POSTED ON: July 24th, 2018
It may not have been Stephens Lake Park, but there were an awful lot of familiar faces at this year’s Forecastle Festival in Kentucky. Forecastle, which is held each year at the Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville, is known to have shared a few names with Roots N Blues in recent years (Hint: The Avett Brothers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Shovels and Rope among others). Read More
POSTED ON: July 17th, 2018
Seeing the Avett Brothers perform live is a meditation of sorts — afterwards you’ll feel a gravitation pull to call your mother, compliment a stranger or maybe resolve any pending feuds. It’s one part presentation of musical genius, one part spiritual reinvigoration. At Jones Beach this past week, the sibling duo fluctuated between head-banging rock to existential ballads as the sun set in the background. Read More
POSTED ON: July 6th, 2018
Summerfest is largely responsible for my love of live music; I’ve been making the two hour trek from Elgin to Milwaukee since I was two years old. My first concert was John Cougar Mellencamp at the then-named Marcus Amphitheater, and my father has been attending since the festival’s inception in the early 1970s, so you could say Summerfest is a family tradition. Read More
POSTED ON: June 26th, 2018
At 81 years young, Buddy Guy is proof that the blues are alive and well. This past weekend, Guy made the second stop on his latest tour to support his new album last week in Kansas City at the famous Knucklehead’s Saloon. Read More
POSTED ON: December 19th, 2017
Pokey LaFarge paused before beginning his next song, looked inquisitively into the audience and asked, “Y’all got enough room to dance down there?” A few toes were stepped on, a couple drinks were spilled, but I’ve never seen more people dancing at one show before. And no, I don’t mean a slight head nod or foot taps. I’m talkin’ slow dancing, fox trotting, jumping-around and yeehawing. It was LaFarge’s last night on the tour, and he made sure to make it a memorable one.
POSTED ON: August 17th, 2017
Gather ‘round children and let me tell you the story of the night of Monday, August 14th, 2017.
What happens when you mix two parts intern, one part alcohol, and one part RNBNBBQ alums Lake Street Dive? You miss the opener.
Interns Michael and Evan will now take on the task of trying to explain every excruciating detail from this magical concert for your reading enjoyment. Read More
POSTED ON: August 16th, 2017
This past Saturday, the Roots N Blues crew joined Logboat Brewing and The Bridge 90.9FM at Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City, Missouri for a night of BBQ, beer and live music — because you can never get too much BBQ, beer and music. Los Lonely Boys took the stage at 8:30, followed by Los Lobos. Read More
POSTED ON: August 9th, 2017
There’s not a lot of things that could get me to go camping in Iowa. Being from Wrigleyville in Chicago, the closest thing I’ve done to camp was when my Girl Scout troop spent the night in our elementary school gym and set up tents (inside of course). Nevertheless, Hinterland Music Festival was definitely worth the new experience. This past weekend, the Roots N Blues crew squeezed four tents, two coolers, a hammock, five people and a whole lot of excitement into a truck and made the trek to St. Charles, Iowa. Read More
POSTED ON: July 6th, 2017
Very few people can truly shred the guitar. Even fewer can do it at the age of 80. Buddy Guy is one of those few. I was lucky enough to witness he Louisiana native when he stopped through Kansas City in support of his 2016 album, “Born to Play the Blues.”
POSTED ON: June 28th, 2017
Family & Friends were formed under the idea of “Good People. Good Music” in April of 2013, and the name couldn’t be any more fitting. Their genre is hard to pin down, but it’s loosely a mixture of indie, folk, and rock. They took the stage at Rose Music Hall on June 18th and put on an incredible performance. Read More
POSTED ON: June 22nd, 2017
This year marks the third consecutive year of enjoying the magic on “The Farm” at Bonnaroo 2017. For those of you not familiar with Bonnaroo, it is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. It is held in Manchester, Tennessee – just south of Nashville about an hour. I am lucky enough to get to attend the festival each year with one of my very best friends, my aunt. In 2016, Bonnaroo attendance was way down, but this year it was back to normal. We are so glad so see ‘Roo thriving again this year!
POSTED ON: June 9th, 2017
A few weeks ago, the Roots N Blues staff took a Festival research trip to Atlanta, GA, where we spent the weekend exploring the Shaky Knees Festival. Shaky Knees is held in Centennial Olympic Park, right in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The Festival featured amazing artists like Ryan Adams, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Shovels & Rope, The Revivalists, Anderson East and tons of other talented musicians. We also got to see lesser known bands like Family & Friends and The Fruit Bats, both of these which put on such fun shows.
POSTED ON: June 7th, 2017
In April, the Roots N Blues crew got to visit Old Settlers Music Festival in Driftwood, TX (about 30 mins south of Austin) — for research purposes of course. This year marked the 30th Anniversary for the festival, and we are so glad we got to experience it and learn from all the awesome things they are doing. The line-up featured some artists we hadn’t seen live before, along with many Roots N Blues performers from the past and the future! Some of our favorite sets included Shakey Graves, Old 97’s, Nikki Lane, Sam Bush, Reckless Kelly and so many other talented artists.
POSTED ON: May 24th, 2017
For me, the end of this past semester meant one thing: The Hangout Music Festival was finally here. This year’s festival, located in Gulf Shores, Alabama, looked promising with big time headliners like Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, and a late addition of Phoenix. The fest spread across the sandy beach and extended to a cement area just beyond the shore, which centered around a local restaurant and music venue. Just a short 12 and a half hour drive from Columbia, this three day festival was spread across seven different stages, featuring music ranging from pop to alternative to hip-hop.
POSTED ON: May 12th, 2017
As I approached Bur Oak Brewing’s massive venue on a late April evening that was saturated with fog and humidity, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the experience. Even though I’ve lived in Columbia for the past four years and have enjoyed Bur Oak’s Big Tree IPA at countless downtown Columbia bars, I’d never been to the brewery itself. Few things can convince me to travel 15 miles down I-70 toward the dismal obscurity of rural mid-Missouri, but the promise of live bluegrass and craft beer proved to be more than enough temptation. My friend Dylan Hawf, a southern Illinois-based fiddler who recently relocated to Arkansas to make music his full-time job, had invited me to Bur Oak to see the band he had newly joined, National Park Radio.
POSTED ON: April 7th, 2017
When I was in seventh grade, and primarily listening to the likes of The Black Keys and The Fray (we all have to start somewhere,) my “cool friend” made me a CD. The first two songs were “Airplanes” and “Cubism Dream,” both from the Local Native’s debut album, Gorilla Manor. Some may compare this discovery to The Enlightenment; it basically kickstarted my fascination with music in general.
POSTED ON: April 4th, 2017
“Cherish the moments with your mother, because they don’t last forever.” These were the closing remarks in one of the most real conversations I’ve ever had with none other than Charles Bradley, an acclaimed Roots N Blues alumnus. I saw Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires for the first time last September at Loufest in St. Louis. I considered myself a relatively new fan, considering I had been introduced to his music earlier that year. After witnessing his set at Loufest, I immediately immersed myself in his music: buying vinyls, getting merch, etc.
POSTED ON: March 28th, 2017
Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival Alum, Shovels & Rope, played in Kansas City last week at Knuckleheads Saloon. I was among the people fortunate enough to attend: watching the magic that happens between those two truly does feel like a privilege. Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Shovels & Rope is constructed of husband & wife duo, Cary-Ann Hearst & Michael Trent. Two people, about 10 instruments, a whole bunch of love, and a really unique sound. Their ability to tell and retell stories is something to be envied. After getting married in 2009, the couple continued to work on their solo careers. It wasn’t until a drive from Nashville to Birmingham that Hearst and Trent decided Shovels & Rope was a more powerful force than either one of them could be on their own.