Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shakori Hills Fall Preview

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival is held October 6-9, 2011

With Shakori Hills (October 6-9) a mere two days away the anticipation has gotten to an unbearable level.  Each time I peek at the performance schedule I struggle between bands, I get giddy with excitement, I research unfamiliar artists, the list goes on.  There's so many incredible things going on at Shakori between workshops, children's activities, and not to mention the days and nights full of live music.  With all of the incredible local and touring acts coming through for Shakori it's hard to siphon through it all to pick out what you absolutely HAVE to see. Well that's what we're here for!  From funk to soul to bluegrass to jazz, Shakori offers a little bit of something for everybody.  Here's our day-by-day rundown of who you should be checking out at the glorious promised land of Shakori Hills out in Pittsboro.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Thursday at 9:00 p.m. on Meadow Stage
It's understood.  This is arguably the set I'm most excited for this weekend, it's going to be a field full of good times and incredible music with The Dap Kings surely leading the masses through a dance filled set.  The resonating vocals of Sharon Jones are something that will be glorious to experience in person, after having performed with the likes of Michael Buble, Lou Reed and Phish there's no doubt that there are few who can hold a candle to her talents.  The motown stylings of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings will surely bring the noise and make Thursday and incredible kick-off to one hell of a weekend.

Des Ark
Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Dance Tent
Another standout of the lineup, Des Ark will also be performing on Saturday at 3:00 on the Meadow Stage but I'd recommend checking out both sets quite frankly.  I've missed a few opportunities to see this phenomenal singer-songwriter but Shakori gives me the opportunity to check out her live set for the first time in an incredible setting.  Underneath the dance tent will provide for an awesome and intimate performance, the exact way one would wish to see Des Ark.  To say Argot's lyrics are powerful is an understatement, they'll downright sear through you.  There's no filter in her lyricism and it's that raw and brutal honesty that makes her such a standout amongst the drab landscape that can come along with a performing solo act.

Peter Lamb & The Wolves
Thursday at Midnight at Cabaret Tent
I got the joys of finally hearing Peter Lamb & The Wolves last week and it couldn't have come at a better time.  This jazz group is filled with lush textures and entrancing vocals, their live show is something I'm absolutely aching to see.  The quintet is made up of members of Atomic Rhythm All-Stars, Apple Juice Orchestra, The Beast, and a trumpet professor from NC Central.  The talent in this group is tremendous and this set is going to be a phenomenal way to end the night on the highest of notes.  The Cabaret Tent will be perfect for this must see set.

Brett Dennen
Friday at 10:00 p.m. on Meadow Stage
Brett Dennen makes danceable, funky pop music that will surely get the beginning of the late night crowd moving and excited for the high energy night to follow.  While I doubt I'll be staying for all of Brett Dennen's set considering Noot d'Noot is conflicting (a band I was mesmerized by when they opened for Of Montreal) I will certainly be checking out as much of it as possible.  He's got a polished sound of happiness and joy but his songs aren't all about sunshine and good times despite how they sound.  Dennen is going to be a highlight of the weekend for sure, so check him out!

Noot d'Noot
Friday at 10:00 p.m. at Dance Tent
Noot d'Noot are almost an unexplainable live act, they blend so many influences that it's hard to pinpoint exactly what they're pulling from but their sound is one that sticks with you.  They're filled with horns, organs, hip-hop rhythms and all coated with a nice tinge of funk.  Friday is proving to be a night filled with dancing and good times for everyone, especially those in attendance of Noot d'Noot.  Newcomers will be blown away by the energy and passion in the performance while fans of the band will surely be savoring every moment of this stellar live act.

Dirty Bourbon River Show
Friday at 12:45 a.m. at Cabaret Tent
My first time seeing Dirty Bourbon River Show was opening up for Holy Ghost Tent Revival for a Halloween show in New Bern, a town full of Holy Ghost-heads.  They damn near stole the show and that's saying a lot when being compared to the high energy crowd pleasers of HGTR.  Dirty Bourbon is a blend of New Orleans folk music with some jazzy, gyspsy elements with a nice carnival twist.  Kazoos and whiskey galore, Dirty Bourbon is going to be one hell of a closer for Friday night.  The whiskey will flow and the bodies will dance.

Toubab Krewe
Saturday at Midnight on Meadow Stage
This group of talented musicians out of Asheville were on the lips of everyone I came across at Shakori in the spring.  "Man, I wish Toubab was here" was uttered more times than I can remember, so finally getting the chance to see them this Shakori will be an absolute treat.  These guys can seamlessly blend genres from opposite spectrums and craft up some truly perplexing pieces of music.  With African influence shining through, Toubab Krewe will be another crowd pleasing dance-fest for the masses.  If I can say one thing about this season's Shakori it's that I surely won't have a problem keeping warm on these chilly nights because they're bringing the rhythm consistently, night in and night out.

Mipso Trio
Saturday at 9:00 p.m. at Carson's Grove
Mipso Trio are an Americana/Folk band that's put their own spin on the genre to standout amongst the crowd.  Bringing soulful sounds to Carson's Grove, Mipso Trio will croon through their stellar tunes and bring a contemporary and unique spin to a traditional style of music.  Mipso Trio will be one of multiple artists filming Bottom String Session's at Shakori this weekend, so be on the lookout for their video next week!  Mipso Trio will also be playing on Thursday at The Cabaret Tent at 10:00 p.m.

Thousands of One
Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at Dance Tent
A soulful and politically driven funk/R&B group, Thousands of One were breathtaking at Shakori Hills in the spring.  They were a weekend highlight much like I'd expect from them this weekend.  They had the dance tent packed out for a late night set that had the entire crowd moving and throwing their hands up.  They've got passion oozing out of them and it's clear that they love performing for their crowds, it's also clear just how mutual that feeling is.  Thousands of One will also be performing on Friday at 5:30 on Meadow Stage

Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at Meadow Stage
Fleck is a legendary banjo player that's completely innovated the way we look at the instrucapabilities.  Winning 11 Grammys along the way, Fleck has covered the spectrum of bluegrass, jazz, classical and much more alongside his incredibly talented band of musicians.  This will be the first time the original lineup has played together since 1992, including Victor Wooten who was recently named one of Rolling Stone's Top 10 Bass Players.  This one's gonna be big, don't miss out on the chance to see this legendary act for what's going to be an iconic set.

Hammer No More The Fingers
Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at Cabaret Tent
Showing off the diversity of Shakori Hils, these indie rockers from the Triangle are high energy enough to fit right in alongside the funk, soul, and bluegrass that will be on display throughout the weekend.  Hammer are local stand outs and put on a great show that will surely attract plenty of locals and hopefully some newcomers as well.  HNMTF know how to have fun on stage and how to make that energy permeate, they're an infectious group that's an absolute joy to watch perform.  Hammer No More The Fingers will also be performing Saturday at 12:15 a.m. at Carson's Grove.

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