Most times music lovers have a favorite genre of music and thus gravitate to the same types of music festivals.  Meaning country music lovers like festivals like Country Thunder (Arizona), CMA's  in Nashville etc. There is nothing wrong with that at all.  I, myself, as a music lover tend to gravitate to the same types of music and thus same types of festivals.  Or at least that was how it was before this last vacation I took to Hawaii.

While vacationing on the beautiful island of Oahu, a few friends and I decided to take a private tour to the North Shore.  Our tour guide Akima, owned as well as did all of the private tours for her company Hawaii Real Nature Tours.  She was very friendly, a great tour guide, and also an avid music lover!  Now that’s my kind of people! We got to talking during our amazingly beautiful hike, about music, the greatest music festivals etc.  She asked if I had ever heard of the Merry Monarch Music Festival that is held every spring in Hilo, Hawaii.  I didn’t even know exactly which island Hilo was on!  She smiled and began telling me about this beautiful hawaiian cultural music festival and it blew my mind!  The Merry Monarch is a week long festival that is held on the BIg Island of Hawaii in a town named Hilo.  The purpose of the festival is not only for festival goers entertainment but also to exhibit Hawaiian culture and the beautiful art of hula!  The festival includes:

  • Invitational Art Fairs
  • Cultural Demonstrations
  • Hula Performances
  • Parade Showcasing the Aspects of Hawaiian Culture

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Avid and even those not so avid festival goers all around probably know of the disastrous and extreme fail of a music festival “Fyre Music Festival”  For those of you who don’t or those that simply want a little more light shed on what really happened we have some great details to share. Rewind to the beginning of last year.  Billy Mcfarland who owned Frye Media LLC, sought investors to invest in him and his company to put on “More Than Just a music festival”. He along with Ja Rule (a once celebrated rapper) proposed this would be the music festival of all music festivals.  Their music festival known as Fyre Music Festival would be held on a private island in the Bahamas.  They promised that festival goers would have luxurious accommodations, gourmet meals provided by a 5 star chef and catering company, live music by well known and famous artists, mingling with celebrities, and an incredible time at one of the best ever music festivals.  Festival goers in return would pay anywhere from $450 dollars to $250,000 dollars per ticket.  Seems like a dream right?  Wrong..so incredibly wrong were those words to describe this disastrous music festival.

  Excited festival goers started arriving on to Exumas a private island in a chain off the coast of the Bahamas.  Instead of the luxurious accommodations they were promised they found disaster relief tents dotted along the beach serving as luxurious accommodations.

 Next instead of the gourmet meals they were promised they received 2 pieces of bread with a couple slices of cold cheese and a makeshift salad consisting of some lettuce an unknown dressing and a tomato slice.  But that was just part of the disappointment.  Half the time attendees had no idea what was coming next and were sitting in the pitch black because no lights were on!  One of the biggest headliners, Blink 182 pulled out of the concerte(maybe they had great intuition) and festival goers were left short.  Finally as a last ditch effort Ja Rule and Mcfarland issued a statement that they were deeply sorry for the distaterous and disappointing turn of events and were just trying to get everyone safely off the island.  The U.S. Attorney's office however was not about to let this type of fraud go!  They charged Rule an Mcfarland with a premeditated scheme to defraud people.  Although both Mcfarland and Ja Rule issued statements saying that this was not their intention at all and they were working to refund people their money, the  U.S. Attorney's office still wasn't ok with this.  Further digging revealed that Mcfarland had falsely represented his financial status and that he had in fact doctored financial statements and paperwork to reflect his lies. It is safe to say that both Ja Rule and Billy Mcfarland are in a lot of trouble and will be held accountable for their deceiving actions.

Although most music festivals are well known, it is always a gamble taking a chance on one that promises a lot and has never really been heard of.  Do your research people and weigh your pro’s and con’s. While music festivals are supposed to be amazing and fun there are definitely people even once famous artists who are money hungry and will deceive you.


I went to one of the best parties I have ever been to at a home of a friend of mine this past weekend.  Everything was perfect, from the food to the atmosphere and the incredible band that he had hired to play.  Austin, my friend hosting the party, and I had met probably 20 sum years ago when we played in the same garage rock band.  His love for drumming was like the love I had for guitar.  We became friends instantly and often practiced on our own together frequently.  Fast forward to the present and our rock band had long ago broken up and went their separate ways.  Some of us had gotten married and started families.  A few of us still were chasing our rock star dreams and music was life. And then there was myself and Austin.  We both are not married and don’t have children.  We have done well for ourselves and we still love music, however it’s more of a hobby rather than a priority.  We still were the best of friends and we still practiced the drums and guitar for a bit when we got together. Austin was just an great friend and probably the most laid back guy you could ever meet. He just didn’t let things get to him and stress him out.  He once told me that was why he loved music so much, because it was fluid and juts carried you. So this is what is bringing me to my hilarious story that I am about to share with you readers!  We will laugh for many years to come!

 At Austins party as I wa saying he had made everything amazing.  The food was great, the band, the lights, the atmosphere.  The only problem was the plumbing! And a problem it was!  One of his pipes burst and water flooded the living room area.  The band was set up on a makeshift stage in the living room(huge house) and their speaker shorted because of the water flooding their electrical cords.  Everyone was in a panic and were scrambling about trying to grab towels to mop everything up and help the band.  Austin however burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. He called a plumbing company on speed dial and told his guests we should move out to the patio while things were cleaned up.  He assured the band that he would take care of the cost of any equipment and if they could still play without their speaker.  Incredulously I asked him if he was still going to continue on with the party.  He gave me a nod and said, “Just vibe to the music man” and went about getting his guests settled and cleaning up the area.  Leave it to Austin to find the humor in this disastrous situation.  I looked around and this guy had done

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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.