Our society has developed a Chicken Little mentality that leaves lots of folks either glued to their cell phone or computer while waiting for a miracle or cringing that the good old days are gone. Well, there is a flipside to all that known as The Festy Experience which took place over the weekend of October 9th through October 12th. Taking place on the grounds of the world-renowned beer aficionados at the Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Roseland, Virginia; for four days The Festy put to rest all the negative and redundant hype the news can shovel at us.
This years’ headliners being The lnfamous Stringdusters, The Anders Osborne Band, The Steep Canyon Rangers and Keller Williams with More than a Little; you could bounce from stages offering bluegrass, funk, and the blues. Whether you like songs with energetic, concise, pitch-perfect vocals and instrumentals or straight jams where the music plays the band, the artists that were handpicked by the Stringdusters had everyone in attendance back in their comfort zone and far, far away from any Chicken Little thoughts.
The Stringdusters covered what seemed to be some new ground Saturday night. With what could be described as Spacegrass, on Saturday night the Stringdusters went places bluegrass bands fear to tread. Performing several Mind Left Fiddle(or Banjo or Dobro or Stand Up Bass) jams throughout the evening. The band balanced out the spaciness by covering such songs John Hartford’s Gentle on My Mind and Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice. Should you need a good Stringdusters original to make yourself familiar with the band, Like l Do, is a fine place to start. Yes, a Mind Left Fiddle jam. No kidding yall!
Also deserving an honorable mention, Anders Osborne and his Bassist Carl Dufresne, make as dynamic a duo of musicians to be found in any band out there today; WITH THEIR WHO DAT DECAL! To get the gist of Anders and his band, check out these two songs in particular; Mind of a Junkie and 5 Bullets.
While there isn’t a list of performers an arm’s length long to draw folks from far and near, The Festy offers quality over quantity. From the variety of food trucks(with entrepreneurs that do not rip you off with exorbitant prices for your food orders), to some of your favorite musicians playing around fire pits with their fans until the wee hours of the morning, to a very uplifting family-friendly scene, to Grammy-winning artists, to well laid out concert and camping grounds that limit miles and miles of walking and clouds of dust; The Festy is “it” as far as a festival should be organized and enjoyed. Of particular interest were the workshops and tent-side chats offered by the musicians. Within these chats, you could have discovered that Guns and Roses and 80s Metal played a significant role in the development of the Stringdusters, that what Dolly Parton wants; Dolly Parton gets and that you don’t have to play a nearly million-dollar instrument to make million-dollar music or make a million smiles.
The Festy Experience once again delivered the opportunity for folks to smile, dance, make new friends, treasure old friends and chill from the problems of the world for a few days. Be there next year and in the meantime, $*%^$ some Chicken Little hype.