Notes from Vivace’s “Finding the Music Scene in Iceland” Adventure Column will be coming soon, in the meantime here is his Year 2 New L.A. Folk Festival write-up
It was a ten minute uphill hike, hauling a camera bag with a variety of lenses, to reach The New L.A. Folk Festival. I’m not sure how much the bag weighed, but it was heavy enough. I just kept my head down and my legs pumping. I was rewarded with a most amazing day at Zorthian Ranch, and it started exactly when I got to the ticket table and was handed a cool leather collectors ticket designed by Melissa of NonniBags.
I then followed the sound to catch Yellow Red Sparks(Lemon Tree Stage) – a perfect way to start off a day of Los Angeles folk music.
Comment of the set: “Does anyone else see unicorns and elephants running around?”
Cowboy and Indian (Outpost Stage) was up next and they stunk. I’m not talking about their music; I’m talking about their body odor. No, seriously, hear me out.
Comment of the set: “We drove down from San Francisco today. That’s why we stink, what’s your excuse . . . It’s a stink fest up here.”
See, an inside joke.
At this point of the festival I realized there was a lot of dust in the air (something I probably should have anticipated) and so I was always dusting off my camera bag and removing the dust from my hands before changing lenses.
Geronimo Getty (Jerry’s Stage) played under the hot sun with everyone searching for shade. They had a violinist and as I always say having strings on stage is a plus. There were actually a good number of bands that used the services of violinists (maybe violas, I apologize for my ignorance here, I like strings but haven’t spent the time studying the differences — oops) on this day.
Tom Brosseau (Dustbowl Stage) played under a half dome tent. Just outside the stage area, kids were having fun in the water park.
Lyrics of the set 1: “Today is a bright new day.”
Lyrics of the set 2: “If you want me, I’ll be waiting right here for you.”
I could hear Leslie Stevens off in the distance, “Can we turn down my amp a little bit.” I found it amusing when both Tom Brosseau and Leslie Stevens ended a song at the very same time.
His last song was dedicated to a little girl who earlier was seen running around in front of the stage.
El 30 y Tres and David Feuer (Jerry’s Stage) were having technical difficulties with their sound so they came off the stage and played on the floor. Awesome. Cuban awesome. I’m heading to Cuba. (The schedule listed the band as Domingo Siete and David Feuer, but I do believe they introduced themselves as El 30 y Tres.)
Just after El 30 y Tres a unique intermission to the music was made when a group made the rounds, dancing/chanting.
I have a feeling Guy Blakeslee grew up in a Christian household. His lyrics seem to clearly indicate such an influence.
Lyrics of the set 1: “Fake Christians hearts are filled with hate.”
Lyrics of the set 2: “Hung from that hangman’s tree.”
Beachwood Sparks (Jerry’s Stage) drew the largest crowd of the day – of the bands I saw. They were so good they blew a surge protector.
Emily Lacy (Outpost Stage) played from the top of a volcano.
To catch Dirt Bird (Lemon Tree Stage) is to witness gothic inspired folk. What I found so interesting: at one point a metal contraption was brought out and it was tapped on the drum to end a song. I believe this was the only time it was used. An attention to details.
Pisces (Jerry’s Stage) was Happy Hallows doing folk.
Comment of the set: “I really love you, I really love you. I wish we all lived here.”
Lead singer, Sarah, also found her perfect astrology match in the audience.
Tommy Santee Klaws just doesn’t have enough Facebook‘likes.” This band is powerful.
He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister. Why do I always want to say, “He’s My Sister, She’s My Brother?” I’m not sure when I first saw this band. Maybe it was at The Satellite. This is one of the bands I stalk across Los Angeles. The tap dancing gal. The animated standing bassist. The brother/sister combo. The laid back guitarist. Love love love. I’m not the only one who loves this band,because the whole crowd was dancing.
With the end of He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, it was off for a trio of quick hits before heading home.
I only caught one song of Restavrant (Lemon Stage). Luckily, they played an encore or I would have been left wanting. He’s MySister, She’s My Brother (wink) started late so I only caught one song ofthis bad ass band that had Jonah from THE MO ODDS playing the drums.
White Magic (Dustbowl Stage) was mystical.
RT N’ The 44s (Outpost Stage) played songs about sex acts that you do not talk to your mother about, unless your mother is the mother of a specific fan.
Noticed: the ex-keyboardist from one of my favorite bands, Black Flamingo, was behind the lens; and the percussionist from another favorite band, Raw Geronimo, was in the audience. I wrote a blog post that highlighted both of these bands when they played sets at The Echo earlier this year.
Here are some additional photos
Note from Editor: We apologize for late posting