Update 2009: It's the Holler Fest weekend time of year again! I should've put up a notice sooner. Sorry! But for community music fun this is the place to be for SE Michiganders! Aug. 21-23. I'll have an OYB table AND Lazygal table. More at http://hollerfest.com.
I posted a notice for Holler Fest 2008 earlier. Well, here's a quick report on my experience at it.
It seems like it's the only SE Michigan farm-based folk music fest. Usually, downstaters have to drive a few hours to get to any of the half dozen famous, popular rural fests up north.
Also, these up north fests are getting to be pretty large, with 500-1000 folks at the smaller ones.
Holler Fest is held on the 3rd weekend of August and is located at the Frog Holler organic farm 20 miles east of Jackson and is still in the very cozy stage of things. They have a great natural ampitheater and wonderful grounds, hill and dale. A couple hundred people showed up, as far as I could guess.
There's a main stage in an open "holler" and a cozy cabin stage plus a mowed music area next to a pond. Plenty of room for tenting and frisbee everywhere else. Lots of nature trails.
I arrived a day into things and was told that I missed some super shows the previous night---by Billy Mack and also Orpheum Bell.
The day was very hot and humid, but full of sweet music. It was a heat that slowed life down to a deep south pace, I thought.
I set up an OYB table in the info tent. Lots of people came by and perused things. As usual, I sold more luggage than books.
It was nice meeting and hanging out with folkies young and old. I tend to get out of touch working at home and doing sports that only old farts seem to enjoy---bike, boat, ski in their cruising/touring forms---antiquities, aren't they. So it was especially nice hangin' with the yout'. The homemade, homegrown food and socializing were all super.
Musical highlights for me were the late night Billy King show and the Mutual Kumquat band.
MK has sweet harmonies that remind me a tiny bit of the Neville Brothers---maybe due to their soulful, latin-ish tenors---but with more beat. Check out this mid-song portion of video. It's kinda lame but does give you a taste:
Billy King and the Idylls wrapped up the night with a set that veered into wonderfully cosmic territory with enchanting keyboards. He later said this was a new thing for him. I heard their last songs wafting thru the starry night as I was setting up my tent just over the hill from the stage. The music---a couple slow, rich, ornate covers of Paul Simon songs---filled the night richly but softly. Maybe you had to be there? It was dreamy in the exhausted grassy closeness of the hazy night after being out in the sun all day. But it was more than that. I hope he makes a CD of this new style. Here are a couple brief, semi-lame vid-clips that give a flavor of this new sound: