Funky good time at Guitarfish Festival

Katdelic | Ashleigh Castro

The funky, eclectic music festival in Cisco Grove is promising what looks to be one of the best lineups to date. There’s lots of funk, reggae and powerhouse blues. Brent Dana co-founder of the festival has partnered up with long-time Joshua Tree Music Festival founder Barnett English and the partnership is flourishing. This year’s, the seventh, is clearly Lucky 7. English and Dana have added daily yoga classes and a healing oasis that includes15 healers and various modalities.

July 27-30
Cisco Grove Campground & RV Park

The fabulous Midwest band the Main Squeeze is set to bring its funky fun with a soulful blend of hip-hop and rock to the main stage. Pamela Parker is a rock ‘n’ roll powerhouse and performs two sets during the festival with the Fantastic Machine. Funk, rock and electronic artists will get the audience fired up and dancing.

“It’s eclectic funky with a message. It fuses funk and rock with dance floor-oriented music that morphs lots.” – Ron Spearman

Vieux Farka Touré from Mali has been referred to as the “The Hendrix of the Sahara.” He brings his stellar guitar playing and world sound to the festival along with songs from his new album entitled “Samba.” The French-speaking artist and his band mates take the audience on an afro-electric funktastic voyage.

Eclectic funk from Katdelic


The San Francisco band members of Katdelic are Guitarfish veterans. They bring a uniquely electronic funk sound to the event. Ron Spearman, aka RonKat, is the lead singer who plays guitar and keyboard and brings raw funk to the stage. The seven-piece band includes two bass players, one drummer and two guitar players. Rounding out the band is Lesley Grant vocalist, keyboard player and DJ.

“Hate Got To Move” from Katdelic

Spearman performed for 10 years with George Clinton’s P-Funk All Stars. He’s a Grammy-winning songwriter and has worked with diverse musicians throughout his career. Katdelic is set to release a new single in August entitled, “Stay on the Up n’ Up.” The band is working on a new album, as well.

RonKat describes their sound: “It’s eclectic funky with a message. It fuses funk and rock with dance floor-oriented music that morphs lots. With the music, we feel and touch our senses and touch everybody else’s senses. We want people to have a good time on the dance floor.”

The Michigan born RonKat grew up surrounded by music.

“My dad used to take me to the clubs to listen to music when I was 8 or 9 years old. The people in the club would mock my dad and he’d say, ‘Let him sit in and play.’ I would play with hard-core jazz musicians,” he says.

His lessons evolved from there. “I went on to learn from the P-Funk University of funk,” he says.

For RonKat, it’s all about touching people, lifting them up, making them smile and connecting through their music. Katdelic hits the main stage with special guest guitarist Sasha Brown, formerly of Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, on July 29 at 8 p.m. Get ready to boogie.

See-I brings potent positivity


See-I turns up the reggae beats. Their sound melds funk, house, dancehall, hip-hop, rock and reggae-soul to deliver a potent high-energy dance party. Founded by Washington, D.C., brothers Arthur “Rootz” Steele and Archie “Zeebo” Steele, who toured and performed for more than15 years as front men for Thievery Corporation, See-I is Rootz and Zeebo’s project.

“Haterz” from See-I

“We have fun playing music,” says Zeebo, who adds that the band name came from a dream he had. “We were trying to figure out a name for the band. See-I was a play on first person present. As a black youth growing up, I wanted people to see me for who I am, not a color, but a person. The name is about the essence of who we all are and the natural way of seeing people. We need to get passed the labels. Get to know me.”

His philosophical approach to life is part of the band’s music. He brings the deeper part of himself to his performances.

“The essence of who we are is way bigger than we know,” he says.

See-I

The band writes the lyrics and music. According to Zeebo, he approaches the writing process in many different ways, but much of it is freestyle and organic: “I do something in a live show and most of the time a new song comes from something I was doing at the time. It’s like a thread that starts to unwind.”

Zeebo makes a promise for Guitarfish: “If I don’t leave positive energy then I didn’t do what I came to do — I’ve got a surprise.”

Mostly Zeebo wants the audience to laugh, dance and, in the end, experience a positive vibe. See-I hits the stage on July 30 at 6 p.m.

Guitarfish Music Festival is filled to the brim with excellent music. If there is one festival to get to, it’s this one. There will be high energy, lots of talent and more music to shake your booty to. The Guitarfish slogan this year is: Dance, Rejuvenate, Rinse, Repeat.

For more information or for tickets, visit guitarfishfestival.com.

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Priya Hutner
Priya Hutner is a writer, personal chef and meditation teacher. She writes feature articles about music, art, food and recreation. Priya loves to immerse in story. Whether jumping from a plane, eating obscure foods or hitting the Tahoe-Reno music scene, she is always up for adventure and experience. Having moved to the mountains from Sebastian, Fla., she embraces the Tahoe lifestyle and loves to ski, hike, paddle and swim. Priya is the owner of the Seasoned Sage, a business that prepares organic meals and facilitates workshops that promote a health-conscious lifestyle. She is currently writing a memoir about her experience living on an ashram and working on a series of cookbooks. | priya@tahoethisweek.com