FloydFest Friday afternoon/evenin’

What an amazing event!  This is our first FloydFest and it is just a phenomenally well run event. As it turns out, though, there is a challenge in attending such a large event with so many amazing musicians. You just can’t get to everything you want to!

We tried our best, however, and saw some of our favorites as well as a few new bands that we’re definitely adding to the favorite list.

One of the fun thing about FloydFest is how many “up and comers” there are. We caught a number of bluegrass/fusion bands yesterday including a few Central Virginia bands that we’ve gotten to know (and love) like William Walter & Co., Kings of Belmont, New Monsoon, and the DJ Williams Projekt, who tore up the VIP stage last night.

I’ve really enjoyed looking around the audience at every performance and seeing band members watching other band members. Especially at some of the Folklife Workshop Porch performances, like the one by 84 year old acoustic blues guitarist and singer, Nat Reese, who grew up learning his craft in the coal mines of West Virginia, where we stood with Nate Leath, an amazing bluegrass fiddle talent, as Nat reminded us all to avoid those bad habits.

On the main stage last night we saw Sam Bush, Railroad Earth and the Robert Randolph Family Band, a big highlight of which was Sam Bush joining Robert Randolph. One of the benefits of covering this for the blog is catching some fun backstage conversations. This year’s festival is being MC’d by Sam Cutler, former Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead tour manager. Part of his official duties this year are conducting interviews for a documentary piece Chris Hodges is working on for the Festival. Sam interviewed Sam Bush, trading stories about newgrass “back in the day.” Oh to be a fly on that wall!

The evening ended with a performance by Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (which only consists of the Reverend, his wife, Breezy and drummer brother, Jayme, but makes one of the biggest sounds I’ve seen yet this weekend) which was so good we’re going to catch them again tonight. Their final song culminated in Breezy setting her washbord on fire! We’ll try to get a picture of that!
Today’s schedule is packed: Hot Tuna acoustic, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Larry Keel and Jorma Kaukonen, Yonder Mountain String Band, Taj Mahal, all punctuated by sided stage performances.

We’ll post again later on this afternoon.

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About the Author

Diane Farineau

Diane Farineau, her husband, photographer, Milo and their friend, photographer, Chester Simpson, hatched a brilliant plan last year to write a book about music festivals. Somewhere along the way The Festival Project, as it has now become, turned into a website and a blog and an amazing journey into the world of today's bluegrass and Americana artists and festival scene. When not listening to or writing about music, Diane has a day job as a hospital administrator, is a mom of two musical teenagers, and writes about life's never ending stream of ironies.