Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My New England Americana Fest - Day 3 (finally)

It is hard to believe that its almost the end, but still there is a full day left of the festival to enjoy. I kick my day off at the Brattle stage. 

Michelle Lewis is joined by fiddler extraordinaire Eva Walsh, and guitarist (who’s name I am totally blanking on right now) but he kicked ass. Lewis is a very positive light within the cavern of sad songs about love lost, murder ballad, sad folk we call Americana. Her disposition matches the beautiful day we have kicking off (the gal even brought homemade mini apple pies for her guests). A beautiful voice, wonderful songs, and a really amazing person to boot!

Brandon Mastrangelo was over at the Park stage so I ran over to listen to a few of his jams. Usually I am used to the rocking sounds of his band Larcenist, so it was really cool to catch his stripped down and raw in an acoustic setting. Really awesome voice and songs.

Danielle Miraglia just has something about her man. She just exudes badassery. She kicks ass at guitar, has an amazing voice, and a giant kick box thing that makes boomy percussive noises. The whole set up and execution is just awesome. She is totally into the music and its completely sincere. All I can say is I loved shooting a bunch of pics during her set because of how “into it” she gets and because I got to hear her incredible tunes...oh yeah, and Laurence f'ing Scudder was playing viola with her...hell yes.

I stuck around to watch Sarah Blacker kick off a few songs at Brattle and like the veteran that she is, she had the audience in the palm of her hand within the first verse. Her backing band was tight, the sun was shining, and it was a great few tunes I got to catch before I noticed my stomach start grumbling. 

I grabbed me a veggie burger and fries at Tasty burger then headed across the way to watch Dave Gallagher band. As if Gallagher’s souful voice and incredible guitar playing isn’t enough he also has a RIDICULOUSLY talented backing band. The band was in tip top shape, playing a slew of really excellent tunes to an attentive audience. Awesome stuff!

Ian Fitzgerald and Courtney Gallagher…my favorite set of the entire weekend and that’s all I have to say about that.

Mark Whitaker plays the banjo unlike any other banjo player in the history of banjo playing. He is ridiculous. Plus he writes great songs, has a super smooth and pleasant voice, and plays with insanely talented people like Eva Walsh on Fiddle, Forrest O’ Connor on Mandolin, and Gian Pangaro on upright. A friggin + all day long!

GGG rocked n rolled. People danced, it was grand.


Brendan Hogan was the final performer of the festival. As a guy who has paid his dues on the Boston scene it was fitting to have him close out the festival. Him and the band were excellent, but what struck me the most was their poise and grace. A homeless, rather inebriated gentleman was trying to “be in the band” and Brendan and the boys didn’t miss a beat. The true mark of a seasoned veteran and being able to play under any pressure.

Til next year…

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