Devon Gilfilian was booked for the 2021 Bonnaroo Festival and talked with Brad and Barry from The What Podcast in May of that year. He is on the 2023 lineup. Listen to Devon talk about finding his love for a variety of music from his wedding singer dad during this High Five Clip from that 2021 interview. We also discuss the New Orleans Jazz Fest lineup and announce our Bonnaroo 2023 ticket giveaway. You can check out our complete interview with Devon Gilfillian here.
You can listen to the episode now or watch the full conversation on YouTube. Make sure to keep up with the podcast that covers the entire festival season by liking, reviewing, and following wherever you get your podcasts.
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Welcome into another high five on the What Podcast, Barry Courter, Lord Taco. I'm Brad. Nice to see you guys again. How are things? Everything's great here. Yeah. I mean, it's a haircut day. I see haircut day. Got a lot of them cut. Happened in your sleep, obviously? You know, it's funny. I say don't cut it too short. Every time I do, that's when it cuts. But you know what? It grows back. Yeah. So I'm not going to complain about it. I'm very excited today. We're going to do a high five. We'll get some news to get through. And also a little bit of an announcement later on in the show today. But first I wanted to start, you guys don't know this guy, but I and I don't know how many people listen that would know. But one of the greats in my industry died over the weekend. And in honor of him, I've worn my WXRT shirt from Chicago. One of the great radio stations in this country is WXRT in Chicago. And a guy that was basically the heartbeat of that radio station, Lynn Bremer, passed away from a battle with cancer over the weekend. Really one of the great storytellers, one of the great music guys that you'll ever hear on the radio. So for all those who might be listening in around Chicago or ever experienced WXRT, one of the greatest stations you'll ever listen to in your life. If you ever want to get a class on how to do this, listen to WXRT on your Google box. So yeah, so yeah, there you go. In honor of Lynn, the WXRT shirt. So the little bit of news that happened over the weekend too was, or since we last chatted, was Jazz Fest. Now as a former New Orleanian, and I think that I will always be a New Orleanian, the Jazz Fest lineup seemed, at least to me, a tad underwhelming. Barry Courter, how'd you take it? What'd you think? First of all, I gotta ask, do you count yourself as a Chattanoogan as well? Do you brag on that up there in the big city? I mean, I've taken the usher approach to Chattanooga that I will, as soon as they give me a street, I'm back. Best thing to come out of there is I-75, right? No, I mean, but I think of Chattanooga as much as I think of Richmond. Richmond being the place that I grew up in DC and then Chattanooga for 20 years, but you know, nothing has caught my heart and mind like New Orleans. Nothing got me as much as New Orleans did. All right, back to your question. I'm looking at the lineup. I like it a whole lot. I like it way more than you do, I think, but these are all people that I want to see. Many of them I have seen, which is an interesting question, you know, bucket list versus seen them many times, but I like this lineup pretty much from top to bottom. I could be entertained throughout. So first off, I know that it's been brought up, but boy, they really do pull out all the stops with that poster design. They talk about a graphic design course 101. Boy, that poster stinks. Jesus. You know, it is what it is. God love them. The problem that I have with the lineup is, it's just not a problem. I mean, Jazz Fest is great. I feel as though there have been Jazz Fest lineups in the past that feel so much more umph. You know, you had years where the Who are playing. Yeah, and Van Morrison. Yeah, that's what I mean. You had bucket list acts, acts that you're never going to see anywhere else. And I think you pointed out off the air that a lot of these acts you can see pretty much on the regular down there. So the thing about the Jazz Fest line is like after the top three lines, everybody is pretty much playing every week. Like those last 10 lines of Jazz Fest and the 20 lines of Jazz Fest. Those are mostly locals. And it's great for people who love the culture and love New Orleans music. But if you're going down there for the Who or one of the big shows, I don't know if this is going to do it for you. Look, I like it. Don't get me wrong. I like it a lot. I am a huge Her fan. I love the revivalists. There are so many local artists that I adore. Nicholas Payton is one of the great artists on this planet. I'll see Robert Randolph any day, anytime. Duran Jones doing a solo show. John Boutte, one of the great voices in all of New Orleans. Lost by You Ramblers. Hotty Brass Band. Like there's so much there that if you love this culture and love, you know, the the sound of New Orleans, it's fantastic for you. I don't know if I really want to see Steve Miller though, you know, I don't know if I really care about Santana at this point in my life. You and I have had that. You've got to, I don't know what's going on there. Santana is one of the greats. Why would you not want to see Santana? I just, I can't. I don't know. We've had this. I'll agree. So I'm looking at it a little differently. I'm not looking at the poster. I'm looking at a lineup list. And so I'm looking at 24 acts. Dead and Company, Lumineers, Tedeschi, Allison Krauss, Buddy Guy, Guy Clark Jr., Mumford, Robert Plant, Leon Bridges, Kane Brown. Chattanoogan by the way. Kane Brown, Chattanoogan, Melissa Atherage, and Los Lobos have all been to Chattanooga. So to your point, I've seen them. Lizzo, could have met her with you, my bad. John Batiste, I know I screwed up. Steve Miller. And by the way, have we ever told that story of like Barry, I don't know, Taco, do you remember when I brought Lizzo to town and like Barry was two blocks away and he's like, nah, I'm just gonna hang out here. No, no, no, that wasn't it. A coworker of mine messed me up. Yeah, we won't go into that person, but her issues cost me an interview or meeting with Lizzo and I'm still not over it. Yeah, it was not on purpose. It was not me blowing it off. Okay. So you're telling me Ed Sheeran's not one of those bucket list items for you? No, no. So I'm just saying those are the people that I've seen. So the rest of them, and here's my question, because we talk about legacy acts at Bonnaroo, they've got Tom Jones, Kenny Loggins, I'll never forgive him for the whole Caddyshack song, Herbie Hancock, which was the Legend Act last year, right? I mean, the Legacy Act. And I mean, look, the thing that the about Jazz Fest was always there was there was always a few names on there that I'm wowed. I mean, something that they got that nobody else got and it felt so massive. And especially for an independent organization like the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Foundation, where they can, you know, do and book a festival that's over, you know, 10 days by themselves. The only wow that I got here is Wu Tang. I mean, Wu Tang being on this lineup is the only one that I'm like, Oh, my God, that is massive for a guy that I hate to give you too much information here, wearing Wu Tang underwear right now. Too, way too much. I, that's the one that got me like, Oh, my God. See, Tom Jones, you know, it's not, I don't know what the show's going to be like, is it Lionel Richie? But I'd love to be able to say I've seen Tom Jones. I mean, man, and the Hey, Taco, by the way, we really hit those younger demos when dad starts talking about Tom Jones. I was getting ready to say when I was a kid in the 70s, you know, all my kids, all my friends mother were huge. It was Elvis and Tom Jones. I can't talk. Do you want to talk? Do you want to go to mom and find some Tom Jones moms? Yes. Because no. You know, he did that. Grandmoms. He did that Prince song, man. The kids probably are digging that. Oh, wow. He knows how to connect people. He knows how to connect. Well, I thought the same about Lionel Richie. That's my point. That's exactly what I thought when they booked Lionel Richie and people are still talking about it. So I was wrong. But no, I get your point. Angelique Kijo. Huge, huge fan. That's one of those, you know, you don't get to see maybe but once or twice in your life. To me, it's a good lineup. I get your point. It is definitely a lineup full of people that I have seen. Yeah. Well, the other thing too, like Jazz Fest is another one of these that is just so experiential that if it's not about the lineup, right, it's about the culture and everything happens around it. The fact that, you know, you leave the grounds and you go get gumbo. That to me is the point. The fact that I moved to New Orleans to live in the same neighborhood as Jazz Fest and yet never actually went to a Jazz Fest still really irritates me, to be honest with you. I mean, I literally was there. It was my backyard. I live two blocks away from Jazz Fest entrance and never got one. I never got one. True. The amount of time that I would just sit around, you know, and thinking to myself, you know, and I'd be sitting there having gumbo. I could die. Can't wait to do this after Jazz Fest one night. I can't wait to be in this space and have all the no never got there. You know, I will. We'll be back soon enough. All right. Anything else on Jazz Fest you want to get to? Oh, your boy of M. DuMokhtar is there, by the way. Yeah, I saw that earlier. Yeah, we never did get to talk to him. That gummit. There is nothing. Look, now that I'm talking about this, it is it is built for the day, getting there at noon and staying there until seven o'clock and seeing, you know, nonstop, incredible artists from New Orleans and then leaving when the headliner gets on. That's sort of the way that it's the at least the locals do it. If you're coming from out of town, you come to see, you know, Santana and Lizzo. It's just a different way of doing it. And I think that I'm just I think that I was more bummed out about how bad the poster was. It just sort of took me completely out of the conversation. I was like, oh, yeah, see, isn't that funny? Yeah, I know. I know. It's funny how the beer tastes different with a funny label on it. Right. You know, it's yeah. And depending on who recommended it and where you are and all that kind of. Yeah, it's interesting. But I think you just described a good day for me there. I could get there at noon, stay till however and and be happy all day long with whoever's playing. You would love it. I mean, it's a fantastic experience. I want to I mean, I want to be there right now. I'm going to be there in three weeks. I'll just stay for Jazz Fest, I guess. Well, they've had lineups before where it was really top heavy, like with the Who. Yeah, that's right. Van Morrison that I wanted to see them and no one else really made me feel like what am I going to do the rest of the day? Yeah, this is kind of the opposite, I guess. Well, yeah, what do you do with the rest of the day as you go discover, you know, yeah, you go discover Nicholas Payton. You know, like Jazz Fest is one of those things where on a normal night, I'd walk down Frenchman. And that's where I found Andrew Duhan and Nicholas Payton. And then, you know, this is now taking it off the streets and putting it on to the festival grounds. And, you know, you don't have to walk up and down Frenchman to find it. I'm sorry, I'm just now seeing the poster. That's really bad. It's terrible. It's terrible. That's that looks like some high school kids first draft. Yeah, mom's first graphic design project. Yeah, I know. Now I'm going to figure out how to change the font. And then if you go on the website, they've broken it down, which you know, which weekend is which. So the first weekend is Ed Sheeran, Lizzo, Robert Plant, Jill Scott for your top heavy and your boy of Kenny Loggins. And my people of Wu Tang, the second weekend is when you get Dead and Company, Mumford, Lumineers, Santana. Talk about knowing your audience on that second weekend. I mean, you couldn't find, you know, bands that more more tied to each other than Lumineers, Mumford and Son, Dead and Company. Yeah, that is and we didn't really talk about that either. But the whole two weekend thing, as a fan, I don't know, how does anybody make that work unless you, you know, you're local? That's a long slog unless you drive back or something. Well, yeah, and it's both for locals, right? I mean, that's the kind of thing that's both if you go to all nine days, eight days, it's you know, you're going for like, a few hours and then coming home. And frankly, you know, I know people that show up just to eat the food and leave, right? Because the crawfish bread or the crawfish mac and cheese, you know, are so incredible that they just go to have lunch and leave, you know. What is it? Yeah, once a year, you get this once a year. All right. Let's take a break. We'll come right back with our high five of this week and a little bit more. 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If any of these topics pique your interest, subscribe to Alien Theorists Theorizing free anywhere you find podcasts or go to alientheorists.com. So we have again for the I feel like 10th year in a row, we have tickets to give away. Now, to be fair, they are not, you know, where we camp wherever that might be. They are general admission tickets and they are general mission camping tickets that you can very easily upgrade if you want. But this is your ticket into the festival and into the campgrounds that we'll have more information on in the coming weeks. But mark it on your calendars. Lurtaka, we've got tickets for Bonnaroo coming up very soon. Yep. Okay. Thanks. Appreciate that. He's a wordsmith. Yes, he nails it every time. So this week's high five, Barry, tell me about who we're talking to this week and what memory we're reliving today. We've got Devin Gafillion, who you brought to us and turned us on to and I just I told you the other day, I've got a man crush on that guy. I love his music. But he was so nice. And we had so much fun talking to him. I mean, it was it was one of those where you say hello and it's like you've been friends forever. And I also loved his story. And I think this clip you asked him to tell us a little bit about himself and he mentioned that he had gone to school, was going to be a psychology major, I think, if I remember right. But decided he liked singing more and was either going to move to Nashville or New Orleans or one other place, Austin maybe, and ended up in Nashville. But the best part and the part about this clip that I love is he talks about his dad who is a wedding singer, which is where he learned, you know, his love of so many different genres. And it tells a pretty funny story about also where he learned the electric slide. Well, pretty, that's what it pretty much you learn, you know, he loved watching his dad learn, you know, the hits of the day. So you guys make fun of me. So I can only imagine, you know, him watching his dad learn Michael Jackson or Nelly or, you know, whatever. So pretty funny stuff. And the real point is he was on that 2021 lineup, and which never happened. And he is on this year's lineup. And do I remind me if you remember, but did he talk about that being his first Bonnaroo or has he played before? I don't necessarily remember. Okay. And he was going to play Thursday. It would have been his first. Okay. Is he on Thursday this year? What's he on this year? No, he's on Saturday. Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, Thursday, he was, you know, going to be the unknown. And now he's on Saturday and he's middle lineup, I want to say fourth line, maybe, maybe a little bit further down. That'd be an early afternoon show, either way. Yeah. All right, let's do it. And he's a, for me, he's a great, he's a don't miss. Well, he's also got some of the best hair in the business. So, that's all. Well, that's usually our go-to conversation. Yeah. Well, if you remember, he was spot on in his comments. So I'll just leave it there. All right, let's do it. It's another high five on the What Podcast. Thanks to the Xfinity 10G network, my little brother's friends won't leave our house. When I was their age, internet with basically no interruptions was a pipe dream. You sound like my grandpa. You know, I love Devin so much and I would say this even if he wasn't a part of the show. I am so excited about his show. I'm so excited about him hitting the bottom line up. I love the fact that he's sort of like the show for Thursday for me. But I want to start, if you don't mind Devin, for the people that don't know who you are. Yes. Can you just give me the ABC of what, who, why Devin is Devin? So yeah, ABC. Let's go. I love, you know, I'm a product of so many things. Rhythm and blues, rock and roll, psychedelic rock, soul, folk, gospel. But you know, I would say my two North stars are Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix. And you know, I want to tell the world the way that they did and do it in 2021. You know, and you know, I'm from outside of Philly, born in a little small town in Morton, Pennsylvania. We're up playing music up, you know, just kind of like dilly dallying with some bands here and there. And my dad's a music, a wedding singer. So, you know, yeah, yeah, he's, he's the one who got me into it. You know, there it is. I was gonna ask. Yeah. There had to be a wedding. What a perfect, I mean, you're going to hear all kinds of stuff from a wedding singer, right? Oh man. He was, I remember watching my dad learn Nelly, it's getting hot in here. Like when that came out and that was the goofiest, funniest thing I've ever seen to watch him watch him rap that I'm doing this for the white women. Was it cringe worthy kind of funny for you? I mean, oh, it was cringe. Oh, cringy cringe funny. Like it was, it was the most cringe worthy funny, but, but, but also, you know, he also was singing earth, wind and fire, Stevie wonder and Ray Charles and you know, all the Michael Jackson and, and you know, all those cats and the jet, like all those, you know, are Marvin and the temptations, all the Motown stuff. So that, that's all the soul I got it from, from pops, from Nelson. So Lord taco and Barry know this well about me. Uh, but you know, if, if not for, you know, 60 soul, I don't know if I'm the person that I am. Uh, if not for Sil Johnson and Otis Redding and Otis clay, I'm not the person I am, but to me, the one that doesn't get any of the credit is, um, the king of Philly soul, Mr. Solomon Burke. And one of the greatest shows I've ever seen at Bonnaroo was one of the final shows that Solomon Burke ever had. I mean, it was one of these moments where I looked around and Devon, there might've been, I don't know, 85 people there. Nobody knew what Solomon Burke was. And they didn't know what in the world was, was happening on stage. But, uh, when I think, when I think of you, I think of the king of Philly soul, Mr. Solomon Burke. So I'm glad that you rattled off all of the people that, that's what we're essentially the same person, I think is what I'm trying to say. You and Ray might be the same person. No, yeah. No, you're my brother from another mother. Come on. Yeah. How did, how did they get, I'm sorry to interrupt, but how did you get from Philly to Nashville? How did that story come about? Well, you know, I was going to school for psychology actually in Westchester, Pennsylvania. And then I was like, nah, I don't want to be a therapist. It's not, that's not what I want to do. So I applied to programs in the AmeriCorps, which is kind of like the Peace Corps, but you, you work for a nonprofit that's based in the United States. You can go anywhere in the U S. So I chose, I applied to Nashville, New Orleans and Austin and got, got accepted to the program in Nashville. You're telling me New Orleans, we missed you by this much? We missed you by this much. This much, man, this much. I would love to kick it around NOLA, but, but, you know, Nashville, I'm really glad that I got, I got, basically Nashville chose me, you know, in a way. And if it hadn't, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. So it's crazy. I love the, the, I was going to go back to the Hendrix and Marvin Gaye, cause there, I mean, I heard another band earlier this week, the, the, their three main influences were basically Hendrix and Marvin, Soul and Miles Davis. Wow. And I mean, right. I mean, if you, if you're gonna go with three bases, that's pretty good mix right there. And that's going to make a nice gumbo right there. That's I'll tell you that from anything. Yeah. He is really, really killing my New Orleans thing. Isn't it? Driving that harder and harder. Isn't it? Throw some, throw some Cajun spice on, and that one right there, you know, but no, I mean, Jimmy Marvin and Miles, goodness. Yeah. That's it right. The Holy Trinity. You're doing it again. The New Orleans funds just can't stop.