And, if you'd managed to stay/survive the day that long, you'd know who that was: Mavis Staples.
But don't worry, we'll get to her. We very, very much promise this.
Highlights, in generally chronological/mnemonic order.
|Hope it wasn't a load-bearing spike!|
We wonder if this gent plucked it from a local track. That would be neat, extra local flavor. Yum.
Speaking of extra flavor, Sunday at the Fest was extra juicy. Or, we should say, wet. The sky threatened 3/4ths of the day, and paid on its promise the other quarter. We caught ourselves stuck under Caitlin Rose's tent for her set. Note: cool big shades and heavy rain right behind her.
|Cool shades, lady. Not quite like Sallie Ford's, but cool enough.|
Here we're going to insert a photo of the crowd... or not. We're going to let you use your imagination, so to speak: umbrellas, ponchos, mud and an unprepared writer carrying a white trash bag full of his unwettables. We're trying to stick to just five photos this time around - almost made it the last couple posts, too.
(The photo we really wanted to take: some dreaded hippie-girl offering "Free Hugs." Yes. We did indulge - just a quick one. Then back to work.)
Which - skipping ahead, brought us to Dawes. We love Dawes. Just a little. We have two distinct memories of them - one of us practicing "Most People" in the car, months ago. And finding the moment at the festival where all that hard work paid off - yes, very singable song.
And number two - feeling a bit sad when we had to walk away and cover (yet) another stage. Alas, we wish we could've stayed there til the end. But we know they're good, we've seen them a few times before, and today was a day for making new memories. Dawes and crew.
|Dawes and crew: always on, always good.|
But that sadness quickly dissipated. Very quickly. When we came to Hozier.
|Hozier. Just fantastic.|
Opening with "Real People Do," he captivated the crowd. Dancers. People standing in the rain. Love and soul and misery. Such as the misery we had when we had to leave this stage (our second favorite of the day). That Soundcloud link we gave above doesn't do justice to his voice, by the way.
And we had to leave, because we couldn't call ourselves an indie music blog without covering Conor Oberst. But, alas, our lingering memory of him was not so much sound as scent: the largest, biggest plumes of, erm, herbal fragrance carried to the stage. There were moments throughout the weekend where we could pick out the scent, but this - this - was OVERWHELMING. People were waiting for this.
|Feelin' all the good vibes. And probably second-hand.|
We need to wrap up quite soon and get to the real part of the day. Y'all know Trampled by Turtles by now, one of the fan favorites in 2011 and '12, and with good cause. They tore some off of their new album Wild Animals (which we promise a review of!), and pulled us right in. These tracks weren't the blisteringly fast bluegrass we've come to know and love the Turtles for, but slower-paced, a bit more emotive, less technical. When "Wait So Long" came on, the crowd went NUTS as expected, as deserved, and it pained us to have to leave mid-song to catch a somewhat stage-shy (or something or other) Jeff Tweedy.
|Trampled? Yes. Turtles? Certainly not.|
And now we can't take it. First admission: this past folk fest was our Birthday Folk Fest! Indeed! And some other lady, something-Staples celebrated her birthday as well. We're not too sure.
(Hers is actually on the tenth, by the way, but who's counting?)
Here's that "other" birthday person:
|Working? On your (belated) birthday??|
But yes! Miss Jones, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Spooner Oldham, even... just about everyone was there (alas, no Rachael Price), and whoever wasn't on stage during her performance showed up to close it out with a Pete Seeger favorite, "We Shall Overcome." The Motown queen brought out the best of the Folk Fest, even brought out the sun, brought back memories (especially during "The Weight") and, of course, forged new ones.
Miss Staples, we tip our hat to you, and wish you many fantastic memories to come. As you said, you've been making them for us for the past sixty-four years. We hope we could give you a couple from our quaint little town.
Thanks for staying around and watching us enjoy ourselves! And if you do catch us somewhere, be sure to say hi (we're pretty congenial)! Catch us next year at the best festival in the states,
-Very sore but happy Mgmt.