The Waybacks’ Album Hour at MerleFest 04/28/2012

Posted: May 27, 2012 in Bluegrass, MerleFest, Review, Waybacks
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Waybacks’ Album Hour
04/28/2012
MerleFest Day 3, Wilkesboro, NC

The Waybacks‘Album Hour is always the highlight of MerleFest and we usually head over to Hillside early to stake out space. This year the selection of Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced didn’t disappoint; it was great to hear the cheer of the crowd at the first notes of Purple Haze.  The inclusion of “I Shall Be Released” lyrics in the middle of “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Rainy Day Women” in “Third Stone from the Sun” made for some nice variety.

The Waybacks’ Ablum Hour

The guests included: Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush, Susan Tedeschi, Sarah Dugas, Christian Dugas, John Cowan, Kym Warner, Jens Kruger, and probably a couple others that I forgot.

Other Day 3 acts that I saw:

  • Assembly of Dust – only caught a bit of them as their set was ending just as we arrived.
  • Wylie & the Wild West – Traditional country with a bit of a rock flavor.
  • Sarah & Christian Dugas – I first heard of her with The Duhks and I’ve always loved her voice so I was really looking forward to seeing her own band. It was, however, disappointing because the song writing was uninteresting. Hopefully it will get better; if not, I’ll always enjoy seeing her guest with other bands (like The Waybacks).
  • Jim Lauderdale Band – A true musician’s musician and always interesting to see if for nothing less than his attire. This year he wore a purple jump suit which we later learned was a perfect fit for The Waybacks’ Album Hour.
  • The Waybacks’ Album Hour – You are reading it.
  • Doc Watson – Always an inspiration to see; I just hope this wasn’t the last time I get to see him perform.
  • Punch Brothers – Ya, Chris Thile talented and all but the band was pretty uninspired. I’m not sure what all the excitement is about. Pass.
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band – After their KICK ASS performances with Sam Bush and Los Lobos on Friday night I was couldn’t wait to see them headline Saturday. Sadly, it wasn’t that good. Maybe it’s just that my expectations were so high but I suspect they are better as “sidemen” than the main act.
  • Midnight Jam hosted by Casey Driessen – This is his second year (in a row) hosting and while I love his fiddle playing with other bands I really hope he doesn’t host again. We used to stay out in Boone so staying for Midnight jam wasn’t feasible. Once we got a hotel in Wilkesboro we started attending and the first couple of years (James Nash, David Bromberg) were amazing; I loved the way the mixed up the players and orchestrated the entire night. Casey, while talented in his own right, didn’t seem to pay much attention to the band leader side of Midnight Jam and the evening suffered as a result…two years in row.
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