks and lounging around the pool.  Since moving to Avondale here in Arizona about 5 years ago, I quickly learned the important aspect of having a pool in this desert state.  Not only is it beneficial during the horrid heat months, it also serves as a huge part of my social life. Speaking of which, recently I just had my pool deck resurfaced by New Look Kool Deck.  it came out amazing and helped update the look of my back yard as well as add a little bit more polish and class to my property.  With this revamp to my pool, I’ve decided to throw my very first, Sunday Funday Pool Jam!

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The explosion of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is still going full force with no means to an end.  With the Electric Daisy Carnival grossing 40 million dollars and bringing 320,000 people to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the course of 3 days, there is now a  new reason to visit Las Vegas.  Why does this new phenomenon seem so familiar? Well what were once known as raves and Techno music, has now rebranded itself in the form of festivals and EDM.  If you really stop and compare the two you will find that the music is the same, the festivals are filled with freakish amounts of people dressed in funky gogo dancer boots, bright flowers, bra tops , and some other funky attire.  Along with it comes the drugs like ecstasy, now known as Molly, glow sticks and everything else that help enhance your high and let you feel the music even more.  The difference being that raves were often held underground in abandoned warehouses or secret locations because 9 times out of 10 they were illegal.  Festivals such as the Electronic Daisy Festival are legal and draw a crowd bigger than most raves have ever seen.  Add to it the fact that DJs like Skrillex are commanding rock star fees, and succeeding in getting paid them, EDM is a revolution and not just some thrown together rave for misfit teens.  Rebranding this league of music and the “get togethers” has also made it possible for the industry to shed some of the negative attention they gathered from hospitalized kids who were found on littered dance floors from dehydration and too many drugs.  With EDM now being a popular choice of music for many people in all different age brackets and groups, people see this phenomenon as something real, and not necessarily drug oriented.  So much in fact that the Electric Daisy fest is not the only of it’s kind.  Like other genres of music and the different festivals it brings, EDM has a group of festivals all its own.  Ultra, IDentity, and Electric Zoo only name a few of these festivals.  With the LED lighting, spare no expense graphics and visual technology EDM music has made a name for itself and is definitely on the map.  With an ever growing following, what was once thought to be a phase like techno, there is no plans for this type of music going anywhere.  As a matter a fact didn’t we say it’s just techno rebranded?  That means that the die hard fans that were once few and far between have come back bigger and better than ever.  Another point that should be made is that while drugs are prominent on the “rave “ scene, aren’t they prominent on most any music seen if that be the choice?  Rockstars have been known for cocaine and alcohol abuse for years and years, Reggae music has been known for Marijuana use, just as the king of Reggae himself Bob Marley.  Country music? We add more alcohol into the mix as well as a slew of other drugs I’m sure.  The point being here is that everyone favors a type of music that speaks more clearly to them.  Why I may not understand the EDM epidemic or really even enjoy the music that much, isn’t the great thing about music it is allows you freedom to listen and enjoy whatever you find appealing to you.  There is never one right genre nor should there be judgement passed on anyone for what they like.  In the words of the Reggae king Robert Nesta Marley  ‘The great thing about music is when it hits you, you feel no pain”......Be free my flower children of EDM and rock on!

There have been numerous strong, musical influences throughout time. From Louis Armstrong, Black Sabbath, Elvis Presley, and Madonna, there are many influential artists in a variety of genres. Many of these artists are very well known today and have been part of transforming the music industry and inspiring hundreds of thousands of people.

Every inspirational artist started somewhere. This 'somewhere' could be a backyard, or a cool local spot in your community.....which is why we have this website, to make them known! To let you know where to find places to jam to chill jazz, or heavy rock.

DKings, is a local Arizona company that came from the Hawaiian Islands. They stay true to there roots, and soak up the sounds of the Ukulele and reggae vibes. Kaulana, founder of DKings Home Renovations, sat with me and shared one of his favorite local Hawaiian artists, and one of mine.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Bruddah Iz

Maybe you are familiar with the name, or maybe even a few of his songs. He has been featured in several films, and although an island boy, he had became well known outside of the islands. Bruddah I was, and still is a very influential Hawaiian musician. He incorporated a bit of reggae, jazz, and the softest voice ever, as his is fingers strummed the Ukulele.  When he opened his mouth to sing, his soft soul exposed lyrics that touched the hearts of many.

One of his songs that is very well known, and that really stands out for me is 'Over the Rainbow'. I was fortunate enough to listen to Israel play this among other songs live, before he passed away in the summer of 1997.  If you have not heard this song, or this man, please take a moment and listen to the sound of his music.

There are several Hawaiian artists that have talents yet to be revealed to the world. Much of what they do is for the backyard luau's, family and friends.

The Ukulele, a small guitar like instrument, is an instrument that you will here many people in the islands play. This small stringed 'uke' is a big part of the Hawaiian culture. The culture strongly influences the music and plays a big role in bringing local both on and off the islands together. Kaulana, born and raised on the Big Island lives in Arizona. When he hears Hawaiian music or meets someone that is tuning in to some Hawaiian jams, it warms his soul, as it does for many.

Music is a huge part of making a community. It brings people together, both near and far. Take time and find locals in your area. AND take the time a check out Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole, you will be glad you did.



Perhaps one of the greatest genres of music to have the experience to listen to is that of Jazz.  A blend of notes, tones and African American slavery folk songs, Jazz has a soulful sound and an ear pleasing tone.  Founded among African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century in New Orleans, this music genre has developed into many types and different renditions of styles depending on that of the musician.  One of the most influential figures in Jazz, who helped make it what it is today is that of Louis Armstrong.

Louis was born on August 4, 1901 and would become a well known American trumpeter, composer, singer, and sometimes actor of the 1920s.  With his talent in bending lyrics and melodies to better express himself through his music, he was loved by many.  He was the first African American whose race came second in a time when Racial issues were prominent.  Because of his gravelly voice, and talent to both compose and sing he was well respected as a musician by most.

The summertime of 1922 came and with it brought the offer from King Oliver to come to Chicago and be part of his Jazz quartet.  Louis decided to and in doing so would begin to make a name for himself throughout the music community.  Again with his soulful and unique voice, his amazing trumpet skills, Armstrong was a musically inclined force to be reckoned with.  Coming from a poor childhood in the very worst parts of New Orleans, Louisiana, this was a dream come true.  Not only was Louis doing what he loved, but he was making enough money to support his family and get out of the Ghetto.  As his music career continued to bring new success, Armstrong moved to New York where he would record several solo tracks, as well as perform with many well known and talented Jazz and Blues singers.  His solo performances on tracks such as “ Cornet Chop Suey” and Potato Head Blues” changed the history of jazz completely.  Debuting with his most prized vocal to date in 1926 with “Heebie Jeebies”

Louis Armstrong was a talented musician that pushed the limits of not only Jazz but all types of music.  He was widely talented in numerous genres, and left a legacy to both the jazz, and soul communities.  He will continued to be loved and respected by many far past his own time here on Earth.  With a talent as great as his and the gifts he gave to music we will forever listen to his songs.




We all know how great stepping out to listen to live music is.  There is something about the loud music pulsating up through the floor, vibrating through our bodies and seeing the art of music right before our eyes.  While many would agree that music is great in any form you listen to it, live music is by far the best.  So what if you could incorporate two things you loved as well as be doing something charitable for others?  Introducing the Rock and Roll Marathon series!  Founded in 1998 as a simple event to raise money for charities through the running community, The Rock and Roll Marathon took off like wildfire.  Many people loved the music festival like concert that allowed for participants to listen to live bands through the course of the race.  All while helping to raise money for local charities.  Because of the success of the first race that was held in San Diego, California, the association has added more states to its race courses now totaling a whopping 30 states participating.    

Live bands, energetic volunteers, and cheer teams are laced throughout the 26.2 mile course.  Whether you choose to enjoy all the live bands when participating in the marathon, or just a handful when doing the half marathon or 5k, there is a band for all types of genres.  Upon finishing the course there is a huge headliner concert to celebrate your victory of finishing the race.  

Since the start of this running music festival $310 million dollars has been raised by participants for different charities.  With the music invigorating those volunteering, running the race, or simply spectating it is a rock and roll good time.

Why is it that live music brightens our spirits and puts us in a good mood?  Or why is it that music makes running 26.2 miles that much more enjoyable?  In my opinion speaking from my own love for music, it's because it touches your soul.  Music really gets into your mind, the melody and the beat tune into the mood you are in and the words reflect actual circumstances.  It is easy to get lost in the feelings that music emits.  

Music is a beautiful thing that is one of the simplest of pleasures in life.  Whether it’s a music festival, running event for charities, concert, or simply playing a song on your stereo, get lost in the music and feel the beat, it’s good for you!

Although Dallas wasn't didn't make our list as one of the cities with the best live music scene, it does offer some great places to listen to live tunes. We are heading out that way this weekend to attend a local gathering that will have several artists gathering to share their talents. Bars, restaurants and popular venues aren't the only places to gather to listen to good vibes. Some of the best places to enjoy incredible sounds are off the beaten path.

Once you start heading out places that offer live music and you meet people part of the music scene, any music scene, you hear about places that have live sounds going on. These places would never be known to you, unless you found out through the grapevine.

I look at that in 2 ways. Awesome for the intimacy that a smaller gathering offers, and not so ideal for the artists that want more people to hear them. So I thought that I would share a 'place you don't know' that will be offering up some good times this weekend.

Our good friend Lukas, an amazing guitarist, is hosting Wrap Sounds at his vinyl shop (day job), Phantom Wrapz in Lewisville, a Dallas Suburb. Wrap Sounds will bring together cars and music. This large outdoor gathering will include several local Dallas artists, and those that want to display their car or cars. Phantom Wrapz offers vehicle wraps. So many people Luke is in the know with, have some crazy cool cars. Luke said what people want to do with their cars is a form of art, so his bringing the two together.

We are excited to check it out.

If you would like to attend, please email wrapsounds@yahoo.com. They will send you info on location and time.

Wrap Sounds 

Saturday, February 4, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

Some of the Line Up:

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