Friday, August 3, 2012

Floydfest XI - The Confluence of Music and Mountains

Another Floydfest, another short storm, and another long weekend of inspiring music and stories. I was hesitant planning a trip to the Blue Ridge this year, but the Friday night headliners of The Drive-By Truckers and Leftover Salmon were more than enough inducement to plan a road trip. And neither disappointed with the Truckers playing many old favorites - even when sometimes it seems recollection of the lyrics were a bit difficult.  But it didn't matter. Their sound was spot on, they looked relaxed and having fun - and we have Patterson Hood's solo CD Coming soon. Also seen on Friday were the rock n' roll of American Aquarium and Ha Ha Tonka as well as the folk music of Molasses Creek - a group that we saw many of their members the previous week in Ocracoke.

Saturday was geared towards Scott Miller, the former V-Roys leader who has returned to the Commonwealth in order to spead the word of Virginia's greatness - and to run the family farm near Stanton. I love Miller's songwriting, music, humor, mojo, etc - so I made sure I was present for his early start on the Virginia Folklife Stage and in the Pink Floyd Beer Garden. It references an extremely sullen moment, but "Appalachian Refugee" is a must listen. Sandwiched between Miller at both stages were Doug & Telisha Williams, Justin Jones, Morwenna Lasko & Jay Pun, and Chris Thile. Add in Danny Knicely, Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band, David Wax Museum, and Hoots & Hellmouth and its no wonder I never made it to the Dreaming Creek Main Stage all day. Why couldn't I hang for Anders Osborne?

The same held true on Sunday. The culprit was Darrell Scott who was performing at the Virginia Folklife Stage and then the Hill Holler Stage a little later. Also at these stages were Ricky Scaggs (with and without the Kentucky Thunder) and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Add in Glory on the Floor and Yarn in the beer garden and I never ventured to half the grounds all day. Getting back to Scott, he was as weary as us having just arrived from a flight from Scotland. Pretty relevant since his music resonates with the Scots-Irish traditions of the Appalachians. At the folklife stage he described his songwriter process in terms of "Double-Headed Eagle" and "East of Gary". Later we heard these songs and many more on the Hill Holler - showing why A Crooked Road is a must purchase with songs like "A Father's Song", "Long Wide Open Road", and the title track.

Ricky Scaggs was even more moving on the Folklife porch describing his days with Ralph Stanley, meeting Bill Monroe, and the life and times of PeeWee - his historic mandolin once owned by "PeeWee" Lambert of Stanley Brothers fame. Scaggs also talked about how relevant bluegrass music is today, and used Barry Gibbs of the BeeGees as an example. Gibbs appeared with him last weekend in Nashville at the Opry and Ryman and Scaggs is recording one of Gibbs songs on his upcoming CD.

Awesome weekend. Already thinking about next year. Here's Darrell Scott performing "Double-Headed Eagle".

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