MerleFest 2012 - If it's Saturday, it's all music

April 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Today, Susan and I decided to try to hear as much music as we could.  Right now, we're listening to the Tedeschi Trucks Band perform on the Watson Stage.  But that wraps up the evening.  We started our day at the Creekside Stage for Jim Lauderdale and friends.  From there we headed to the far corner to the Hillside Stage for the Greencards.  Led by the husband and wife team Kym Warner and Carol Young from Australia, the Greencards are producing some of the finest Americana music around.  They filled the Hillside Stage area to capacity.

Kym Warner on mandolin. Carol Young on vocals and bass.

 

Wylie and the Wild West followed the Greencards on the Hillside Stage, so there was no reason to go anywhere else.  If for no other reason, you know Wylie's distinctive yodel - it's the "Ya-hoooo" in the yahoo.com commercials.  But his music is much more than that.  Check out this video on YouTube:  Yodeling Boogie.

The Hillside Stage is home to a five-year MerleFest tradition:  The Hillside Album Hour featuring the Waybacks and friends.  The first album hour wasn't even planned that way.  The Waybacks just went onstage with a bunch of friends and played the songs on "Led Zeppelin II."  It was such a hit that MerleFest asked them to do something similar the next year.  So it was "Sticky Fingers."  Since then, guessing the album has become an annual event.  Two years ago, the Waybacks were joined by everyone from Sarah Dugas to Jerrry Douglas to Jim Lauderdale to Elvis Costello in re-creating "Abbey Road."  And in 2011, Joan Osborne lent her vocals to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of "Eat a Peach."  (All but "Sticky Fingers" are available online at FestivaLink.

Once again, an overflow crowd gathered before the Hillside Stage, waiting to see who had guessed right.

And this is the reaction when the Waybacks opening gradually gave away the album:

For 2012, they had chosen Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?"  The Waybacks and friends (Sarah Dugas, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Jim Lauderdale, Kym Warner, Christian Dugas, and Jens Kruger took the audience from "Purple Haze" to "Stone Free."

Sarah Dugas sings "Purple Haze."

With James Nash providing the guitar licks.

 

Sam Bush and John Cowan stepped forward for "Hey Joe."

 

And what does it take to have Jim Lauderdale, Sarah Dugas, and Sam Bush as you backup singers?

 

The artists gave us a beautiful and touching rendition of "The Wind Cries Mary" in honor of recently lost friends from long-standing MerleFest stage staff to Earl Scruggs, Dick Clark, and Levon Helm.  And then, just to throw a curve and some humor at us, they performed "Third Stone from the Sun" as a mixed medley with Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35" (sometimes known as "Everybody Must Get Stoned").

What a treat.

Saturday's not over.  Susan Tedeschi's singing "Why Don't We Do It In the Road" right now.  And there's more to come.

 


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