Front Row Focus | Festival Review: FloydFest XI (July 2012)

Festival Review: FloydFest XI (July 2012)

August 01, 2012  •  Leave a Comment


VENUE:  Blue Ridge ParkwayFloyd, Virginia

DATE:  July 26 - 29, 2012

Review By:  Beth Baldino

Photos By:  David J. Simchock

(originally published in Elmore Magazine)


Ozomatli - FloydFest 2012Ozomatli - FloydFest 2012 Lovers Rock is what they’ve named the stunning slice of Virginia countryside alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway where the 11th FloydFest was held on July 26th-29th, and there was a whole lot for “Rockers to Love” about the entire scene, not the least of which was the diverse line up of high-quality nationally-recognized acts.

Galactic, Dawes and Jackson Browne were among the artists that kicked off the party on Thursday.  Each of the next three days offered a multitude of options for all, from the magic, humor, and feats-of-daring at the Vaudeville Stage, workshops in the Global Village (featuring groups like Toubab Krewe dissecting their seamless West African/American surf-rock fusion sounds), and traditional mountain music in the intimate outdoor listening room provided by the Folklife Porch, where artists including Ricky Scaggs, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush and Darrell Scott shared melodies, memories, and monologues about the business of song-writing and mastering one’s instruments.    

Tributes to Levon Helm abounded of course, highlighted by the Punch Brothers sharing their old-time string music version of “Ophelia.”  Sam Bush gave a nod to Doc Watson, another one-man musical institution from this region lost this year, by playing a Dellmore Brothers’ song that Doc had taught him, “Freight Train Boogie.”

ALO - FloydFest 2012ALO - FloydFest 2012 A crowd favorite Hoots & Hellmouth did a stellar job of using soulful and melodic harmonies to send the FloydFesters off for the night late on Saturday, only to wake them up early Sunday with their signature foot stomping jams at the Dance Tent -- the perfect place for music that you just gotta move to.      

The high point of the festival featured hard-hitting sounds from Brandi Carlisle’s latest project, “Bear Creek,” showcasing the welcomed addition of a fiddler.  At one point, the band broke away from their usual spread across the stage, and performed a pseudo-unplugged acoustic set, which was well-matched to the day’s “gather ‘round the mic” theme.   It was difficult to tell who was enjoying themself more – Brandi and her band, or the FloydFest faithful.

Other highlights included ALO’s sophisticated electronica vibe featuring numbers from newly released, “Sounds Like This.”  Ozomatli whipped the crowd up with their global fusion funk to close out Saturday night’s line-up on the Streamline Stage.


FloydFest 2012FloydFest 2012


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