Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 12 Full Schedule / Picks / Spotify Playlist

The 12th year of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival shows the premier showcase for great (and FREE!) Americana and roots music is showing no signs of slowing down. This year might prove to be the best yet as old friends like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Ralph Stanley are joined by event newcomers like punk-turned-folkie Chuck Ragan, Texas sweethearts The Trishas and Americana darlings The Civil Wars, who pulled out of last year’s HSB.

Have fun, and remember to wear layers and stay hydrated out there (and upwind.)  Below find the schedule with my picks in bold.



Friday Oct 5 (10:00am – 7:00pm)

Star Stage
10:00am Poor Man’s Whiskey and Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Banjo Stage
12:00pm John Reilly and Friends (featuring Becky Stark and Tom Brosseau)
    1:15pm Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
    2:40pm The Jerry Douglas Band
    4:15pm The Time Jumpers (Vince Gill, Dennis Crouch, Paul Franklin, Larry Franklin, Andy Reiss, Dawn Sears, Kenneth Sears, Joe Spivey, Jeff Taylor & Billy Thomas)
    5:45pm Elvis Costello Solo

Arrow Stage
12:00pm Chuck Ragan
1:00pm Pickwick
2:10pm Chris Carrabba
3:20pm Patterson Hood & the Downtown Rumblers
    4:45pm Jon Langford & His Sadies feat. Sally Timms
6:15pm Reignwölf

Rooster Stage
12:00pm Simone Felice
    1:00pm Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express
2:20pm Beachwood Sparks
3:25pm Ben Kweller
4:25pm Jenny Lewis
5:45pm Conor Oberst

Saturday Oct 6 (11:00am – 7:00pm)

Banjo Stage
11:00am World Famous Headliners (Big Al Anderson, Shawn Camp, Pat McLaughlin, Michael Rhodes & Greg Morrow)
12:10pm Alison Brown Quartet with Stuart Duncan
1:25pm Buddy Miller
2:45pm Tribute to the Founding Fathers: Warren Hellman, Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson featuring Alison Brown, Stuart Duncan, Tim O’Brien and Bryan Sutton, with special guests Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris with Heidi Clare & Colleen Browne (from the Wronglers), Peter Rowan, Nick Lowe & more!
4:15pm The Chieftains
5:45pm Steve Earle & the Dukes (& Duchesses)

Rooster Stage
11:00am The Go to Hell Man Clan with Special Guests the Wronglers featuring Jimmie Dale Gilmore
12:00pm Lloyd Cole
1:10pm Guy Clark & Verlon Thompson
2:30pm The Lumineers
  3:50pm Patty Griffin
    5:30pm Robert Earl Keen

Star Stage
    11:00am Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts
    12:30pm Dirty Three
    2:10pm Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones
3:45pm Cowboy Junkies
5:45pm Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Towers Of Gold Stage
11:40am Red Baraat
1:20pm Justin Townes Earle
3:00pm Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang
4:45pm The Head & the Heart

Arrow Stage
11:00am The Trishas
    12:05pm Reckless Kelly
1:30pm Bill Kirchen & The Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods
2:45pm Heartless Bastards
4:05pm Jerry Jeff Walker
    5:35pm The Flatlanders feat. Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore & Butch Hancock

Porch Stage
11:00am Joe Pug
12:10pm Sara Watkins
1:25pm Little Green Cars
2:40pm Allison Moorer
3:50pm Robyn Hitchcock
4:50pm Sierra Hull
6:05pm Seasick Steve

Sunday Oct 7 (11:00am – 7:00pm)
Banjo Stage
11:00am Dry Branch Fire Squad
12:05pm Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
1:20pm Peter Rowan
2:45pm Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
4:15pm Tim O’Brien Party of 7
5:45pm Emmylou Harris

Rooster Stage
11:00am Jim Lauderdale
    12:05pm Kevin Welch & Kieran Kane & Fats Kaplin
1:10pm Jesse Winchester
2:20pm Glen Hansard
3:35pm Nick Lowe
4:50pm Todd Snider
6:10pm The Civil Wars

Star Stage
11:00am Giant Giant Sand
12:40pm The Knitters
2:15pm DOUG SAHM’S PHANTOM PLAYBOYS featuring: dave ALVIN, steve EARLE, delbert McCLINTON, boz SCAGGS, jimmie VAUGHAN… and whoever the cat drags in…
4:05pm The Del McCoury Band
6:00pm Keller Williams, Steve Kimock & Kyle Hollingsworth featuring Bernie Worrell, Wally Ingram & Andy Hess

Towers of Gold Stage
12:00pm The Milk Carton Kids
1:30pm Soul Rebels
3:10pm Dwight Yoakam
5:00pm Patti Smith and her band

Arrow Stage
11:00am Lucero
12:05pm Moonalice
1:25pm Rubblebucket
2:45pm Son Volt
4:10pm Luther Dickinson & the Wandering
5:45pm ALO

Porch Stage
11:00am The New Orleans Bingo! Show
12:10pm Tiny Television
1:25pm The Barr Brothers
2:40pm Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys
3:55pm The White Buffalo
5:10pm Walter Salas-Humara
6:20pm Jonny Two Bags & Salvation Town

The White Buffalo New Video – ‘Once Upon A Time In The West.’

“Wish It Was True” is a sparse, acoustic song of longing for faith and the risk and disappointment that often comes with that yearning. The White buffalo (aka Jake Smith is a master songsmith in the manner of Guy Clark and Steve Earle, engaging the listener through expansive allegory that always winds up in the interior landscape of the mind and heart.

The video features Jake and his actual son and was filmed in Death Valley partially in an “old pseudo-abandoned motel” and a gutted bus. Both of which serve as apt forsaken symbols for the lyrics.

Mother, I tried to do right by you,To do what you asked me to.
I did wrong, and I knew.

Mother, I tried to behave for you.
Now I’m a-diggin’ a grave for you.
It was all I could do.

Find a way back home, make everything new.
I wish it was true.

Father, well I gave my soul to you.
I came in blind folded for you.
It was all that I knew.

Open your arms and I’ll fly out of hell up to you.
I wish it was true.
Boy, come on out from the cold.
You’re lost outside there, don’t you know?
It’s not what you say, it’s what you do.
Just keep wishing your wishes are true.
Well your dreams, they’re reality.
There’s no pain, there’s no misery.
Just polish the blood and the brews.
For there’s just no way you can lose.
Well I wish it was true.

Country, I was a solider to you.
I did what you asked me to.
It was wrong, and you knew.

Country, now I’m just a stranger to you.
A number, a name; it’s true.
Throw me away when you’re through.

Home of the brave and the free; the red, white, and blue.
I wish it was true.

The White Buffalo – The Great American Music Hall -San Francisco, CA – 2/15/12

The White BuffaloThe Great American Music Hall is a post-earthquake 105 year-old 5,000-square-foot, guilded French motif performance hall that has
been a restaurant, a bordello and a host to fan dancers and a stage for golden Jazz era greats like Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie and relative newcomers Van Morrison and the Grateful Dead.
But on this night the back stage of the great American is more like a living room at a friends or relatives’ house. I came to meet Jake Smith, who performs solo and with a band under the moniker The White Buffalo. There in the dimly lit room Smith along with Matt Lynott (drums) and Tommy Andrews (bass) offer smiles, handshakes and beverages. After the hellos and intros the talk moves to influences. I tell Smith about a video I saw on You Tube of him covering the Highwaymen’s theme of world adventure  “Highwayman.” “Oh yeah.” Smith cracks a smile “Waylon, Willie, Kristofferson and Cash. You can’t do any better than those guys.” He then tells me about the music of his Southern California childhood. “We listened to a lot of things. Country, like Loretta, classic rock I guess they call it now. Blues. Gospel.”
The influences show on Smith’s songs if you look for them. Like the best craftsman of songs he makes them sound easy. Effortless. Like they couldn’t be any other way then the way he’s spinning them out. Then I bait him with the question most musicians hate to answer, “How would you label your music.” “I don’t” he says straight. “I spend my time writing them and that’s hard enough. If I spend time on “Is this country” or “if the Americana” I think the song will suffer.”
Smith and the band then starts to list up the night’s songs. Three musicians, three clean, white sheets of paper. One sharpie. then the discussion begins. “What about the Pilot?” “How about Darkside of Town?” “Might be too slow and bring things down.” “How about Love Song #2.” “Okay but you’ll need to sing backup in my mic.” The process is reminiscent of charting an emotional course of stage logistics,crowd physiology and sonic dynamics. What will take them where we want them to go?
The moniker came about through need and happenstance. Smith once wore a sweat shirt that had the title emblazoned on it and some his friends recalled it when he emailed them ideas for a name. White buffalo are extremely rare. The National Bison Association (yes, there is such a thing) has estimated that a White buffalo only occur in approximately one out of every 10 million births. Smith is a living testament to his moniker standing around 6′ 2″ , solid as a wall and stylistically embodying a rare mix of grit and nuance that you couldn’t squeeze out of a dozen neo-folk acts.
Born in Oregon and raised in Southern California, he moved to the Bay area from Huntington Beach to pursue college on an athletic scholarship. He then made his way to L.A. where he now calls home. Because of his local Smith has had his songs crop up in movies and T.V. A bootleg tape of his music made it into the hands of pro surfer Chris Malloy, and his song, “Wrong,” was featured in his surf movie, Shelter. That led to further film scoring and composing work, with three of his songs featured in FX’s Sons of Anarchy and HBO’s Californication.
With 3  EPs and one fill-length out and one more , Once Upon a Time in the West , set to release February 28th Smith has seen thousands of miles over the last few years opening for acts like Ziggy Marley, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and tonight the Texas blues man Gary Clark Jr. His brooding songs of America’s topological and emotional landscape, “mini-movies” he calls them, transforms on the stage. The darkness, whiskey and gunpowder is still there in narrative but the sound shifts to urgency and electricity. Lynott and Andrews expand the dynamics and work off Smith like a fright train veering off the tracks. They are one of the best rhythm sections I’ve seen live.
Over a beer after the show I ask Smith about his fans and whether online piracy worries a working man with a wife and two kids. “People are buying ticket and I’m selling merch. I can’t do anything about the new world I am working in. I have to trust people.”
In true DIY fashion they set their own gear on stage, sell their own merchandise and pack it all up in a van at the end of the night. Off to the nest show miles away across the dark night of America.
I didn’t take, nor did I find, clips from this show. But I couldn’t post without a taste of what I saw. Here The White Buffalo at Bonaroo.

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 4

Here it is folks, the first Twang Nation Podcast for 2012. This episode features cuts from upcoming albums by Justin Townes Earle,  Shooter Jennings, The White Buffalo, James Low Western Front, Darrell Scott as well as excellent cuts from current releases by Charlie Parr, Mississippi Live & The Dirty Dirty and Liz Frame And The Kickers. On the occasion of his birthday I have included a song by the man that amounts to the patron saint of the Americana genre T. Bone Burnett conclude the episode.
I hope you all enjoy the music featured in this and all the podcasts I bring you and hope you seek out the musicians and buy their music, merch and , most importantly, take all your friends and see them live. Remember you can leave requests or feedback below or email me at baron(at)twangnation(dot)com.
1. Justin Townes Earle – Song:  Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now – Album: Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now  (Bloodshot Records)
2. Charlie Parr – Song: God Moves on the Water – Album: Keep Your Hands On The plow (Independent)
3. The White Buffalo – Song:  How the West Was Won  Album: Victims, Enemies, & Old Friends  (Unison Music Group)
4. Lincoln Durham – Song:  Love Letters –  Album: The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones (Independent)
5 Shooter Jennings – Song: The Deed and the Dollar Album: Family Man (Entertainment One)
6. James Low Western Front – Song: Thinkin’ California – Album: Whiskey Farmer  ( Union made Records)
7. Mississippi Live & The Dirty Dirty  – Song: The Devil Lives In The T.V.  – Album: Way Down Here (Independent )
8. Liz Frame And The Kickers – Song: God Doesn’t Like His Women Left Alone  – Album: first full-length “Sooner” (Air Age Sound Records)
9. Darrell Scott  - Song: Hopskinville – Album: Long Ride Home (Full Light)
10. T. Bone Burnett - Song: Primitives – Album: Criminal Under My Own Hat (Sony)

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 3

Due to either 1) all the great and positive responses from listeners and bands, or 2) my general bullheadedness, here it is friends, Episode 3 of the Twang Nation Podcast just in time for the holidays! This episode is festive a mix of gritty (Possessed by Paul James, Doc Dailey, Matt Woods ) and glorious (Laura Repo, Whitehorse, Matraca Berg) and concludes like an empty Tecate can perched on top of a silver tensile Christmas tree, with the classic Robert Earle Keen’s Merry Christmas from the Family. Remember you can leave requests or feedback below or emeuial me at baron(at)twangnation(dot)com.

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 3

1. Possessed by Paul James – song:  Four Men From The Row -  album: Feed the Family (Hillgrass Bluebilly Records 2010 )
2. Root Jack – song:  The Good Life -  album: In The Pines
3. Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil – song:  Sunday School  album: Victims, Enemies, & Old Friends (Southern Discipline Recording Company)
4. Eleven Hundred Springs  – song:  Texas Afternoon -  album: Country Jam (Palo Duro Records)
5 Laura Repo  – Song: Like to call you honey album: Get Yourself Home (Independent)
6. Whitehorse – Song: “Killing Time is Murder – album: self-titled debut  ( Six Shooter Records in October )
7. Matt Woods – Song: Beating Down My Door  – Album: The Matt Woods Manifesto (Lonely Ones Records)
8. Whiskey Daredevils – Song: Party Plates  – Album: Introducing the Whisky Daredevils (Lonely Ones Records)
9. Matraca Berg – Song: Your Husband’s Cheating On Us  – Album: The dreaming Fields (Dualtone Records)
10. The White Buffalo – Song: Matador – Album: The White Buffalo ep
11. Robert Earle Keen  – Song:  Merry Christmas from the Family – Album: Gringo Honeymoon