Suwannee Roots Revival, the wonderful new fest ready to make its mark this weekend at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak FL, is a star-studded gala of folk, roots, bluegrass, newgrass, and Americana musicians from all over the country (October 13-16).
You’ve already seen the list of headliners, including Peter Rowan, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, Blueground Undergrass, The Wood Brothers, Sam Bush and Jim Lauderdale. But there are 30 more musicians and groups playing as well. You cannot see everybody (although you can try), but here are suggestions for six you should check out.
NIKKI TALLEY & JASON SHARP
Friday 11 AM-12 Amphitheatre
Saturday 10-11 AM Music Hall
Saturday 3-3:30 Porch
Nikki Talley and husband Jason Sharp have a real magnetism when they perform. At Springfest we wrote:
For the third song, she said, “This is a gospel song. Well, a spiritual song. I like to sing it in bars. It makes sinners’ skin crawl!” The humor melted in the face of a wonderful take on “Wade In the Water.” WOW. They also played “Travelin’ On,” an autobiographical tune about their decision to go on the road four years ago: “Life’s too short not to do what you love.”
COL. BRUCE & MADRID EXPRESS
Friday 6:30-7:30 Amphitheatre
Saturday 10-11:15 Dance
Sunday 4:30-5:30 Amphitheatre (with The Rev. & Friends)
The “granddaddy of us all” (so says John Bell of Widespread Panic), Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) is a great songwriter, player and entertainer, and he always surrounds himself with an excellent band. He covers great artists (Sun Ra, Les McCann, Bukka White) and creates great images of his own (“Basically Frightened,” “Dead Presidents”).
JON STICKLEY TRIO
Saturday 5-6 Amphitheatre
Saturday 11:45-1 AM Dance
Here is what we wrote at Suwannee Springfest:
The Jon Stickley Trio. See, right there, we’ve got a problem. It says trio, but there had to be, like, five or six people on stage, right? Except I kept counting. Kept getting three. Holy WOW! Stickley is a beast on guitar. And Lyndsay Pruett? Believe the hype. But drummer Patrick Armitage. Oh, Patrick Armitage! He was beyond brilliant. He could turn awesome songs into outrageous funk or rocking prog. It was truly amazing to hear how the three meshed and funked and rocked and… Just WOW. And a second dose would be on tap Friday!
GRANDPA’S COUGH MEDICINE
Thursday 5:10-6:00 Amphitheatre
Friday 4:30-5 Porch
Saturday 5:30-6:30 Music Hall
What do you get when you put together three championship pickers with decidedly and delightfully demented viewpoints? You get Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, the superb trio from Jacksonville who recently made the move to Asheville. Brett Bass, Banjo Boy Coker and Jon Murphy have been amazing audiences with wild stories and stunning musicianship.
Saturday 11:30 AM-12:30 Dance
The Honeys are always a delight. They list their genre as “we will let you know when we figure it out…” Accurate, because they play folk, bluegrass, Americana and much more, with spoken word woven in.
THE APPLEBUTTER EXPRESS
Thursday 11 PM-12 Dance
Friday 1:30-2 Porch
Friday 4-5 Music Hall
Do not let appearances fool you. Just because Shannon and Kyle Biss look like clean-cut cuties, don’t for a minute think that they won’t knock your socks off with rollicking tales such as “Shit Ain’t Illegal If You Don’t Get Caught” and “Handguns and Hammocks.” You’ll have a smile on your face the entire time, and Joe Trivette (violin) will blow your mind.