Friday, October 11, 2013

My New England Americana Fest: Day "3"...daytime

Well, last I left you I was sitting at Passim watching mando maestro Jimmy Ryan and Hayride playing a fierce set on Friday night…Day “3” starts early in Harvard Square outside, setting up stages, moving stuff around and trying to make this festival feel…festive?

Setting up the Brattle stage with a less than sufficient PA may have seen it challenges, but the fest got
kicked off in a timely manner with Nate Leavitt playing his excellent, emotion drive tunes for a slowly forming crowd. The gal with the kitty hat from the night before even made an appearance. I swear she was all over the place this weekend. He had Dan Nicklin sitting in with him on vocals and some harp, and some handsome mandolin player was sitting in with him too…

Jenee Halstead was up next at Brattle. I won’t go into detail, because quite frankly, I don’t need to. If you know Jenee and have seen her perform, you just know. This gal has got it all. She is always incredible and absolutely wonderful to hear sing. Jenee simply exudes beauty in her performances. Go see her right away if you have never been to a show.

I ran myself to the Winthrop stage because I just HAD to catch some of Fiddlin’ Quinn…and man the fest table for a bit. The crowd was growing quick to see this little guy belting out tunes and setting his fiddle on fire. Such a treat to see this guy, can’t wait to see him grow up and what he accomplishes in his music career.

I think Sonny Jim found his new home at Goorin Brothers hat shop. The place just fit him to a T. Sonny loves hats, they have hats, Sonny loves snazzy old time dressing, they are all about that, Sonny plays awesome delta blues inspired music, they have a little stage he can do that on. A beautiful day, the sun shinin’ through the front shop window and really just making this a magical set by my friend. The hat shop folks were slinging drinks for the good patrons, the music was great, and the atmosphere was simply perfect.

North of Nashville…yeah. I would have to say that these guys were likely the talk of the festival. Other musicians loved them, I love them, my MOM loved them (she bought two of their CDs and has apparently been playing them over and over again). Energy, energy, energy. Seriously, Andrew and Jay, where the hell do you guys get these energy reserves? Ridiculous showing by these guys. They just rock. 

Cold Chocolate was up next over at the Brattle Stage and I was not going to miss them. Bluegrass, soul, funk, rock n’roll all rolled into one tight package. Ethan Robbins has this awesome, awesome voice that just sits so well within the instrumentation…plus he picks like a mother f….. Drummer Ariel Bernstein even fastened a box to his leg in lieu of a drum kit, and it sound friggin fantastic. Rounded out by James McIver on the banjo and Kirsten Lamb on the upright made this one of my favorite sets of the entire weekend.

Having to break down the Brattle stage was a bit of a pain, but it was done. I was able to catch a song or  two of Brian Mckenzie before packing it in for Passim…Always a pleasure to see him. Great guy and great songwriter.

(sorry for the lack of decent photos from the daytime was in the car all day)

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