The setting sun behind the rolling hills of West Virginia provided a fittingly bucolic backdrop for the opening performances of the 15th Annual All Good Music Festival. The mountaintop festival site was already well filled in when we rolled in just before noon, and by the time dusk approached, the party was in full swing.
Opening the weekend’s long roster of festival favorites was the West Coast’s Hot Buttered Rum. At most festivals I’ve been to, the audience attendance at opening act is somewhat lacking. Luckily, this was not the case at this year’s All Good, a festival that sold out their 4-day festival passes almost a week in advance of the event. Estimates of attendance at Thursday night are approximately 18,000. According to festival sources, last year’s festival was capped at an attendance of 25,000, and there’s some expectation that this year should approach or surpass last year’s total attendance.
This was only the second time I had seen HBR since their transition from Hot Buttered Rum String Band a few years, and I continue to be impressed with their direction from the straight-up bluegrass roots to a rhythm infused act more in line with Railroad Earth or String Cheese Incident of many years ago. Notable highlights from Hot Buttered Rum’s set included a hot cover of New Minglewood Blues, an enthusiastic and well received Limbs Akimbo, and Busted in Utah. In betweet sets, DJ Who laid down some beats and kept the party going while the main stage was cleared and set up for Beats Antique – a trio act merging members of Yard Dogs Road Show, Aphrodesia, with dance and drums for a mutli-instrumental, rhythm and heavy bass laden performance.
READ ON for more from Andrew about Day One of All Good…