Friday, June 3, 2011

DelFest in Cumberland, Maryland

Ronnie McCoury.  Friday night set.

So our 1st Delfest is in the bag, and these days, first shows are difficult.  We don't know the set-up situation, the crowd situation, the anything situation really.  So we show up with high hopes and expectations and make a kind of blind leap.  For the most part these days, we are somewhat familiar with most of the larger art shows and festivals we do, so familiarity is on our side.  A clientele has been established, and the knowledge of the location makes logistics easier.  Telluride Bluegrass, and the Jackson Hole Art Show are 2 prime examples of what I am talking about.  We enjoy being there and we know what to expect.  Well Delfest was extreme.  Extreme heat, extreme downpours, extreme mud, extreme music, extreme just about everything.  And it was  pretty sweet!   Delfest was an awesome festival with awesome folks running it, and after witnessing some of the most incredible downpours of rain, and insane record high temps , we are amazed that things turned out the way they did.
  The music held things together through it all and Del McCoury, whom I first got to see live in 1995 or so at Rockygrass, was truly amazing.   It is Delfest, and he was on stage constantly. Late-night, mainstage, with family, with other bands and musicians, non-stop.  Wow!  Del truly seems like a great man.
Old Crow Medicine Show.  This is the band I should have shot more, but I never left this part of the stage.  I was in complete awe the entire set.
  This show was certainly special to me because, due to the efforts of Autumn and Connie (ATD's longtime specialist in the get things done dept.) I had  an all access pass that allowed me to go anywhere I wanted.  And anywhere means onstage, backstage, in front of the stage, and behind the stage if I wanted to go back there for some reason.  It was truly awesome, and it gave me  the opportunity to get images of the musicians that turned out great.
Chris Robinson, lead singer of the Black Crowes, doing his own thing these days.  Incredible.  
 Delfest is produced by the same people that do High Sierra in Quincy, California, and we got to meet people that work at both shows.  Delfest is only 4 years old however, so it is relatively new in comparison to High Sierra.
Chris Thile.  Punch Brothers. Will be at Telluride Bluegrass  this year.
  So the first signs of rain came just after we had finished setting up, and it seemed innocent enough.  We are from Colorado, and afternoon thunderstorms are, just that, most of the time.  Afternoon, and over somewhat quickly.  No big deal was the way we perceived the beginning of the storm.  Then the tornado warning came, the sheets of water came, the pools of water came, the flooding campground, and finally, when the two days of "afternoon thunderstorms" ended, the mud came.  And through it all they managed to keep the mainstage going with the music.  Friday night did get cancelled, but the tornado warning, inches of rain and a major lightning storm might have had something to do with it.
Hoots and Hellmouth.  The band from Philly.  Inspired by Heavy Metal.  Awesome.
But, wow, we had fun.  Sometimes during a 1st show the topic of doing it again comes up and gets discussed.  Is it worth it?  What is the expense? How is it linked to other shows as a tour for the business? Do we like the area?  etc.  This show seems to have potential.  It is a beautiful place in the Appalachain Mountains of Maryland.  The musical lineup seems consistently amazing.  It comes on the heels of LEAF. It is organized, easy, and uncomplicated.  It would be cool to come back, and we would be excited to be here for sure.
  Now some more pics from the weekend.

Another shot of Hoots and Hellmouth.  Not the greatest photo, but I love the perceived eye contact.

Chris Thile sweatin it.

Huh oh.  Autumn wants me to work.  Just kidding A.

From the Hoots stage.

It dumped rain at the end of Chris Robinson's set.  

Del McCoury Band andThe Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  

Again the eye contact.  Not a super shot, but killer nonetheless. 

He has a trombone in his hand.  Jazz and Bluegrass combo.  An experiment that worked.

This acoustic set is pretty rare.  And again the eyes.

Del is the happiest man I have ever seen.

Del with Yonder Mountain show closer

Punch Brothers, 95 degrees and humid. 

Yonder Mountain String Band.  This is my rockstar shot.

These guys wore their suits the whole time.  I like this shot of them leaving the stage.  Yep, that is sweat.

Del and Ronnie

I'll just say so long.  Michael from Philly.  Kilt maker. Old friend.

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