We are in for some treats this week, as a lot has been happening this summer in the world of roots music -- captured by ND's crack photographers. (The good news is that the summer isn't even half over.)
First up in the slideshow are Jamie Wykle's photos taken at the ACE Mountain Music Festival. This gathering is held on 1,500 gorgeous acres near Minden, West Virginia, near my own turf of Mountain Stage. At ACE, she captured three of the most energetic and just-plain-fun bands on the circuit: Cabinet, Trampled By Turtles -- who have taken it up several notches since I first saw them half a dozen years ago -- and the one-of-a-kind Reverend Peyton and His Big Damn Band. Light my fire, indeed!
Wykle also accompanied me and caught four outstanding Americana artists who also happen to have four of the best albums I've heard this year: Hayes Carll (whose album centers on his divorce), Carrie Rodriguez (who explores her roots), Darrell Scott (whose fabulous opening track is about Guy Clark), and my personal favorite Parker Millsap (its hard to believe how he weaves the blues, rock, and guitar into something so special).
Peter Dervin takes us to the Pacific Northwest with his photographs from the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland. He captured two very different bands. First was the Tedeschi Trucks Band -- how can they get any better? Yet, they do. He also caught "The World's Number One Guitar Combo" of Los Straitjackets. If you haven't seen them live yet, do so when you can.
Dervin also caught Della Mae, who infuses their bluegrass county with an indelible enthusiasm, and the cool pop music of Connie Rae Bailey. But the real treat is Adia Victoria, whom I also saw a couple of weeks back. She is based in Nashville and -- from her blood-born howls to her idiosyncratic phrasing -- she unhesitatingly explores the atmospheres of rock, afro-punk, and country, squarely situated in the continent of the blues. With her album, Beyond the Bloodhounds, Victoria is a refreshing new voice on the roots music circuit.
Speaking of stunning new artists, Cynthia Elliott captured the somewhat surreal Brooklyn-based Margaret Glaspy. WNYC has said that her "croons and minimalist folk guitar have a knack for sending shivers down any spine. Her music is reminiscent of Elliott Smith’s melancholy tunes, but she adds a sunny side of her own with influences from Joni Mitchell to Rage Against The Machine." Having also recently caught her, I do not disagree. Her new album, Emotions and Math, demonstates that Glaspy is a talent to be reckoned with.
Elliott also captured two folks who are new to me: Jess Williamson and Lord Silver Plume. Williamson is a musician and photographer based in Austin and schooled in New York. She's released an EP, a cassette, a split single, and an album, Native State, two years ago, and is working on a new one. I cannot wait to hear her.
I cannot find out much about LSP, but he has some dreamy live sets available from KXCI in Tucson.
Rounding out this week are: the irrepressible Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughn, shot by Tom Dunning. There's a photograph of Michaela Anne by Kirk Stauffer, and one of Lake Street Dive by Todd Gunsher.
You, dear reader, definitely have some catching up to do.