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Sunday, Cabaret Tent: 5:00pm
After 35 years of running his own welding company, Jim Avett has returned to his true passion: making music. He first recorded a collection of gospel music, Jim Avett and Family, featuring his daughter Bonnie, and sons Scott and Seth Avett (yes, those Avett Brothers). In 2010 and 2012, he released albums of original tunes, ranging from lighthearted rock n' roll to soulful true country ruminations of boyhood memories and loss. All of Avett's endeavors are marked with an unwavering honesty and an unflappable charm, and Shakori Hill's Cabaret Tent is a perfect, intimate setting to experience the earnest, heartfelt songwriter up close.
Combining Americana, roots, jazz-tinged blues and gypsy style, Dirty Bourbon River Show continues the tradition of great New Orleans music (with a bit of NOLA's flair for spectacle). Pegging themselves as "an interactive multi-genre variety hour-style band," listening to their recorded material does not do justice to the bombastic stage presence, energetic performance and all-around impressive musicianship the band has to offer. I managed to meet the members at a show they played with Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and I can say that they are also nice guys, as if you needed more of a reason to go see their show. This is one that I know for sure I will not, under any circumstances, be missing.
Sunday, Meadow Stage: 4:30pm
Lydia Loveless toes the line between Patsy Cline and Joan Jett, bringing equal parts openness and attitude, charm and pugnacity. She long ago left her sleepy, rural Ohio upbringing, for the bright lights and burgeoning punk scene offered in Columbus, but there's something of the country roots and rural bravado that is unshakable from her songwriting foundation. The country music bar her father owned no doubt left an indelible impression upon Loveless, and even years later, the attitude and aggression of the punk rock scene meld seamlessly with that country soul classicism.
The Mad Tea
Dutch Bucket System
Saturday, Cabaret Tent: 12:00am
Dutch Bucket System takes their name from the "poor man's hydroponic gardening system" and their sound from anything that will hold still long enough to be listened to. Calling themselves hillbilly folktronica, the band grabs reggae with one hand, grabs folk with the other and dives face first into experimental, tasty jams. Hailing from The Empire State, Dutch Bucket System says their goal is to "stimulate the seeds, plant new roots and let the trees continue to provide endless inspiration with genre-defiling soundscapes." What that mission statement lacks in specificity, the band makes up for with passion, camaraderie and talent.
South Carolina Broadcasters
Thursday, Dance Tent: 6:00pm
Friday, Dance Tent: 4:30pm
An old-fashioned banjo-guitar-fiddle trio hailing from (you guessed it) South Carolina, The South Carolina Broadcasters have been specializing in traditional Appalachian music for several years. They present lively, entertaining shows ranging from raucous clawhammer banjo numbers, to soaring bluegrass fiddles, to dancy cajun flavored two step tunes. Seeing as both of their sets will be in the dance tent, one can only assume they'll be bringing their A-game to an eager and willing crowd, of which I will certainly be a member.