Good! You’ve decided to go to Leeway’s Home Grown Music Network 20th Anniversary party in Mebane NC. You know you’re going to have a fabulous time. And, because there are only two stages, side by side, you don’t have to miss a single note.
That’s the ideal world. Let’s talk about reality. At some point, you might want to head back to the campsite for a quick nap, or more beverages, or a little somthin’-somethin’. Just sayin’. With that in mind, here are five bands you should seriously consider NOT missing.
URBAN SOIL — Thursday, Main Stage, 6:40 PM
Raleigh-based Urban Soil purports to be “homegrown sweet American jam.” That much is accurate. What they aren’t telling you is that this band can rock you up one side and down the other. Their Big WHAT? set was riveting, the music swirling around the fine vocals of Sarah Reinke. Leader Eric Chesson is a fine guitar player and nice vocalist to boot. MusicFestNews did a feature on them in July, which you can read here.
IMPERIAL BLEND — Thursday, Side Stage, 8:00 PM
Imperial Blend is a jamtronic quartet from Greensboro that grabs your attention immediately. They deliver their vision of electronic rock via guitar, bass, keyboards, synths and drums with flair and enthusiasm. They just wrapped up a big summer at Mantrabash. And these boys are really starting to come into their own. They perform right after Urban Soil.
FAT CHEEK KAT — Thursday, Side Stage, 11:00 PM
Another great North Carolina band, Fat Cheek Kat brings their Winston-Salem funk for your approval. Like Urban Soil and Imperial Blend, they smoked it at The Big WHAT? It was a non-stop dance party, with Court Wynter blowing it up on bass and Michael Kinchen huge on the organ. Also, for fun, there’s that acronym. Just be ready to boogie. Maybe even “Jungle Boogie!”
DANGERMUFFIN — Friday, Side Stage, 5:15 PM
You will swear when you hear Dangermuffin that there must be at least five guys on stage. Somehow, there are only three. It’s not that it is loud; it’s not. It is that the sound is so wonderfully full. This South Carolina trio plays American roots rock, but, as usual, that barely begins to describe the depth and breadth of their material. A Friday highlight for certain.
MOSES GUEST — Saturday, Main Stage, 1:30 PM
In statistics, there is an animal referred to as a lurking variable. The lurking variable of the entire weekend is Moses Guest. Sadly, many may not know about this remarkable band or their superb albums, including the brilliant 2002 self-titled double album, Guest Motel (2004) and 2007’s Best Laid Plans, their last release. The Houston quartet, led by Graham Guest, blends “Southern, jam, jazz, funk, and soul” into a delicious musical stew. Don’t even think of sleeping late Saturday! You’ll have a “Boogie Heartache!”
And read about all the bands at the festival in this Tie Your Shoes Reviews article!