Muddy Roots 2013

PPJ stageAnother stellar Muddy Roots experience to recover from. Though I missed many who could not make it, the joy and magic is still there. Things could not have happened better. I spent the experience with close friends whom I’ve known for decades and ones I only see here. The serendipitous events of the weekend made it another amazing ride.

I arrived in Nashville and got to chill out with Liz who is a true Southern cook and every plate she put in front of me was amazing. Friday breakfast is one for the books. She’s a master improviser. No fresh oil for pancakes? Use the bacon grease. Not enough syrup to go around? Sautee some peaches and plums. Then you take the fruit and bacon, and fold them into the pancake to make a Tennessee Crepe. Ta da!

In a Muddy Roots miracle, the weather was kind to us this year. It was brutally hot on Friday, but Saturday was manageable (and after Possessed by Paul James left the stage, it rained for about 20 minutes, and then the temperature dropped about 15 degrees, thanks man!) Sunday was nice.

It was a year a lot of our nearest and dearest could not make it. There was a void with Triggerman not introducing bands and doing his thing. Jayke Orivs, Liz Sloan, and Jared McGovern were missed by all. And I only got to see Rachel Brooke for 3 seconds before she walked on stage. But everything you need to know about her is in her performance. Until Possessed by Paul James, she was the only artist I know of who played encores.

In my quest to avoid port-a-potties on Saturday night I made my way up the hill toward the bar. Just as I reached the entrance, Possessed by Paul James was checking in and the man was frazzled. The airline lost his guitar, his GPS didn’t work, (we found out later the beer distributor left in a huff and took down the road signs) and because he spent so much time wrangling at the airport, he was about to miss stage call. Realizing my lottery of good timing, I offered my hand and said “Hi, I’m Gillian, how can I help you?” I took him to his stage, ran to the experts at the Cracker Swamp tent to replace the guitar, then introduced him to Buck Thraikill to get a shot of courage. The walk down vendor alley was surreal. He introduced me to the Muddy Roots Europe folks, and everyone that stopped by to say hello as he shook the road off of him and settled into the environment that is Muddy Roots.

His set was a release for so many of us who anticipated his arrival. He explained his misfortune last year he had to cancel for a family emergency, but thankfully all is well now. He played another set on Sunday night. That’s the one everyone is talking about. I think he wanted to dazzle us with his latest and greatest, but the energy for the oldies was 2011 level. He invited fans onstage and these groups of friends jumped on the open flatbed truck as he proceeded to rock our worlds. I was front and center and enjoyed every minute of it:

Shoulda Known Better:

Muddy Roots is about living in the moment. At some point, you just give in to the chaos. I wound up following a Polecat into a Calamity Cube. That will always be my favorite part. Seeing LoneWolf OMB holding court at Cracker Swamp tent, who were the official Gold Tone reps for the festival. Fixing the artists stuff for free so they could sound their best!

There were so many musical highlights. Seeing Ray Lawrence Jr. at the Cracker Swamp tent was always a treat. My first bout of awesome came with Brownbird Rudy Relic. On the hottest day, he leapt and bounded all over that stage. Seeing Scotty Crow with The Gladezmen on Stage 1 was a biggie, his skills are unmatched. Hellbound Glory playing Showing off Sure is Fun. The showmanship of Sean and Zander. Also, Black Flag hung out for the festival to everyone’s delight.

There were a lot of newcomers this year. Which is great because I think everyone should know this music. The downside is there was more people you wish stayed home. And to my surprise, grifters. All in all it was a great crowd, I made new friends, saw old friends, and had those great little random conversations with people who like the same bands I do.

The food is always good. Free Lovin Foodery is my go-to for cool yummy fruit shakes. In Beej’s honor I tried the catfish sandwich. That is a good sammich. But… nothing compares to the fried pickles.

I’m compiling a list of do’s and don’ts for me to remember next year:

  • DO fly Delta again and take advantage of the Delta Sky Lounge (tre chic)
  • DON’T use Hotwire again. They pick your flights (returning at the ass crack of dawn on Monday was painful).
  • DON’T rent the car from Budget at Nashville Airport. They now charge an extra $50 to wash the mud from the outside of the car (and this year wasn’t even muddy!) Also, I need to research renter’s insurance because the amount I paid decimated my merch and t-shirt budget. Boooo.
  • DON’T buy Pabst Blue Ribbon or Coors Light. When told they could not hang up promotional banners, flags, stickers, and advertisements, their local distributor threw a hissy fit, left the grounds and tore down the road signs telling people where to go (I’m sure this is of no comfort to Possessed by Paul James who would  have benefited from having them up).
  • DO buy Dark Horse Brewing Co. and Left Hand Brewing as they were the ones who saved the day and kept the beer flowing.
  • DO make a list of the bands you absolutely cannot miss on your phone

Next year bitchez. ❤

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