Thursday, July 14, 2016

Green River Festival, Saturday: And the Rain

Hello y'all and everyones.
So we're going to continue our Green River Festival review today, a day later than planned, but a day earlier than what was likely going to happen (due to procrastination). Sorry for the delay! When we last encountered our festival-going hero, the clouds were in the sky on a Friday night, threatening the sanctity of a good set of funk. The threat receded, and now we're back to catch a whole new day, a whole new set of photos (all (C) Matthew Keefer) and wholly new acts (to us) such as:

Lula Wiles, way before the rain.

This trio of young ladies, very recently graduated from Berklee, have a debut album out only a couple months ago. As many of you may tell, Lula Wiles are an acoustic string trio, and as you may surmise, they're deeply rooted in the Americana and Country genres. We're going to quickly wish them a fruitful sendoff, to wherever their fiddles may take them.

After these openers on the main stage,we have a quick little anecdote to relate about this guy:

You're still a #1 in our sexy list.
Gent's name is Anthony D'Amato, and he had a little story to relate to the audience (which we shall relate to y'all). Pandora, the internet radio service, has a complex algorithm for judging how to string along related songs - each song is rated 1-5 on different aspects, weird aspects, like vibrato vocals, or tinniness of strings, or what have you. His original (which we cannot recall, sadly) scored a paltry 1 of 5 points on the "sexy" meter, apparently.

Poor guy, but we can see why. He took about 10 minutes longer to tell this story than we did. Still a nice gent, but if he takes 15 minutes to tell a mildly amusing story on our date...

Actually, we fell head over heels for this lady, anyway. She's lovely, comes from a good musical lineage, and quite frankly knocked us off our feet. We're debating whether we should just put up a bunch of photos of her... well, here's one of Amy Helm.

Miss Amy Helm...
This lovely daughter of Levon was fantabulous. Absolutely amazing. We loved her strong vocals, her kinda country-ish twang to rock, her stage presence and... everything. Hers was the first act that really excited us, that got us into dancing mode. We've seen her around in Eastern Mass touring, and somewhat regretted not catching her. Now we definitely regret not catching her earlier.

She signed CDs, but didn't have records, alas... still, we got away with a brick-ton of photos of her. Good ones. We'd post more, but there are other acts to put up for y'all. Just one more, though, of her incredibly talented guitarist Daniel Littleton:



... and one of her Handsome Strangers, Mr. Littleton.
What a shredder. And now, moving on.

The next act on the main stage was an electric indie rock trio by the name of And The Kids. We caught them a little bit. They seemed to still be cutting their teeth on their instruments, to be quite honest, and didn't really get us going. A little too artsy, if you will. But the electric folk duo that came up next, we did like...

Never leave home without your Shovels and Rope.
Shovels and Rope were an incredibly passionate and energetic duo of Carry Hearst and Michael Trent. There were many times at the Newport Folk Festival that they'd performed, and we'd been elsewhere, and this was one of those times we were glad we didn't miss them. The stars finally aligned, we were able to stick around and catch some firey folk, and then...

As usual.
The skies, the skies are falling! It made like it wanted to rain... and then it rained. Of course. And we were ill-equipped for rain weather (tee shirt and shorts). Of course.

But it was still lovely weather for this Texan soul group. Lovely enough to get up and stay up.

We love Suffering in the rain, apparently.
After their group hurrah, the Texans got down to the boogie. Listening to their debut LP right now, we're convinced that you - yes YOU - should catch them live. That debut, as good as the songwriting is, really comes alive in person. There are some bands that rock the studio, some that rock the stage, and even though we like the self-titled debut, this 10-piece big band really knows their live crowds. Absolutely.

We have to give y'all a nice one of lead soul virtuoso Kam Franklin.

There's too much soul in this lady.
We had a tough, tough decision coming up. Being underprepared and overtired, there were three acts we still desperately wanted to catch: Shakey Graves, Sister Sparrow and the always enjoyable Dawes. But that would leave us off at about 11pm three hours from home and totally drenched and cold. So we stuck it out as far as we could - that is, for a few songs off the new Shakey Graves album. If we were that kind of blog, we'd go back and 4-Star the review - the album is a really fantastic example of a grower, easy to pass off, but hard to forget - but it's what we felt at the time. And though those feelings have certainly changed, certainly grown in admiration and appreciation, we could only stick it through about four (amazing) songs into the Graves' set.

Mr. Shakey Graves himself.
We'd met Alejandro Rose-Garcia backstage at Newport in 2014. He's a totally chill, congenial gent and signed our lovely shirt for us. And onstage, we'd forgotten how quirky and animated he could get. Joking with the crowd about lovers, self-lovers, giving off-the-cuff life advice, he's got a good rapport on stage. "They say music should be a solitary pursuit. Write on your own. But I think that's wrong, I think we can't be solitary creatures. The moment I realized that was an important and humbling one." This quote not actually quoted but totally paraphrased, except maybe for the last line.

Mr. Graves was our highlight of the day, except for Ms. Helm, who had a lucky set devoid of rain to boot. His indie rock is a la uber-indie: definitely an acquired taste. But we strongly suggest you check out that review we linked above, check out And the War Came, and then see him live to perform it. He and Helm were worth the price of admission for the day alone.

That's it (for Saturday)! We'll catch y'all tomorrow for the finisher. Thanks for stoppin' by *tilting cowboy hat*
-Mgmt.

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