Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion - Another Successful Musical Experience

A week has already past since attending the 2014 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and I've been humming new songs I've heard the entire time. Bristol hosts one cool festival, with venues hosting music in both Virginia and Tennessee along State Street. We started the festival at O' Mainnin's for a quick Wolf Hills Brewing Company, after a 5+ hour drive, with The Whiskey Incident onstage. My Dad wanted to check out The Lonetones so we headed to Borderline Billiards and that was a good call. Good songwriting, nice array of instruments - including a cello, and another Wolf Hills. I very good start to the festival. Afterwards we hurried to the The Paramount Center for the Arts  for Willie Watson of Old Crow Medicine Show and found a very packed theater. Only the last rooms in the back. And Watson delivered with the old timers act playing some old public domain songs as well as a couple originals.  Watson also played a set afterwards at the 620 State stage to an even larger crowd. He is quite the popular act. After a quick bite it was time for Emmylou Harris and this was the largest crowd I've seen for any artist at this event. After a couple songs in the way back we too a side street for a spot adjacent to the stage that provided obscured views, but a good listen. And she was the ultimate Emmylou - graceful - but with a powerful backing band. Despite the great sound we left a tad early for the highlight of the night: Sturgill Simpson. His last two releases High Top Mountain and Metamodern Sounds In Country Music found a permanent residence on my phone. And Simpson showed why he's a rising star - great voice, songwriting, and backing band. Once again, the highlight of the evening and perhaps the festival.

Saturday started with Fiddlin Carson Peters, a master fiddler and showman at ten years old. Keep an eye on that kid. This was followed by a new tradition, a Starr Hill Brewing Grateful Pale Ale at the Piedmont stage - this day listening to Virginia based Bryan Elijah Smith and the roots rocking Wild Heart Revival band.  The band was incredible and I look forward to listening to their new release These American Hearts. Holy Ghost Tent Revival followed on the same stage and rocked the festival playing their new release, Right State of Mind, as well as a very cool cover of Joplin's Piece of My Heart.  Lunchtime brought us to Quaker Steak & Lube and hometown girl The Annie Robinette Band, but I snuck out to see Alligator recording artist Jarekus Singleton. This was the find of the festival - funky blues, classic blues guitar, and a great backing band. His Refuse to Lose is on my playlist right now. My Father, being on a Shel Silverstein kick, recommended The Giving Tree Band, and what a recommendation. This Illinois band is talented - check out their gospel finale. We saw two of their sets - great compositions and musicianship. Eventually it was time again for another set by Sturgill Simpson followed by another new treat, St. Paul and The Broken Bones. Motown soul meets Muscle Shoals; this is one entertaining bunch. Saturday's finale was the legendary Ray Wylie Hubbard and he played his top arsenal Snake Farm, Mother's Blues, Redneck Mothers, Choctaw Bingo - among others. What a night.

Holy Ghost Tent Revival had recommended Oregon's The Quiet Life, so Sunday started off again at the Piedmont stage with another Grateful Pale Ale and more good music.  This is a band to put on your radar. With football Sunday we staked out barstools at the State Line Bar & Grille and listened to Todd Day Wait's Pigpen a three piece folk band from New Orleans. Good enough to purchase their CD. Next up was Arkansas native Adam Faucett who has it all, a mesmerizing voice, plays a good guitar, and nice songwriting. Look at Gypsy Sally's in November. We had to depart his set early for Shaver, Sunday's headliner and my favorite Texas outlaw artist. He's up there, only sings, but his voice remains true. I Want to Live Forever. After autographs, we were able to hit the tail end of Dale Watson and his Lone Star show. A classic. The festival finished where it all started, O' Mainnin's,with King Super and the Excellents singing Del Shannon. Pretty cool. Another great festival.

Photos are available at the MyJoog Facebook page and videos on the MyJoogTV YouTube channel. Cheers.

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