Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Festy Experience

We've been fans of The Infamous Stringdusters for a number of years now, ever since they played a show in our town. Not only are they very talented musicians, but their stage presence exudes a feeling, that, hey, it would be fun to hang out with these guys. And we finally got that chance at The Festy Experience, held at the Devil's Backbone Brewing Company fairgrounds October 9th & 10th. This festival was the fruition of two years of planning by the band, bringing together all the best they had witnessed at other festivals. And this was truly an Experience, not just a festival incorporating the usual suspects of camping, music, and beer. Oh yea, those those three were included as well as a 5k race and bike challenge for the athletically inclined; college and pro football in the DBBC's restaurant for football fans; jam sessions and workshops for musicians; activities for youngsters for those not afraid to attend with children; and easy access to tour wineries and other breweries in Nelson County for. You can read about our visits to the surrounding wineries at the WineCompass Blog.

More importantly, The Stringdusters were able to formulate a lineup that was outstanding; bringing together an amazing array of musicians they have had the privilege to encounter and befriend during their career. And this wasn't just a bluegrass festival - the only true bluegrass bands were Crooked Still and Town Mountain, although some may include Old School Freight Train, The Tony Rice Unit, and Larry Keel & Natural Bridge into that category. But there was also the rock band Pantherburn, alt-county Yarn, Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri, Josh Ritter and the Love Canon String Band, Toubab Krewe, Railroad Earth - and much more. See my point.  And let's not forget Sarah Siskind. Yes she was maritally obligated to perform; but she played two nice sets accompanied by Travis Book with guitarist Andy Falco joining in for the second. And as soon as the sun went down, the fire's erupted - not only from the main bonfire - but from Trees On Fire as well.

The artists didn't want to miss out on a good festival either. Some acts that weren't scheduled to play until Sunday, rolling in Saturday. And some scheduled for Saturday stuck around Sunday. I saw Yarn frontman Blake Christiana the entire festival and members of Railroad Earth loitered around Sunday morning instead of bolting after their Saturday night stint. And the Stringdusters were everywhere; sitting in the crowd while watching other artists on the Southern stage; providing music workshops; in the DBDC catching football scores; biking; camping - even filming an episode of MyJoogTV with DBBC brewer Jason Oliver. Thanks Travis and Sarah. That should be an interesting episode considering the brewery crafts several award winning beers - and since their inception two years ago - is the state's most awarded brewery.

Each year we religiously attend several core festivals: Merlefest, Floydfest, and the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. The Festy is now a member of that list. The location and Experience make this a festival worth repeating. And for those who failed to get the message beforehand and missed this year, we will be posting one video from each performance at

1 comment:

Jeffrey Socha said...

Todd It was great meeting you at The Festy. Great article and pics