Square dancing is not just for the elementary school gym. In a pasture on a moonlit night, it can be quite a party. Clogging is a lot like tap dancing. I had no idea. There should be more of both of these in our lives. More group dancing in general. Something about it is so different from what we do at concerts. Requiring partners and following patterns – it’s all very 19th century but it’s also incredibly entertaining. Especially considering the fact that there’s a caller, so you never really need to know what you are doing because they let you know at the critical moment.
Kris Delmhorst has a clumsy name, and her music is anything but. She played four different times, but always with Mark Erelli, quite a talent in his own right, though not serving as much more than her wingman for this festival. (He did a kickass “Thunder Road,” and reminds me of J.P. Shuster.) Why do female singer/songwriters tend to perform in duos, always a token guy to their right on an electric guitar, providing the kind of ambient noise that relieves the pressure of having to carry a stage all by yourself? KD surely doesn’t need it. Neither does Patty Griffin, who does the same. I wish we could hear more song and less filler from these obviously very skilled women.
Lets find out more about The Avett Brothers. Sort of Jack White, sort of Two Gallants, all very interesting. Rambunctious, country, grunge. Also, The Everybodyfields, touring with them, incredibly tight harmonies, look out for these folk as well. There’s this thing happening all over the place where bluegrass has become hip, hipsters are bearded old-timers, and banjos are sexy. People say it’s a “punk aesthetic” but I’m not so sure, because I think it’s a progressive kind of nostalgia for something way before punk ever existed. Listened to Langhorne Slim on the drive back to Seattle; these are all sort of in the same category, though I think LS is a cut above. Man, he’s got a great record. I wish he’d come to Seattle.
A general idea of the demographic, based on the t-shirts of the attendees: Phil Lesh & Friends, Lucinda Williams, The Birchmere, La Pura Vida, Martin Guitars.