As an ancient and integral part of the culture of Appalachia, I have a feeling songs perpetually echo across the mountains of West Virginia; but from August 2-6 a symphony rang through them from Camp George Washington Carver where over 3,500 voices and thousands more strings lilted over Clifftop during the 17th annual Appalachian String Festival.
You may have heard already, or maybe you sensed it someplace inside your bones. Tom Waits is touring. This rare treat began down south on August 1st and gallops toward the mid west while I write this. The tour, only eight performances, is promoting Waits' yet to be released three disc set called, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.
Last year after Horning's Hideout was closed to all but one concert a year, and the NWWR moved to a new setting on a large farm 5 miles from Woodburn, OR. Not too far from Eugene or Portland, the NWWR had all the potential of being a great small festival. Big name acts like Anthony B., KRS-ONE, Barrington Levy, Junior Reid, as well as local favorites Luminous Fog, and Bay area favorites Luna Angel and Wisdom.
"There's a garish, yellow thing in the sky we've never seen here at Floydfest before," remarked guitarist and vocalist Jeb Puryear of Floydfest veterans, Donna the Buffalo. "I think we'll call it the sun." This year, among several additions to Floyd, VA's near perfect annual music festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains, was agreeable weather. Though the sky remained cloudy for most of the weekend and spilled a slight, ten-minute rain in remembrance of last year's downpour, festival goers celebrated the fifth anniversary of Floydfest with kites, sunglasses and closed um
The annual Fingerlakes Grassroots Festival held in Trumansburg, NY just north of Ithaca was an all-you-can-eat buffet of sounds, sights, and activities. True to the nature of a buffet, if a concert goer tried to take in everything; including over 60 bands (and several collaborations between them), the various activities, dance troupes, and food they would surely make themselves sick and very very exhausted.