8th Annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Day 1.5

Yeah day 1.5, I missed Friday’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass featuring Mr. Plant and Ms. Krauss show so on with this one.

Beautiful weather (despite some early afternoon mist), the crowd grew throughout the day into huge throngs of passionate fans.  You want crazy hippy dancers still bummed about the Dead’s….er death, yeah they were there too.

The day started for me with Tift Merritt. Tift put on a spirited show with a crack band. Moving to Paris (and losing her record deal) has certainly agreed with her. Guy Clark & Verlon Thompson were next. I’ve never see a full set my Clark (and at one hour sets I still haven’t) but he and Thompson did a great job of covering a lot of Clark ground as well as a couple of  Thompson originals.

Austin’s Bad Livers came back from the dead to play a their first show after an 8 year hiatus.  They sounded great and glade to be in the thick of all their punk-bluegrass Texas sized gully-washer.  The Gourds followed with their Texas brand of hillbilly world music mash-up stew that satisfied just fine. Texas legend Jerry Jeff Walker followed with a raucous show that belied the man’s age.  Thankfully Redneck Mother was on he menu and Mr. Bojangles was not.

The blissful gospel sounds of Odetta was next and wooed the crowd with her majestic voice and presence. Steve Earle & The Bluegrass Dukes eneded the night with a great rendition of the 10-year old Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band collaboration The Mountain as well as blugrassed up verions of Earle originals “An American Boy” and the show closer “Cottonhead Road.”

i need to thank my partner in crime (and daughter) Isobel for accompanying me from stage to stage while I covered this.

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