CWFF offers two options for festival passes. Choose the pass that works best for you and your fest friends!
Saturday October 6th*
Gates Open 11:00 AM
VIP Village Opens 11:15 AM
JOSH CAPON 12:00 PM Cooking Demo
Josh Capon is the seasoned executive chef and partner behind Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco in New York City, and Lure Fishbar which opened recently in South Beach, Miami. He is the host of Spike TV's first food series Frankenfood premiering June 22. 2014. Capon graduated from Johnson & Wales University and while in culinary school, Charlie Palmer selected Capon as the culinary "extern" at Aureole, Palmer's acclaimed Manhattan restaurant. After graduating in 1994, Capon accepted an offer from Palmer to assist in the opening of The Lenox Room. From there, he went on to work for David Burke at the Park Avenue Café, where he was offered an exchange opportunity to work in Europe. He spent the next year honing his cooking skills in several different restaurants throughout France, Italy, Germany and Spain before returning to the US and building his own culinary empire. Capon is also a four-time champion of Rachael Ray’s annual Burger Bash competition.
Capon is the six-time winner of the People's Choice award at the New York City Wine and Food Festival and South beach Wine and Food Festival's Burger Bash event for his "Bash-Style" burger, a juicy patty topped with American cheese, pickles, caramelized onion and bacon jam. He has appeared on numerous television shows including The Chew, Rachael Ray Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, CBS Early Show, TODAY, and Food Network and has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York and other media outlets.Saturday 12:00 PM Main StageGet passes
GAIL SIMMONS 01:00 PM Cooking Demo
Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef. Heading into its 15th successful season, Top Chef is rated the #1 food show on cable television. Gail was previously head critic on Top Chef Masters and host of Top Chef Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spinoff of the Top Chef franchise. She appears as a guest judge on Universal Kids new Top Chef Jr. and was co-host of The Feed, which aired in 2014 on FYI.
Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, will be released by Grand Central Publishing on October 24, 2017. It features recipes inspired by Gail’s world travels—all made with accessible ingredients and with smart, simple techniques for successful family meals and easy entertaining.
Gail joined Food & Wine magazine in 2004, where she directs special projects, working closely with the country’s top culinary talent and acting as liaison between the marketing and editorial teams on events and chef-related initiatives. During her tenure, she has been responsible for overseeing the annual Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to working at Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants, and worked as the assistant to Vogue magazine’s esteemed food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten. Throughout her career, Gail has contributed to several cookbooks, including It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Steingarten, Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City and The New American Chef, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. Gail’s first book, a memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.
In 2014, Gail and her business partner Samantha Hanks, founded Bumble Pie Productions, an original content company dedicated to discovering and promoting new female voices in the food and lifestyle space. Their first series, “Star Plates”—a collaboration with Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment—premiered in Fall 2016 on the Food Network.
In addition to her work on Top Chef, Gail makes frequent television appearances on NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The Chew, among others. She is regularly featured in such publications as New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, People, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post. Along with her annual appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, she makes regular appearances at the nation’s foremost culinary festivals, including the Austin Food & Wine Festival and Charleston Wine & Food Festival.
In February 2013, Gail was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Babson College, a mentoring role where she works with student entrepreneurs, helping them develop food-related social enterprises. In April 2016, she received the Award of Excellence by Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children about the benefits of healthy eating. She is an active board member and supporter of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, Common Threads, and the Institute of Culinary Education.
Gail currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and daughter, Dahlia Rae.Saturday 01:00 PM Main StageGet passes
REBECCA PERL 01:45 PM Live Music
Rebecca Perl was born and raised in the tropical paradise we call Long Island, NY, a child of the eighties and nineties, Rebecca announced at age 13 that she would be a singer-songwriter when she grew up. Born into a very musical family, googling "How To Play Guitar" was all she needed before running with her dream. The pop music radio of the late '90s and early 00’s carried a heavy dose of acoustic pop music, and Rebecca gravitated to that sound. This is where she first saw artists like John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jewel, Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch perform live, which greatly influenced her musical tastes.
By 2012, Rebecca landed the first of many major gigs supporting Howie Day, Gavin Degraw, Ryan Cabrera, Teddy Geiger, Tyler Hilton, Vertical Horizon, Olivia-Newton John and others. All the while in 2013, she was writing and recording her debut album "Rendezvous." Rebecca sold out The Studio at Webster Hall for the release of "Rendezvous" in April 2013, and the album garnered great reviews from critics around the world.
Rebecca moved down to Austin, Texas in September 2014 with her second studio album on the way. This marked a major event in Rebecca's life as a songwriter and performer, leaving it all behind to start anew in the music-rich city of Austin, TX. She performed an official music showcase at SXSW on March 21st in Austin, TX, and on April 28th, she released her Sophomore album, "Point Of No Return" both digitally and on CD. 'Point Of No Return' combines the catchy sounds of folk and pop while remaining honest and truthful in the lyrics. She returned from her Southeastern tour in late May 2015 and has recently wrapped up yet another West Coast tour with Howie Day in August 2015.
After touring the country, Rebecca decided to make a shift in her music career and moved out to Los Angeles, where she currently resides. Her focus has been songwriting and collaborating with other writers – both for herself and other artists. Her deep passion for performing has not wavered, and she’s excited to see what the future holds.Saturday 01:45 PM Main StageGet passes
Local chefs compete in the Catskill Cookoff, a two day series hosted by Jeremy Jacobowitz (@BrunchBoys)
RIPE 04:00 PM Live Music
Ripe is seven musical soulmates who refuse to believe in a single definition of dance music. They are an unstoppable groove, an extended moment of ecstatic release, the catalyst for taking “just another night” and elevating it into something else entirely. They are the swagger of funk filtered through a rock anthem, a musical journey that somehow gets as stuck in your head as your favorite pop banger. They are the anchors of a rapidly growing community, a series of new friends becoming good friends becoming part of the extended family as their sound spreads and their world deepens.
They are here to look at joy with the same depth as most people look at sadness, to find a happiness that is heavier and more meaningful than simply a distraction from the negative. Born all over, formed in Boston, Ripe is ready to bring the whole world to its feet.Saturday 04:00 PM Main StageGet passes
ALEX GUARNASCHELLI 05:30 PM Cooking Demo
Alex Guarnaschelli is a world renowned chef, who began her international culinary journey at Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris. From there, Guarnaschelli spent four years at a Butte Chaillot, where she was rapidly promoted to sous chef. After great success in France, she returned stateside joining Daniel Boulud at his restaurant, Daniel. In 2003, Guarnaschelli was given the opportunity to expand her repertoire and become the executive chef at Butter, where she has since created her own eclectic American and green-market inspired menu. Guarnaschelli is a recurring judge on the popular Food Network series Chopped and in 2012, she bested nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, earing the coveted title of Iron Chef. She has also been featured as a guest co-host on Beat Bobby Flay. Guarnaschelli is also the author of the cookbooks Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook (2013) and The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart (2017Saturday 05:30 PM Main StageGet passes
DANIEL HOLZMAN 06:15 PM Cooking Demo
Daniel Holzman has been involved in the restaurant industry as early as age 15. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he along with his old friend, Michael Chernow, opened the Meatball Shop in 2011. The mix-and-match menu of meatballs, served in a warm and convivial environment was an instant hit. Five more locations of The Meatball Shop have since opened—in Williamsburg, the West Village, Chelsea, the Upper West Side, and the Upper East Side. Together, they co-authored The Meatball Shop Cookbook, which was published too much acclaim in 2011.
Daniel Holzman is also co-owner of the novelty ice cream brand Q-Bee Treats. With Q-Bee Treats, Holzman set out to create an all-natural, vegetarian, kosher recipe that could be enjoyed by everyone. The first product, crispy rice and marshmallow treats filled with ice cream, were an instant hit and can now be found in markets nationwide, including Whole Foods.
Holzman is currently featured on the new CNBC docu-series Consumed: The Real Restaurant Business. The show documents both Daniel and his partner as they decide the best way to further develop their business and navigate the possibility of nationwide expansion.
Daniel has been featured in international and national publications, including People, Food Network Magazine, The New York Times, as well as NBC’s TODAY Show, The Dish, Bon Appetit’s Cook Like A Pro, Big Daddy’s House, Anderson Cooper, The Martha Steward Show, Good Morning America, and Nightline ABC News.Saturday 05:15 PM Cooking PavilionGet passes
CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD 08:00 PM Live Music
When the Chris Robinson Brotherhood headed into the studio to begin recording their new album, Anyway You Love, We Know How You Feel, no one knew just what to expect. These would be the band’s first recordings with new drummer Tony Leone (Ollabelle, Levon Helm), their first since the departure of founding bassist Mark “Muddy” Dutton, and their first time producing themselves. But as anybody who’s been following the CRB can attest, this is a band that thrives on the unexpected.
If you need proof, just go back to 2012, when they first emerged on the national stage by releasing not one, but two acclaimed full-length albums within a few months of each other. Critics hailed their sprawling debut, Big Moon Ritual, as a revelation, with Uncut calling it a “tenderly-executed piece of work…[that’s] both earthy and transcendent,” while The Independent raved that Robinson had “finally found the ideal vehicle to indulge his taste for ‘Cosmic California Music.'” The reviews were similarly ecstatic for its immediate follow-up, The Magic Door, which was praised by Relix as “classic rock in the finest sense.” The band’s relentless tour schedule brought their shimmering acid-Americana around the world for a staggering 118-date tour, firmly establishing the CRB as the new standard-bearers of the psychedelic roots torch.
In 2014, they returned to the studio for Phosphorescent Harvest, a masterful collection that showcased the blossoming songwriting partnership between Robinson and CRB lead guitarist Neal Casal. Rolling Stone raved that the album was “electrifying…boast[ing] a vintage rock vibe that’s at once quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic,” and Guitar World called it “a treasure trove of soul that advances the band’s bluesy, kaleidoscopic sound.”
On each of those albums, the songs and arrangements had been locked in prior to the sessions, but heading back into the studio for Anyway You Love…, Robinson purposely left as much open-ended as possible, embracing the lineup changes and leaning into the virtuosic improvisational chemistry that’s always made their live shows such enthralling spectacles.
“Instead of seeing these things as challenges, we started to see them as something exciting,” explains Robinson. “It was an opportunity to see where our expression could take us. Some people get really uptight when they’re making records, but for us, the looser it gets the better. It’s all about taking our intuition and following it to where our ideas can really manifest themselves. This turned out to be the most spontaneous record I’ve ever been a part of.”
Not coincidentally, Robinson also cites it as perhaps the best recording experience of his life. The band relocated to northern California for the sessions, recording on the side of a mountain overlooking the foggy Pacific Ocean and channeling the natural majesty and melancholic weather of their surroundings into the album’s eight, epic, immersive tracks.
The album kicks off with “Narcissus Soaking Wet,” a psychedelic toe-tapper that marks Robinson’s first co-write with keyboardist Adam MacDougall and touches on everything from Dylan and Parliament Funkadelic to psych rock and Chicago rhythm & blues.
“For me, its the centerpiece of the record,” says Robinson. “It’s got all our CRB things we love, especially the groove, and it’s the first time I ever played harmonica on one of our songs. The lyrics are about control and egotism and false idolatry, about what happens when you’re a musician who puts yourself above the natural flow of harmony and music. It becomes the same mythic mistake that all the tragic heroes made.”
Ego takes a backseat to community in the CRB, where collaboration carries the day. Rather than coming into the studio with a collection of finished songs for this album as he had in the past, Robinson would present the group with sketches—a verse and melody here, a chorus and chord progression there—and let the band follow its collective muse to bring the music to life, a process he likens to putting an engine into the chassis of an old race car. Robinson had been sitting on “Leave My Guitar Alone,” for instance, for nearly 15 years, but only once he presented it to the rest of the band did it roar to life in a way that had eluded him for more than a decade.
“It’s a group effort,” says Robinson. “All it takes is one good, small idea, and then if everyone’s focused and in the moment, a few hours later, you can have something that you realize you’ll be playing for as long as you’re making music. I think when everyone’s aware that that’s the sort of magic that we’re looking for, then it happens naturally. More than any other session that I’ve ever been a part of, that’s how all of these songs were done.”
“Ain’t It Hard But Fair” calls to mind the soulful Americana of The Band, while “Oak Apple Day” is a mediation on life in the CRB, and “Forever As The Moon” came together in a stream of consciousness between Casal and Robinson.
“The album’s title comes from that song, and it was the first thing that came to my mind while we were playing it,” remembers Robinson. “I didn’t even have a pen and paper out. We’d just finished a hectic year on the road, and I was looking around at the world and all the anxiety and the chaos. The phrase felt like this universal statement, to me, that it doesn’t matter who or how or where or why, no matter what you ‘re going through, as long as you have love, everyone can relate to that.”
Some of Robinson’s finest writing to date arrives in the album’s final minutes, with the soulful, southern, gospel-tinged closer “California Hymn,” which finds him singing “Glory glory hallelujah / It’s time to spread the news / Though my good words may sound profane to some.”
“That whole chorus is about being a part of our community, our little CRB culture,” explains Robinson. “These are our services when we play our music. And when it’s at its best, we feel like the music makes a connection with people that’s on a level that has nothing to do with commerce or nostalgia. There’s some other gravity that keeps us all together in those moments, and I think this song is representative of that kind of magic spell.”
Indeed, the whole album is something of a magic spell, and now that it’s been cast, it’s time for services to resume in the psychedelic church of the CRB. That means they’ll be hitting your local rock and roll temple in their ongoing mission to make the holy profane and the profane holy, so pour a little wine, light up an offering, and get ready for the unexpected. Amen.Saturday 08:00 PM Main StageGet passes
SATURDAY HEADLINER 09:30 PM Live Music
Following our Saturday night Headliner, join us in our Late Night Lounge for two epic performances from Escort and The Dip!
ESCORT 11:30 PM Live Music
Escort is an American nu-disco band based out of Brooklyn, New York. Founded by Dan Balis, Eugene Cho and Darius Maghen including lead vocalist Adeline Michèle, they are known for their modern and live dance music sound.
Founders Dan Balis and Eugene Cho met at Vassar College and started making house singles in the early 2000s.Escort started as a studio project for the duo who, "wanted to make records in the spirit of the old ones we were sampling."
Despite being a self-proclaimed disco band they "are very careful to make music that doesn't just sound and feel old, but is actually relevant for DJs and listeners today." Their first single, "Starlight", was released to critical acclaim, which led to the band being invited to make their live debut at the P.S.1 Warm Up series. A flash mob of 300 dancers coordinated a group dance to Escort's remix of Feist's "I Feel It All" in the Eaton Center in Toronto for International Dance Day. Escort's "Starlight" was featured in DSW's (Designer Shoe Warehouse) fall 2013 commercial, "Savvy Shoe Lovers."Sunday 11:30 PM Late Night LoungeGet passes
THE DIP 12:25 AM Live Music
"Hailing from Seattle, The Dip is an electrifying seven-piece ensemble that melds vintage rhythm and blues and modern pop with "impeccably crafted, 60's-steeped soul" (KEXP).
The group quickly gained notoriety throughout the Pacific Northwest for their eminently danceable live shows that feature the powerful vocals of frontman Tom Eddy (Beat Connection), bolstered by the deep pocket of their unmistakably detailed rhythm section, and the spirited melodies of “The Honeynut Horns”. Hard-hitting but sensitive, The Dip harkens back to the deep soul roots of the decades past and pays tribute to this history through the grit and grace of their performances. The band's 2015 self-titled debut, recorded to tape at Avast! Studios, propelled them to notable appearances at prodigious festivals such as Sasquatch! Music Festival, High Sierra Music Fest, Summer Meltdown, and Capitol Hill Block Party as well as built anticipation for their 2016 release, Won't Be Coming Back (EP). Whether young or old, you can’t help yourself from grinning ear-to-ear when you see these gentlemen hit the stage. I wouldn’t hold back dancing for that matter either! Ladies and gentleman, give it up for The Dip! Hit up the dance floor, and put it in your hip!"Sunday 12:25 AM Main StageGet passes
Sunday October 7th*
Gates Open for Day 2 11:00 AM
Sunday Market Opens 11:00 AM
BOBBIE LLOYD 11:25 AM Baking Demo
As part of Magnolia Bakery’s executive team, Bobbie Lloyd has played an integral role in expanding Magnolia Bakery from its original location in New York City’s West Village to locations worldwide. Bobbie brings her extensive expertise in managing production and operations for a variety of restaurant environments to the Magnolia Bakery team. Bobbie also brings the homemade essence of Magnolia Bakery to customers through the creation of new dessert and cafe menu recipes and perfection of old classic American dessert favorites. In addition to developing Magnolia Bakery’s menu, Bobbie has shared her expertise as a judge on season four of Next Great Baker and as a guest judge on Cupcake Wars.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Bobbie knew from an early age that cooking was her passion after taking her first cooking class at the age of eight. In her third year of college she made the decision to follow her dream of becoming a chef and moved to Boston to cultivate her formal training at Boston’s famed Modern Gourmet Cooking School, while continuing to develop her trade by working at some of Boston’s top restaurants. Only two years after finishing her culinary training, Bobbie impressively became a founding member and co-owner of American Accent, a critically acclaimed restaurant in Brookline, MA.
Since moving to New York City, Bobbie has held the esteemed position of private chef for Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Klein and worked for the acclaimed Union Square Café, as well as both operations and management roles with Prix Fixe, The Screening Room, Au Café and Tribeca Grill. In addition to her operations roles, Bobbie has honed her retail business experience with “Soup to Nuts Consulting,” which she launched in partnership with Magnolia Bakery’s owner Steve Abrams; It’s a Wrap, NYC’s first gourmet wrap sandwich parlor, co-launched with Steve Abrams; and her demanding role as controller for The Beanstalk Restaurant group (The Red Cat, The Harrison, Mermaid Inn and PACE). In 2006, when Steve Abrams and his wife, Tyra, purchased Magnolia Bakery, Bobbie was the clear choice to bring on as Chief Baking Officer and Operating Partner, bringing her back full circle to her love of baking.Sunday 11:25 AM Cooking PavilionGet passes
Kickoff Brunch 12:00 PM Cooking Demo
DWAYNE GRETZKY 12:00 PM Live Music
Dwayne Gretzky is a live music collective celebrating the greatest songs of all time. Transcending both era and genre, this prodigiously talented group of Toronto musicians captivates audiences with a masterfully curated tour of artists from both the classic and modern pop canon – from Bowie to Beyoncé, Springsteen to Spears, The Supremes to The Strokes. With tasteful precision, chameleonic versatility and a flair for the dramatic, Dwayne Gretzky scratches our collective itch to be surprised by the familiar.
In an increasingly saturated and scattered music landscape defined by predictable playlists and individualized consumption, Dwayne Gretzky’s high-energy nostalgia trips recall the serendipity of flipping through the radio dial, and the joy of coming together en masse to celebrate and sing along to the best songs ever written. Boasting 100+ straight sold-out shows in their hometown of Toronto and with venue capacities growing into the multiple-thousands, Dwayne Gretzky’s momentum is a testament to the band shattering conventions and re-defining what audiences want in a live music experience.Sunday 12:00 PM Main StageGet passes
MICHAEL CHERNOW 01:15 PM Cooking Demo
Owner of Seamore's and co-founder of The Meatball Shop
A passionate fisherman since a young age, restaurateur Michael Chernow brought his love of under-appreciated fish species to New York City with the opening of his seafood-centric restaurant group, Seamore’s. Since 2015, he’s opened Seamore's locations in Nolita, Chelsea (along with cocktail bar, Fish Bone), Midtown, Dumbo, and Gotham West Market—each with distinct, neighborhood-specific spins. His largest location of Seamore’s will open at Brookfield Place in summer 2018, complete with an outdoor cocktail bar. Michael is also a co-founder of the cold-pressured, fitness recovery beverage, WellWell. Previously, he earned an honors degree in Restaurant Management from the French Culinary Institute and spent his early career at Frank Prizanzano's eponymous flagship restaurant, Frank. In 2010, Michael teamed up with his childhood friend Daniel Holzman and debuted The Meatball Shop in New York City's Lower East Side. He and Daniel opened several more locations and co-authored The Meatball Shop Cookbook, which was published to much acclaim in 2011.Sunday 01:15 PM Main StageGet passes
DONATELLA ARPAIA 02:00 PM Cooking Demo
Celebrity Chef, TV personality, restaurateur, and cookbook author, Donatella Arpaia, is best known for her role as head judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and the Next Iron Chef. She is a regular contributor to NBC’s The Today Show where she offers her culinary expertise and mouthwatering recipes. Arpaia’s distinctions include one of Crain’s “40 Under 40”, the “Hostess with the Mostest” by Zagat and one of the ‘Most Powerful Women in Manhattan” according to the New York Post.
As the child of first-generation Italian immigrants, Donatella Arpaia fondly remembers spending summers Italy. These early years had a formative influence on young Arpaia and provided the foundation for her expertise in southern Italian cuisine. After a very brief career as an attorney, Donatella decided she needed to follow her passion and opened her first restaurant Bellini at the age of 26 which celebrated the Italian cuisine of her youth. She then partnered with Chef David Burke. Their instant connection was evident in davidburke and donatella, the duo’s immensely popular eatery. She returned to school, earning Le Grand Diplôme for Classic Culinary Arts at the French Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Academy.
Donatella furthered her expansion by teaming up with then unknown chef Michael Psilakis as they opened a string of highly acclaimed restaurants such as Dona, Anthos, and Kefi in Manhattan as well as EOS and bistro e in Miami. These projects and more have collectively earned substantial praises, such as Michelin Stars, Five Diamond Awards, and James Beard nominations. Donatella is a two-time winner of the New York Food & Wine Festival’s Meatball Madness competition. She beat out major names in the culinary world. Donatella currently sells the same meatballs in frozen form on HSN alongside her signature line of kitchen solutions. She also designed an entire entertaining collection for Frontgate.
A year ago she opened up her first upscale quick service Pizza Conepet Prova Pizzabar in Grand Central Terminal and is about to open her second location in NYC in a few months with plans to expand the concept around the country. Donatella is a mom and wife to renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Allan Stewart.Sunday 02:00 PM Main StageGet passes
DRAKE WHITE & THE BIG FIRE 03:00 PM Live Music
Every reaction begins with a catalyst, some initial event that sets things on their inexorable course. For Drake White, it goes back to something raw and elemental in his debut album Spark. “I learned how to play guitar and keep people’s attention around a fire,” explains the Hokes Bluff, Alabama native. “A spark can start a fire that can keep you alive and sustain you. So this is the beginning for me. This is the first strike of the flint.” The spirit of Spark comes from those simple, early days spent enjoying the outdoors among friends in the warm glow of a fire. And though he’s now a city dweller with all the complications and distractions that entails, White still seeks the freedom and deeper connections he felt when the chorus of nature and the strums of his guitar blended into one harmonious song — the kind of contentment he sings about in the swirling majesty of his single “Livin’ the Dream.”
“We grew up free. We grew up on 4-wheelers, riding through the backwoods,” he says. “We grew up hunting and fishing and being out in the Appalachian Mountains. People don’t understand how beautiful north Alabama is until you see it in person.”
Save for “Livin’ the Dream,” White wrote or co-wrote the remaining 11 tracks on Spark, working with red-hot producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover through the process. He also brought in his own band for a handful of tracks to capture the energy of his live shows.
The first sound on Spark — before the pulse-quickening “Heartbeat” kicks into gear — is the voice of White’s late grandfather speaking from the pulpit. Several of these ghostly transmissions from the past appear on Spark, all extolling the virtues of love, brotherhood and nature. It’s a touch of the surreal that nods at White’s fondness for Pink Floyd’s psychedelic masterpiece The Wall, but also a deeply personal gesture that matches his vision perfectly.
“I went through about five or six sermons of my grandfather and picked out certain little snippets,” he says. “I just think they kind of fit. They’re weird and people are asking what they are. And that was my point: to get people talking about it.”
White has his own message of finding some harmony amid the demands of modern life, one that goes down easy in the uplifting, Zac Brown Band-assisted Southern rock anthem “Back to Free” and the cautionary-but soulful “I Need Real.” It’s a simple message of not letting oneself be swallowed up by technology and seeking out honest, genuine connections with others.
“When I’m at home, my wife and I keep our phones in the bedroom,” says White. “We listen to records. We hardly turn the TV on, unless it’s time for Game of Thrones. Before social networking was a smartphone app, we did it around a fire. That goes way back.”
With his gospel-derived, passionate delivery, White seems to have inherited his grandfather’s ability to touch crowds with a sermon — his divine vocal improvisations at the end of the honky-tonk flavored “Story” will undoubtedly get butts out of seats. White stresses that he isn’t a preacher, but doesn’t see a problem with putting his own methods for surviving the world out there.
“Some of the best songs, like Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” or anything by Bob Marley, have a little bit of preachin’,” he says. “I never want to come across too preachy, but instead I’m saying, ‘Hey man, this is my life, and this is what I do to be happy and I’m figuring it out just like you.’”
Spark covers an entire spectrum of emotions beyond these statements of character and self-definition. In “Making Me Look Good Again,” White cruises on an R&B-style groove to express his gratitude for his better half, while “Waiting on the Whiskey to Work” finds him embodying a man spun out on love and heartbreak. Then in the tropically-themed “Equator,” he flies south to give his nomadic side a little time to play.
“This record is about balance. It’s me asking, where’s that boy I used to be? Oh yeah, we gotta go get him back,” he says. “We gotta go on a hike or camping or grab my wife and go to some foreign country. I gotta feel alive. I gotta go out there and do that.”
Long a respected live entertainer with his (appropriately named) band the Big Fire, White’s climb to the limelight hasn’t been a straight or uncomplicated one. Rather than blowing up right away with a big debut single, he’s toiled on the road for years, giving jaw-dropping performances night after night and making believers one show at a time. “There are many different paths.
“There are many different paths. And mine was just in a van with a trailer,” he says. “I wanted to have a group of guys that went out and did it the hard way and learned from people like Zac Brown and Eric Church, and these guys that did years of hard touring. There were definitely times where I was like, screw this. But now that I look back it’s a perfectly fitted puzzle piece. It gave me everything I desired.”
In the album’s “Elvis,” White touches on the way hard work plays into the business of making dreams come true. “Rome wasn’t built in a day and Elvis wasn’t born the king,” he sings, acknowledging the long incubation period he’s had in the buildup to this moment.
“I’m gonna be an artist ’til the day I die,” he says. “Don’t matter if I make money at it or I don’t. that’s the blessing and the curse. I do this because this is what I am supposed to do. And I feel happy when I’m writing, when I’m helping people and when I’m out there singing and performing.”
And all the while, he’ll be stoking that original fire until it’s a roaring blaze.Sunday 03:00 PM Main StageGet passes
Chef Cooking Demonstration To Be Announced!
JORDAN ANDINO 04:30 PM Cooking Demo
Born in Toronto, Canada, Jordan Andino began his foray into the culinary world at the young age of 9. After moving to Manhattan Beach, CA, he traded his surfboard to work in fine dining kitchens with his father, and later attended Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Andino has gained experience working at acclaimed restaurants including The French Laundry and Jean Georges.
Jordan has rapidly gained clout as one of the freshest, most notable faces in New York City’s culinary world. His hospitality skills have been an integral part of the opening of his Flip Sigi (formerly 2nd City USA) restaurants. Located in both the West Village and Upper East Side, these fast casual Filipino Taquerias resonate his vibrant and vivacious personality via graffiti murals, eclectic music, skateboard-adorned walls, and clean unique flavors. His successes were quickly noticed, leading to countless recognitions, appearances, features, and brand collaborations.
Jordan's dynamic demeanor has caught the attention of numerous networks and icons alike. This fall, he debuted as the host of Food Network/Cooking Channel's new show "Late Nite Eats". In addition to launching a show, Jordan has made chef, contestant, judge, and guest appearances on a variety of popular shows including Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons, Chopped, Rachael Ray, The Today Show, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks In America, Cooks vs. Cons, DIRECTV’s Fantasy Zone, and Recipe for Deception.Saturday 02:00 PM Main StageGet passes
Dinner Service Opens 05:00 PM
Join some of the biggest influencers in Food, Wine, and Music for a post-brunch get-together at CWFF!
Amirah Kassem | Cooking Pavilion 06:00 PM Baking Demo
MOON TAXI 07:00 PM Live Music
"We can come together, we won't give up on the fight," sings Nashville's Moon Taxi on their smash single "Two High," a song that catapulted them to the top of the streaming charts and the forefront of the national stage. Filled with emotive vocals, a percussive beat and some unexpected, infectious horns, it's a track that shows the band – which has been together for over a decade – venturing into more adventuresome territory than ever. Fearlessly melding rock with pop hooks, clever synths and roots touchstones gleaned from their home in Music City, Moon Taxi's forthcoming fifth record and first for RCA will find the five-piece doing what they do best: coming together and fighting for music that triumphs above all.
"Two High," the band's newest single, has been taking Moon Taxi - Trevor Terndrup (vocals, guitarist), Spencer Thomson (lead guitarist and producer), Wes Bailey (keyboardist), Tommy Putnam (bassist) and Tyler Ritter (drummer) – to new heights, topping over 60 million streams on Spotify and making heavy rotation on SiriusXM. Written in response to the push for peace, but not reacting to the politics, of the Women's March this past January, it's a song that encourages listeners to keep looking for a positive way forward – from their own internal battles, to the ones suffered by the world at large.
It's perhaps due to Moon Taxi's inspired, inclusive worldview when it comes to their music that they've been able to have songs featured as the soundtrack to multiple commercial and TV placements - from BMW, Nashville, MLB, NFL to HBO Sports – but it's their infectious live performances that keep fans coming back night after night. Touring for the better part of the decade, they're the kind of band that inspires a loyal following willing to drive miles and miles (or fly many more) to catch them again and again.
"If there's one thing we want when people hear this record or see our shows," says Terndrup, "it's to leave elated."Sunday 07:00 PM Main StageGet passes
LORD HURON 08:15 PM Live Music
Unburdened by contractual obligations and working at their studio and informal clubhouse Whispering Pines in Los Angeles, Lord Huron found the freedom and comfort to pursue their vision without compromise. The result is Vide Noir: a sonically bold, bravely-executed saga that pushes the band's sound in ambitious new directions.
Singer, songwriter and producer Ben Schneider found inspiration wandering restlessly through his adopted
home of Los Angeles at night. His aimless nocturnal journeys ranged all over the city – across the twinkling
grid of the valley; into the creeping shadows of the foothills; through downtown’s neon canyons; way out
to the darksome ocean. The resulting collection of songs feels like an epic odyssey through the city, across
dimensions and out into the cosmos.
Many of Vide Noir’s songs were tested on the road as early as 2016 and honed with a jeweler’s precision
into their final form. Dusty ballads share space on the album with punky rippers, ‘50s sock-hop sways and
ethereal electronic passages. Each entry is a glinting star, and together they form a sonic constellation
examining the search for meaning amidst the cold indifference of the universe.
Vide Noir was mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips/MGMT) and engineered by Sonny DiPerri
(Portugal. The Man, Animal Collective). The album honors the traditions of both rock and folk as it
embraces modern studio techniques. The stylistic experimentation speaks to Lord Huron’s confidence as
storytellers and as craftsmen, armed with a growing array of tools.
Lord Huron’s work always comes richly adorned, and Vide Noir is no exception. The album will be
accompanied by a wealth of imagery, films and immersive experiences crafted to expand upon its
narratives and themes. A true multi-media artist, Schneider has previously used videos, a comic book, a
choose-your-own-adventure hotline and assorted Easter eggs as means of deepening the listener
experience. Fans steely enough to confront the ineffable have already uncovered a few of these
Lord Huron was created by Los Angeles-based Ben Schneider. Born and raised in Michigan, Schneider drew
inspiration from the Great Lakes, which were carved by glaciers 14,000 years ago, and his music stands in
awe and wonder of the natural world.
After writing and recording two independent EPs (Into the Sun and Mighty) on his own, demand grew for
Lord Huron to perform live. Schneider recruited friends Mark Barry (percussion), Miguel Briseño (bass) and
Tom Renaud (guitar). Having first played music together at the tender age of 12, the group reunited and
quickly hit their stride, transforming the project into a full-fledged band. Lord Huron signed with
IAMSOUND, and the label released 2012’s Lonesome Dreams, and Strange Trails in 2015.
Strange Trails included the song, “The Night We Met,” which was featured in the Netflix original series
“13 Reasons Why.” The series and song both became hits, and “The Night We Met” was certified platinum
in January of 2018. This year also marks the beginning of a unique alliance between Whispering Pines and
Republic Records, who will partner in the release of Vide Noir.
Lord Huron has toured extensively in North America and Europe, earning rave reviews and performing for
sold-out crowds at some of the world’s most prestigious venues.Sunday 08:15 PM Main StageGet passes
General Admission Tickets include food, wine tastings, live music, and access to our CWFF Shuttles to/from local hotel and resort destinations. Discounted rates at hotels, resorts, and casinos for your Saturday night stay. Prices increase for General Admission on May 31st.
All-Inclusive VIP Pass includes access to our VIP Village (VIPs Only), special cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, chef and artist meet and greets, access to a designated area to watch live music performances, Open Bar (Select Hours), a CWFF swag bag, and more!