And suddenly it’s a week away…
Anyone who has met me in person knows that I talk incessantly about this festival. It’s pretty much the perfect festival for me. I mean, sure I ‘complain’ that the coffee place won’t open until 11 am or some ridiculous time, but the truth is that I have my own coffee connections thanks to Rayn and Susan and also, I’m pretty darned resourceful when it comes to the drugs needed to make the experience.
And of course I ‘complain’ about the sun and the heat and the humidity, but I have friends who will have staked out a place in the shade in the beer garden and I will go there to collapse (and drink a delicious local beer, perhaps) and recuperate (and still listen to the music). Also, I will have my annual chance to see fireflies (which were called lightning bugs as a kid growing up in PA); they’re not something that I get to experience in my SF life.
I don’t know how it’s suddenly a week away. I feel like I just bought my plane tickets. I feel like I’m not ready but Spike has sitters and what do I really need besides our tickets (in email) and a valid form of ID to board the plane and some ear protection? Mags will make it super simple for me, as always, by having our palatial albeit a bit dilapidated tent and an EZ-Up and chairs and sheets and pillows and all those things. My thermarest decided to live in Gaithersburg, MD (thanks Doll!) so I will reunite with it there. So I’m ready, I guess, besides work deadlines (always — have you met me?).
So today I finally start to look at the final line-up and the schedule and I was like wha?! What craziness is this…
Friday, we have:
- The Hollering Pines — I’ve been wanting to see this band since the last time they played at RWR (2 years ago?).
- Charley Crockett — My first introduction to him was also at RWR, but I’ve seen him since and he is impressive. If you haven’t checked him out yet, you really should!
- Mandolin Orange — Also a RWR find from my first year at RWR. This band may have saved my life the first year because I *was* that guy that first year, but I have learned my lesson (sort of…). They are awesome, if you haven’t listened to ‘Waltz About Whiskey’, you should!
- The Judy Chops — A local VA band that I’ve been introduced to via RWR; they’re always fun and do some interesting covers, though in the moment, I can’t think of any specific other than I know they covered a Doors song (which one — I couldn’t tell you; only that I liked it which basically covers every Doors song ever)
- The Lil Smokies — They’ve played RWR in the past, but I don’t believe I’ve managed to see them. I look forward to seeing them this year.
- The Wood Brothers — Anyone who knows me knows how much I love The Wood Brothers. This is AWESOME. Downside is that Larry Keel is playing at the same time and I think that he’s someone that I’m ‘supposed to’ see, but never do…
Saturday, we have:
- Locust Honey — I’m pretty sure they were at RWRII and I’m pretty sure that I liked them
- Jordan Tice — He will be a nice way to get the day started
- Lula Wiles — Highly recommended by my co-Americanafest attendee, Andrea, I’m looking forward to this one!
- Della Mae — I know I’ve seen them before and I know I liked them but I’m not sure where. Maybe The Chapel; maybe they were the band that made me realize that high-waisted jeans were coming back oh-so-many years ago. Maybe at a festival on the East Coast. Maybe seeing them at RWRVII will help me remember…
- The Steel Wheels — The local VA band that puts this festival together. This is a highlight for me EVERY year.
- Lucinda Williams — It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her in anything other than a song circle. I’m looking forward to seeing her again after all these years.
Sunday, we have:
- The Gospel Set — This is a perfect way to start off Sunday and I always look forward to this — The Steel Wheels, joined by various friends
- Dead Horses — One of the few bands that I discovered elsewhere…. they opened for Elephant Revival in SF years ago and I’ve seen them numerous times since then. They always satisfy and are really nice people!
- Birds of Chicago — I cannot recommend this band enough! Seriously!!! They are unbelievable and I *cannot* wait to see them again, especially since I’m gonna have to miss them when they are in the Bay Area next as I have a prior obligation/engagement. Thank you KC Turner for this introduction! Also, could not be nicer people!
- Lindsay Lou — Another RWR introduction. The first year she played, I didn’t see her set, but she got up and sang ‘Morning Time’ with Ben Morrison/The Brothers Comatose and she did an excellent job. Since then, I’ve seen her perform at RWR with the Flatbellies and in Nashville at Americanafest with a different band. I like her!
- The Tribute Set — Though this isn’t actually the end of the festival, this is always a nice way to bring things together at the end. Last year, the tribute was Tom Petty and it was the best since Guy Clark (which brought me to tears — what a loss and I’m so grateful for EVERY time that I saw him at HSB and in other venues). I had a very ‘you never know what someone else is going through’ moment with another woman during this set and it made me emotional for months after when I tried to talk about it.
That segues into my usual ‘support live music!’ rant; it really does make a difference in the lives of so many people. It has given me hope and I genuinely believe that it saved my life! If it didn’t save it, it made it worth living!
It’s gonna be so much goodness! I’m even trying to talk my parents into coming… and this doesn’t even cover all new music that I’m going to be introduced to this year! Oh my!