Friday, September 24, 2010

2010 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Scotty Melton, Annie Robinette, The Drunk Uncles, Carson Peters & the Rockhouse Stringband, Kelley & the Cowboys - these may not be household names yet; but they are truly what makes the 2010 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion special. See, these artists played some of our favorite sets over the weekend and which made it even more worthwhile - they were totally unexpected. These were the first time we heard of - let alone seen these artists. The Drunk Uncles got us grooving with some nice Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout and singable country tunes - particularly those from Bob Marley.Carson Peters made me a bit home sick, but this 5-year old is amazing on the fiddle. And Scotty Melton - what a songwriter - have to find a way to get his material - and not just those covered by Justin Townes Earle.

Over the weekend we were also able to catch up with two acts that we met at Floydfest and two acts who participated in MyJoogTV. While driving down, we listened to an EP from Big Daddy Love and they are close to becoming our new favorite act. Interesting songwriting, smooth vocals, and jammin' musicians - what more do you need. And their friends at Possum Jenkins can also put on a great show - more Americana in style - but equally as entertaining.  Then there's Cadillac Sky and Holy Ghost Tent Revival. What more can we say about them, particularly since they stepped up for Episode 1 and Episode 2 of MyJoogTV. Cadillac Sky's performance at the Piedmont stage was the best set I've ever seen them and for HGTR - if you missed the Dance Tent - you missed a raucous crowd, a proposal, and a typical HGTR show: high energy, great music, and loads of entertainment.

It seemed Friday night revolved around the two sets from The Infamous Stringdusters. And why not - each of these guys could front their won band - but together - they could be the most entertaining bluegrass band around. And they were playing in two completely different settings - the subdued but acoustic Paramount Theater and the rowdy Piedmont stage. It sort of reminded me of seeing them at a sit down show at Jammin Java and then a stand up show at Iota. Give me the rowdy - particularly if The New Familiars are involved.See you at The Festy.

Saturday night was a real treat with The Gibson Brothers, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Cadillac Sky, The Felice Brothers, Drive-By Truckers, and Unknown Hinson.  What a lineup. The Gibson Brothers are true professional - I could listen to them all night long. The Felice Brothers were energetic despite returning from Europe in the previous 24 hours prior to their set. The DbT proved that they are a real rock-n-roll band - they have that aura that says - we are the real deal. And Unknown Hinson - enough said - we appreciate the promoters for getting him on board.

There were also other excellent acts we witnessed over the weekend. Blues were well represented with
Phil Wiggins & Rick Franklin and M.S.G.-The Acoustic Blues Trio. The Carolina Chocolate Drops put on a great set at the State Street stage Sunday afternoon - what an entertaining and talented trio; can't wait for their Birchmere show. We also caught a few songs from   The Steel Wheels, William Walter & Co., and Yarn. Wouldn't be a festival without seeing at least a few numbers from these bands.

The one downside, besides missing other artists because of scheduling conflicts, the sound on Friday night. Big Daddy Love fought through terrible sound engineering - always pushing the engineer for the proper configuration. Sometimes the banjo was too low; other times too loud - the same with most of the other instruments. And on the Piedmont Stage, unless you were right night to the stage, forget about hearing Todd Snider's vocals clearly. And that's a huge issue, since his attraction, his primarily the songwriting. If you can't understand the words - why listen? Fortunately these issues were fixed the following day.

Despite this one complaint - what a great festival. Already looking forward to next year.....


marketing said...

Thank you all for attending BRRR, it sounded like you had a great time! We appreciate the great comments about our bands and our event. As we say here in the south--'Preciate cha!

Charlene Baker,
BRRR Marketing

Anonymous said...

So glad you enjoyed your time with us in Bristol and we are so appreciative of the feedback on our event and the music! We hope you'll be back next year!
Charlene Baker
BRRR Marketing