Friday at noon, IRS jammed our gear into our trusty car and rolled down I-81 to the birthplace of country music: Bristol, VA. We go to the hospitality center at the old train station with plenty of time to wet our whistle and catch up with some familiar friendly faces, whom we were excited to see again!
Our set that evening was spectacular! We were welcomed to the Cumberland Park stage by lovely sound and crew people and were energized to play a lively set by the beautiful (albeit very, very sunny) weather, which persisted for the rest of the evening into the late night. Paul and Ginger sounded like two love birds whilst being backed up by a steady beat laced with gut-punching rolls and licks! After the set, we all enjoyed amazing tunes from our great friends, The Corklickers, as well as amazing artists like Sheets Family Band, Enter the Haggis, and Lucinda Williams. What a night!!
Saturday was full of surprises…including very soggy skies. But never fear: your fearless Old Time band was out and about, grabbing the dog by the hair (read: bloody mary's and mimosas) and catching some jaw-dropping,energizing tunes by Al Scorch (truly a kind man and a fantastic artist – check him out!! http://www.alscorch.com/). Afterwards it was off to the jam tent with the Possum Creek Playboys – always a good time, lads! If you missed it this year, folks, you will NOT want to next year: you'll not hear a better Old Time jam in the whole…festival. Our set on Saturday was, to sum it up in one word, killer! We ROCKED O'Mannins Pub and look forward to coming back there again in the future. The crowd was jolly, the drink was flowing, foots were tapping, mouths were singing in unison – can it get any better?! The rest of the day was a whirlwind of music: The Corklickers, The Black Twig Pickers, The Travelin' McCoury's, The Masters of Bluegrass, Deer Tick…and more…
Sunday was the day to wind down it all…and finally chug down some water. Didn't go without music, though: The Empty Bottle Stringband, Spirit Family Reunion, Mountain Park Old Time Band, and the great (and little) Carson Peters and his band. With hearts filled to the brim with soul-reviving music, minds rattling with great conversation and pleasantries with friends, stomachs stuffed with delicious comfort food, IRS once again packed the car and headed north to our happy home in Blacksburg. THANK YOU everyone who came out to hear us play, told us that they enjoyed it, and bore the weather to bask in everything the festival has to offer.
Much love, IRSB