Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass: Your FloydFest Sunday Saviors

A week after coming off the high of playing a sold-out show at the iconic Red Rocks where they had top billing, the boys of Greensky Bluegrass made their way through the Blue Ridge Mountains and landed on the Dreaming Creek Main Stage for the fifth and final day of FloydFest.

“You getting tired yet? Well, we’re your Sunday saviors!” Greensky’s Paul Hoffman proclaimed from the stage. The Sunday crowd responded with cheers as the band launched into, “I’d Probably Kill You.”

While it’s typical for a portion of the crowd to thin a bit come Sunday, festival organizers are always wise about saving a few gems to reward those who delay the eventual return to reality to stick around for a final day of festival fun. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Ray LaMontagne, and Alison Krauss & Union Station have been those bands in recent years. This year, it was Greensky Bluegrass, followed by Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers.

Forlorn Strangers

Q&A with FloydFest Band Forlorn Strangers

Have you ever had the urge to throw everything you own into storage and take to the open road? That’s exactly what the Forlorn Strangers decided to do in early 2015. Since then, this quintet from Nashville, which includes two sisters, has carved a niche for themselves as an up and coming American roots rock band with distinctive guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, and percussion skills. This past week, they played two sets at FloydFest as part of the On The Rise series. This week they are releasing their debut self-titled, full-length album.

Roosterfoot

Artist Spotlight: Roosterfoot (FloydFest Edition)

Acoustic instruments in hand, Norkolk, Va. band Roosterfoot took the Speakeasy stage Friday afternoon for its first of four sets at FloydFest. After a quick warmup, the crowd, a mix of diehard fans and first timers, moved in close to the stage as the first notes were played. Moments later the audience was rewarded with the powerful voice of band leader Seth Stainback as Roosterfoot launched into a soulful set of southern rock goodness.

Following the sixty-minute set, I had to the opportunity to sit down with Stainback to ask him about his FloydFest experience and future plans for the band. Since this was the second year in a row that Roosterfoot performed at FloydFest, I was interested to find out what expectations were coming into the first set.

“I didn’t know what to expect with this first show, sometimes people hang back. They might not know our music yet,” commented Stainback. “As a band, our comfort level performing has skyrocketed, and that’s because of repetition. Repetition trumps skill, IQ, everything. And that’s all we’ve been doing this last year is just grind, grind, grind. So now our playing feels very natural and effortless.”

FloydFest 16 Comes to a Close (with Photo Gallery)

FloydFest 16 Dreamweavin’ has officially come to a close. It was a five-day musical carnival that featured a stunning Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop. A crowd of nearly 15,000 came from far and wide to breathe in and feed off the collective energy produced by the converging of creative souls. The sheer size and breadth of talent included more than 100 musical acts, jugglers, fire dancers, jewelry makers, concert painters and eclectic performers, and personalities of all types. Across the Way Production proved yet again that it indeed knows how to put on one hell of a party, complete with inspiration at every turn. From all accounts, festival operations were a tight-run ship. Artists, volunteers, and patrons alike complimented the organization of this year’s festival.

Of course there was sadness and concern when top headliner Gregg Allman had to cancel due to illness. But in true FloydFest style, a “Buffalo Super Jam” with Keller Williams and Leftover Salmon, was arranged in a jiffy by festival organizers, . Numerous festival artists contributed to the super jam while the FloydFest crowd boogied down and responded with countless cheers. It was a fitting tribute to Allman that included a badass cover of the infamous, “Whipping Post.”

We at Blue Ridge Rocks were thrilled to be a part of the FloydFest experience. We spent most of the five days providing videos and photos of the music through our Facebook page. Over the next two weeks we’ll have a series of articles and artist spotlights featuring the FloydFest performers. We’ll also have plenty more photos and videos to share. Here are a few to get things started.