Wood Belly took the stage and rang out traditional tunes but in a very clear and precise way. What an opening act, huge props. Chain Station followed with a high-energy american roots riffs under cooler cloudy conditions. Two for two on the day! The Lonesome Days returned ( 2017 appearance ) to the stage adding Eve Panning on fiddle for this tour. Their set however was really slow and sleepy. Maybe others enjoyed but not for me. I happily socialized that set away. No Disrespect Lonesome Days
Now, Rapidgrass on the other hand, Sh*t Fire!! Top Shelf!! Them boys ran a full gamut with their eclectic mix of gypsy, classic bluegrass, swing, pop and world rhythms. They absolutely stole the show on Friday. The evening was capped off by top artist collaborating an impromptu jam with spontaneous remixed cover tunes. On paper, looked pretty damn righteous. In reality, it was one of a kind but not mind melting.
|I was upset to see this outdoor TV, duh, Game 6 was the program of choice|
Saturday the 15th opened the festival grounds with Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs. They were entertaining with their original sound but I will have to admit I was distracted by familiar faces that I hadn't crossed paths with in many moons. That is exactly why I so enjoy musical festivals. I love catching up with others. Meantime, Meadow Mountain poured onto the stage and commanded attention. A fantastic set and more on them later in the evening. Chatham Country Line was the only band wearing suits AND proper cowboy hats. They were a bit slower and softer but I gave them props for the rich attire. Then, seatbelt please, Jon Stickley Trio blew apart the sound system.
John Stickley Trio is a genre defying and cinematic instrumental trio, which combines Stickley's innovative flat picking guitar with the sultry spacey melodies of Lyndsay Pruett on violin along with classically trained and heavily jazz-influenced drummer Hunter Deacon to create textural soundscapes. And just because, ripped off a phenomenal Bela Fleck and the Flectones Encore. Are U Flippin Joking
After the story telling set from the sister led folk band Rising Appalachia, back to the campgrounds we roamed. We meander from camp to camp and even had the chance to lounge out in a beautifully hung climbers net about 6 to 8 feet above ground. Thats when this situation turned priceless. Around a campfire stood members from Meadow Mountain, LiL Smokies, And Wood Belly. One banjo, one upright bass, three blazing mandolins, and between 4 & 5 guitars belted out hits, covers, and amazing circle jams. Exchanging names or numbers weren't on the program. Only toe tapping, shuffle style dancing, and fist bumping were the movements by us witnesses.
You know you had a weekend well spent when you smell like a campfire, kind of lightly layered in salty sweat thats crusted to your skin, your super tired but you a bit amped up on a bunch of energy. When I feel like that, I know it was one of the best weekends of the year. Some of those interactions from the weekend were shared with friends, new friendships being created, and defiantly while receiving/giving hugs to well respected old timers. For me, it doesn't matter where you grew up, it's the common denominator of musical language that bonded the friendship during this festival. I Am Smiling From Ear To Ear
Quick 2:40 video for ya, worth the watch. Plus, MRP was a huge sponsor for our Enduro Race and the cinematic photography was shot right here in the high desert around Grand Valley. And to you daughters that lack a father figure in your life, might not wanna watch this one.
Dream Big & Think Of Others First,