Monday, October 25, 2010

MagnoliaFest 2010 Report


Black Betty and I grooved our way through another great Magfest at the Spirit of the Suwannee music park this weekend. Perfect weather, a full moon, and a kick-ass music line up all came together to create one special and unforgettable Magfest.

Thursday night alone was worth the trip just to see the energetic and exhilarating performances by Cornmeal and Railroad Earth. We were psyched up to see both groups, listening to RRE's new CD and the Internet archive's Cornmeal show from Springfest on the drive down from North Carolina. Yes, Allie Kral and Tim Carbone joined each other on stage during the Cornmeal show (as predicted by festivarian, Melanie) and duelled with their deadly fiddles to the delight of the crowd. 


Once again, Jim Lauderdale and Donna The Buffalo rocked Mag like they were on fire! There is nothing like dancing to Donna while Uncle Jim sings his heart out. And what about Dave McCracken on keys? Wow! Like I said on my SpringFest report, this guy fuels the jam.

Of course, we're big Keel fans around the Hometown homestead and I must say that Keller and the Keels had a huge show Saturday night playing most of the songs from their new CD Thief  and a few from their older Grass. They were definitely a crowd favorite. There was an odd moment when Peter Rowan joined them on stage and appeared to have forgotten how to play his guitar!


7 Walkers, the super group featuring Papa Mali and Bill Kreutzmann was everything that I thought it would be, jammy New Orleans meets Grateful Dead meets Magfest. It was my first time seeing Papa Mali live, and I can tell you, he sure can play one mean guitar. They played a few old Dead songs (including "Sugaree") and some new Robert Hunter-penned 7 Walker songs. What can I say? We loved it and can't wait until the CD  is released.

Magfest Vibes:
  • We managed to miss several bands that we wanted to see, bummer! You just can't see them all.
  • Mike and Ruthy were better than ever with their Folk City Band. We love their new CD.
  • The Turtle Duhks always steal the show, how can you not love Leonard and Lydia?
  • Bobby Miller and The Virginia Dare Devils, 18 South, Sloppy Joe, Peter Rowan, and Sam Bush played their hearts out for us. We loved them all!
  • Jeff and Johnny Mosier were hot, hot, hot! The Rev laid his "ole love" on us--may we all find that love!  Talk about karma, their new CD arrived in time to be released at MagFest! David Blackmon on fiddle..... man!
  • I didn't remember Wet Willie being as funky and soulful as they are. I actually expected to be disappointed by them; instead, I was pleasantly impressed! Steamy stuff!
  • Joe Craven inspired us with his talk of enlightenment, growth, change, and courage. This guy is the true Renaissance man.
  • As always the camping was sweet; Gnometown was our oasis.
  • It was wonderful to see the old friends who could attend and it was sad that several were unable to make it.
  • The apple crisp at Sweet Revenge was as good as ever. I ate it all weekend.
  • If you ever get a chance, be sure to hop aboard the Hopryland bus!
  • There was talk of this being the last MagnoliaFest. Founders Beth and Randy Judy are not producing the 2011 Suwannee Springfest in March. I'm not in the loop, so we'll have to see what happens.
  • There seems to be too much momentum here to let it end here!
Mike and Ruthy

David Blackmon and Jeff Mosier

Larry Keel, Keller, Peter Rowan

    Jeb Puryear and Jim Lauderdale

                                                                  Turtle Duhks

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Jim Lauderdale and Town Mountain @ The Grey Eagle

We were lucky enough to get to see two of our favorite acts at the Grey Eagle last night in Asheville. Jim Lauderdale (Mr. Americana Music himself) opened the show with a solo set.  Next, Asheville's own Town Mountain followed with a blistering bluegrass set for the rowdy and appreciative hometown crowd.  And finally, Jim and Town Mountain then joined forces for a third set.  It was another magical night of live music at its finest in Asheville.  Who wouldn't want to live in western North Carolina?

Speaking of Town Mountain, I understand that they are currently wrapping up a new CD.  I can't help thinking of  CD cover art with a photo of the band loitering around a sidewalk in downtown Asheville, wearing cowboy hats, jeans, and boots.  The title I'm thinking of is "Workingman's Grass".  Does that not describe perfectly what Town Mountain is about?  Bluegrass for the working man, bluegrass for the masses! Their current album is Heroes and Heretics, one of the best bluegrass recordings out there. 
Check 'em out, it's bluegrass that everyone can love!  Town Mountain
Tell me what you think.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Greensky Bluegrass plays Asheville, NC

Greensky Bluegrass finally made their jammy way back to Asheville on September 24th. They were playing a rather strange venue, the Mellow Mushroom, but it seemed to work for the sizable and raucous crowd of eager supporters who turned out for the show.

As always, the Kalamazoo, Michigan based Greensky Bluegrass delivered the finest in contemporary Americana jamgrass. They certainly perform some of the most exciting and innovative live music that you will see today. If you don't own any of their music, you are really missing out. Do yourself a favor and check 'em out.

Greensky Bluegrass is Dave Bruzza/guitar&vocals  Anders Beck/dobro  MikeDevol/bass  Mike Bont/banjo  Paul Hoffman/mandolin&vocals