Coming into this show I'd heard nothing of Frank Fairfield, one of the reasons I think this set left me so captivated. Frank Fairfield was a walking time-machine, from his demeanor and his awesome mustache to his bluegrass standards, Frank Fairfield was shredding on banjo, fiddle, and guitar throughout the night. He had a bit of a timid stage presence until he embraced the songs and then the talent that shone through as he began to let his voice resonate throughout Haw River was incredible. Fairfield had the perfect ability to draw back and focus on the subtleties of his instrumentation, but equally could belt out heartfelt lyrics to bluegrass classics that would shake you down to your soul. An otherwise dreary day had a bit of life and color thrust into it with this wonderful set from Frank Fairfield.
After a short wait for Cass McCombs the band took the stage and kicked off their set with "Equinox". After "Equinox" the band went into "Love Thine Enemy" from McCombs' latest effort, Humor Risk. McCombs was pitch perfect throughout the set and the crowd was clearly just as wrapped up in the performance as I was, the place was mostly silent throughout the duration of McCombs' set which isn't something you can get very often at a show. An equal mix of old and new, McCombs closed out his set with an incredible performance of "County Line". While the Cass McCombs band put on a great performance, I feel like Frank Fairfield stole the show here. Maybe it was just the combination of the simple links to nostalgia found in his music with the environment given off from Saxapahaw, but either way Fairfield was the name that stayed so vibrantly in my mind for the rest of the night.