MusicFestNews photographer David Lee (Gypsyshooter) and I are are really excited to return to The BIG What? hosted by Big Something. We missed last year’s festival but had a blast during the 2015 edition. Despite a little precipitation, we had a great time.
One of the great aspects of festivals is greeting old friends and making new ones, and that goes double for your camping neighbors. Our experience in 2015 was greatly heightened by our quick-blooming friendship with our neighbors, who hailed from Raleigh. At the time, neither David nor I knew anything about Urban Soil, a wonderful band that adeptly plays Americana, rock and roll, bluegrass, and more. At the time on Thursday, we noted:
We were camping in the band area, and we were fortunate to be next to the fine people from Urban Soil, who rolled in Thursday to support their fellow bands before playing Saturday. Eric Chesson and his mates were awesome neighbors all weekend.
Early that Saturday, we were working, when:
I have to point out that while my partner-in-crime, David Lee, is looking at myriad photos and I’m typing this Saturday morning, Urban Soil, due on stage in two hours, is holding an impromptu warm-up session next door here in the campground. This is a treat indeed. We are really looking forward to the afternoon’s set.
A bit later Saturday, this occurred:
Now it was time to hear our campground neighbors who sounded so beautiful and acoustic up in the woods.
Urban Soil threw down. That might sound odd for the Raleigh quintet who bill themselves as “homegrown sweet Americana jam,” but this was a wonderful, strong set, and Opposite Box was NOT an easy act to follow. Urban Soil did so with gusto and grace. The quintet is centered around the beautiful voice of Sarah Reinke. Hearing artists such as Reinke reminds me again of how incredible our scene is and how dreadful FM radio is. She also played rhythm guitar. Leader Eric Chasson added backing vocals and was an excellent guitar player as well.
After hearing the band’s warm-up/tune-up, I was not expecting them to kick ass, but they absolutely did. It was awesome. The third tune, “Urban Swing,” was superb, and the set was a delight. Greg Meckley was great on violin (but a bit too far under the mix), and the Brothers Fawcett held down the bottom, Curtis on bass and Gabe on drums.
Since that 2015 set, we have been delighted to publish a feature about the band and shows and tours. Think we’re excited about a rematch? You bet!