The Upful LIFE Podcast – Ep.071: PAUL LEVINE [10th Hulaween, Bear Creek, SOSMP] + Remembering James Casey + BGetz Hula23 Picks



A very special guest many moons in the making, please welcome dear friend and fearless leader PAUL LEVINE of Hulaween, Purple Hat Productions, co-founder of Bear Creek and Purple Hatters Ball, Suwannee Resonate, and all-around ambassador of Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. Paul is a major force of nature in our little sliver of the musical universe, responsible for so many epic endeavors over the years. On the occasion of the 10th Hulaween, Paul the Wolf finally slides through the pod to discuss the joys, journey, success, teammates, peaks, valleys, tragedy, community, and the Spirit of Suwannee dream. After our conversation, BG runs thru the Hula 2023 schedule and gives you a handful of can’t miss picks.

Episode 071 begins with your host’s lengthy, personal eulogy/tribute to the late, great James Casey, who passed away August 28th at the age of 40 from colorectal cancer.

  • 3:30 – a word from our sponsor iamavl
  • 6:30 – The Upful Update
  • 11:15 – Remembering JAMES CASEY
  • 28:15 – introducing Paul Levine & a love letter to Spirit of Suwannee
  • 39:45 – interview w/ PAUL LEVINE (73 mins)
  • 1:52:45 – B.Getz’s Hulaween 2023 Picks
  • 2:17:45 – Vibe Junkie JAM

James Casey was a longtime saxophonist/vocalist with Trey Anastasio Band, he logged time with Lettuce before that, founded hybrid electronic squad Animus Rexx, performed in various ensembles with The Nth Power, and sat in with countless bands and artists across genre and geography. A certified musical genius, he was a personal friend to me and so many others in the jam diaspora. Offstage, James Casey was somebody I admired for the way he moved through life: determined, ambitious, graceful, loving. From when we met in 2011 til our last interaction, he was always very kind to me. I wanted to say a few words about the man while the wound is still fresh. Rest easy, James Casey.

Paul Levine interview: After recognizing the ingenuity, resiliency, and longevity of HULA, naturally Paul and BG hop in the wayback machine for treasured memories of Bear Creek, the long-defunct, bitter-cold, beloved funk olympics hosted in those same spiritualized woods on the banks of the Suwannee River. From there, we love on Lettuce for a good long while, as Levine was instrumental in the band’s SE regional come-up, Bear Creek was LETT HQ for seven glorious years, and he remains a major ally and asset to the squad. Paul offers poignant recollections of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman, revisits Purple Hatters Ball, talks Mama Margie, plus music and community as medicine in the wake of tragedy and grief.

Thank you Paul, for EVERYTHING.


Vibe Junkie JAM

Scott T – ‘Get Back (to the River)’

Scott T workshop on the history

of the Spirit of Suwannee (Hula 21)

James Casey – Music As Medicine (mini-doc)

Hurricane Idalia Fundraiser for Sonny Perez at SOSMP

ECHT! Live mini-set 2023



Listen on Spotify

Theme Song: “Mazel Tov”– CALVIN VALENTINE