Tuesday, August 12, 2008

floydfest 2008...the music

Floydfest is another one of those festivals that I'm not familiar with most of the music presented, and I like it! The staff at Floydfest obviously search far and wide for their lineup....there's a wealth of musical talent in the hills of Virginia so there are many local artists presented, plus their search takes them around the country and to many parts of the globe as well. I like it...>g<

The first band that I heard as a matter of fact I wasn't aware of...Junior League. They may have come from the Washington D.C. area, but I can't be sure. I do know that I was very impressed with their originality and presentation of their music. The band's music is highlighted by the sweet vocals of Lissy Rosemont.



Following the Junior League was the Chatham County Line, who I have been familiar with for a couple or few years now. They hail from North Carolina and are a tight mostly traditional bluegrass band who does all original material. I saw them the weekend before at Greyfox and I hope to see them many times in the future. They are booked by the lovely Holly Baranski Lohman, who is both a customer and a friend of mine...she told me that the band is very popular in the Netherlands! I also really got a charge out of a Workshop Porch set by some "Crooked Road All-Stars", musicians who live and play on the Crooked Road that winds through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. I didn't know any of the musicians, but they sure were good! Another fine young group was Oneside, from the Boston area, who dubs themselves a "rock band with a banjo".

A very good hot young bluegrass band is the Farewell Drifters. I had seen them in Florida at the Suwannee Springfest and was duly impressed by them again. I love their stage presence, also...



the everybodyfields are from Johnson City, Tn. Sweet, sweet music! I didn't know what "genre" folks would catagorize them in, until I heard the term "alt-country", and because of this I still don't know...I do know, though, that they played quite a few wonderful waltzs and that I found just the right partner for this, so I very much enjoyed their set!



There was such hot music in the Dance Tent! Rev Peyton's Big Damn Band, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, 3 Minute Lovin', and even Crooked Still had the place hoppin'! One curiosity though that always gets me wonderin' is when I come to the Dance Stage and find that most of the floor is covered by folks sitting in lawn chairs! Huh? It takes lots of cajoling at times to get folks to realize just exactly what a "Dance Stage" means...>g<

And of course there were some "usual suspects" on the Floydfest lineup. Railroad Earth is always fun; I'm always glad to see them on a festival lineup. The David Grisman Quintet is of course a treat. The weekend before at Greyfox I saw David with his bluegrass band...the man is amazing. I do miss Joe Craven in the quintet, but am really liking the guitar work of Frank Vignola, who is a really fine addition. Michael Cleveland & Flamekeper is another band that I got to see two weekends in a row and that's a good thing! Super bluegrass band....

My two favorites obviously fall into that "usual suspect" catagory. The first being Tony Trischka...I have been a fan of Tony's since the mid-70s, when I first saw him with his band "Skyline". He is of course a master musician, and his latest project is the Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular and it is every bit of spectacular! A couple of years ago I found that Tony is also a fine person and that's always a good thing to find out...I will have to tell that story someday.



And my favorite band was one that I hadn't heard before, but I knew they'd be my favorite going in! I have been a big fan of Crooked Still since they burst onto the festival scene, and although I knew that they had changed band personnel I was aware of the new members so I looked forward to the new lineup with much anticipation...and they delivered! Tristan Clarridge on cello and Brittney Haas on 5 string fiddle were hotter than hot. Add this to the banjo of Greg Lizt, the solid bass played by Corey Dimario, and the angelic singing of Aoife O'Donovan and this is a band that I like! Aoife is a sweetie and a friend and I taught her how to two-step at Merlefest last spring...did I mention she sings like an angel? >g<



On The Workshop Porch



And last but certainly not least is my good friend, John McBroom. His band is called "Blue Mule", and they play a mix of bluegrass, newgrass, jazz, rock and blues. John is a musician and a father and a teacher among other notable traits, and he's the kind of fellow that you admire more and more as you get to know him. I am proud to call him my friend.....




There was sooo much more! Floydfest music includes bluegrass, newgrass, mountain and folk, blues, rock, rockabilly, jazz, Latin and other world grooves. There was much music that I didn't get to check out, but it sure was fun listening to friends rave about what I missed! Eclectic is an appropo word to describe this festival...classy and hip-happenin' would be a couple of others. This festival has come onto its own, and has to take a backseat to no festival that I've ever been to. It's in a beautiful setting and the staff has turned the venue into a treat for all of the senses. There are numerous varieties of food and craft vendors, all of high-quality. I am very proud to be a part of this...

And I still don't get the Avett Brothers, or Donna the Buffalo, for that matter....

Peace, David

3 comments:

TrevorLee said...

great article!

Anita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita said...

Hey Dave. . . Just a quick note to say thank you again for everything at Floydfest. Didn't realize you were friends with John of Blue Mule. Blue Mule is the group I was up visiting. I have uploaded a video to YouTube of Blue Mule from their Sat morning show. Keep dancin my friend! Hugs from North Carolina. . . Anita

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkVjATsMZbM