Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth & More Make Hoxeyville A True Hoedown On Lake Michigan

first_imgThe cool breezes off Lake Michigan carried the sweet sounds of bluegrass and Americana far and wide across the wooded grounds of the Hoxeyville Music Festival over the weekend. Hoxeyville brings in some of the nation’s finest roots bands like Railroad Earth and Elephant Revival, alongside impressive regional bands like home state heroes Greensky Bluegrass, Airborne Or Aquatic? and Sweet Water Warblers to rural upstate Michigan for a celebration of music and nature in near equal parts.With a sheltering ring of pines encircling the gathering crowd and music soaring through the leaves in every direction, the festival’s two stages were filled with top shelf talent and surrounded by friends and family, gathered together to share their loves. Our own Rex Thomson was on hand, and he captured a variety of photos and videos from the weekend’s festivities and he is sharing some of his top moments with us all. Enjoy this video tour of the waterlogged weekend at the Hoxeyville Music Festival and the bands who made it so memorable in the clips that follow.Billy StringsTraverse City’s own up-and-coming bluegrass star Billy Strings led his quartet through a rollicking set that showed very clearly why he such big things are expected of this young phenom. After shows around the country over the course of the summer, including a stellar turn at the Northwest String Summit, Strings was back home and surrounded by friends and family. He was even joined onstage for a tune by his father! His set was one of the first on day one and he got the large crowd of very early arrivers going with his lightning fast picking and boyish charms. If Strings keeps giving performances like his cover of the classic “Ain’t Got No Honey Baby Now” below, the world is going to be his oyster.MacpodzMacpodz continued the Michigan representation during the early moments of the Hoxeyville Music Festival with a tight set of funky instrumentals and open, rocking jams. Recently reuniting drummer Griffin Bastian with fellow founder and bass player Ross Huff went in the studio with the regular cast and some specialists from the region including Randall Moore from The Ragbirds.  With their new disc, Underwater Encounter, released earlier this year the Macpodz have been spreading the word of their sharp new tunes to as many shaows and fests as they can find. Check out one of their jammy instrumental tunes below:Airborne Or Aquatic?Airborne Or Aquatic? serves as a supergroup of Michigan’s finest players who want to explore together and create outside of any regular projects. It’s rare that they manage to play more than a handful of shows per year thanks to the competing schedules of the incredible cast, and frontman Seth Bernard seemed delighted to share the stage with his far flung friends once again. As usual, the band swelled with the presence of former collaborators from other acts on the bill, including a fun sit in from Greensky’s Paul Hoffman among other. Watch their crowd pleasing jam on “Keep Up The Quest” below:Railroad EarthRailroad Earth seems to always be straining at the edges of their sonic limitations in an a concerted effort to shatter preconceptions about what a roots band should sound like. Lead by the sweet voice and deft playing of guitarist and vocalist Todd Sheaffer, the band has so many musical weapons in their armory that it’s anyone’s guess where they’ll be going next. Tim Carbone can go from lilting fiddle passages to grungy guitar work in an instant, and Andy Goessling serves as the band’s Swiss Army Man, regularly playing five or six instruments during a single show…s ometimes two at a time! Check out a rip roaring, crowd pleasing rendition of “Head” below:Sweet Water WarblersWhen Lindsay Lou, Daisy May Erlewine & Rachael Davis first joined their voices together, they realized instantly that something special was happening and decided to focus this power as the Sweet Water Warblers. Though the song birds don’t get to harmonize nearly as often they would like, they have made the Hoxeyville Music Festival a regular homecoming. With a new album on the way, hopefully these three will be able to get together a bit more regularly to delight the world with their brand of lilting beauty and insight. Check out their magic on this amazing cover of “The Glory Of Love” below:Mandolin OrangeNorth Carolina’s Andrew Marlin & Emily Frantz give Mandolin Orange a palpable human connection from their obvious deep personal affection for each other. That spirit of love and joy infuses all of their music with a resonance that comes from a nearly subatomic level. With a new album, Blindfaller, on the way, the pair, along with some help from their friends, shared a mix of crowd favorites and new tunes destined to work their way into the hearts of old fans and new alike. We managed to capture a special version of their tune “Big Men In the Sky,” below:Elephant RevivalColorado’s Elephant Revival has had an incredible year to date, and it only looks to get better as the summer fades and the fall finds them back out on the road supporting their stellar new release Petals. After seeing moments like their first headlining show at the legendary Red Rocks to narrowly surviving a catastrophic tour bus fire, the band has found inspiration and humor in the face of their successes and trials. Taking the stage with their trademark low key demeanor, Elephant Revival delivered an uplifting set of songs from throughout their career, including a plea to the clouds to stay parted that was sadly ignored. You can watch one of their set’s high points, a cover of Jefferson Airplane‘s classic “White Rabbit,” below:Greensky BluegrassAnchoring the Hoxeyville Music Festival is a job that sits as well on Greensky Bluegrass‘s shoulders this year, as it has in the past. In a very real sense, Greensky is the heart of the Michigan bluegrass scene, and their nationwide success has shone a light on many of the other very talented artists in the area. To their credit, as the band has seen their national profile grow to super star level, they always manage to wind their way back home to make sure the longest standing supporters get to share the love. Greensky Bluegrass had a special treat for the Michigan fans who were hungry for some fresh tunes, a “Leap Year-Hoxey Lady-Leap Year” medley that had the crowd singing along in full volume! Enjoy!Though the weather seemed to be a unwilling partner to the weekend’s fun, the crowd was more than happy to dance through the intermittent showers at Hoxeyville, be they made of water or sun. With such an over-abundance of players and acts within shouting distance, and some amazing performances by top tier touring bands, the Hoxeyville Music Festival lived up to its reputation as one of the best regional festivals in the country. As tired faces sadly broke down their tents the following morning, a chipper woman on a golf cart drove through the grounds spreading good cheer and calls to “See you all next year” from her golf cart. Her message was greeted with such a rousing cheer that organizers couldn’t help but smile, knowing their future was secured. Load remaining imageslast_img

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