bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012: spirit family reunion

If you ask me, Bristol Rhythm & Roots is the best bang for your festival buck in the country — $40 gets you a weekend of the best traditional and new Americana artists out there, plus you get to watch the Tennessee/Florida game with Tennessee fans, and the quality of the street food is top-notch. You really can’t beat it, and their lineup is always flawless.

This year I didn’t see as many new bands as I wanted to, or even as many sets as I meant to catch, but I got to see a full 14 song set from my beloved Ha Ha Tonka, two sets from the Deep Dark Woods, Lydia Loveless, and Girls Guns & Glory, who don’t tour much down here. The Tonk alone were worth the money, and I topped it off with plenty of other great music and a weekend with like-music-ed folks.

There’s nothing not to love about Bristol.

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012: shovels & rope

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012: the deep dark woods

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012: ha ha tonka

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012: girls guns & glory

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012: ha ha tonka

festival preview: bristol rhythm & roots reunion

bristol rhythm & roots: sarah jarosz

bristol rhythm & roots

shep. and I discovered Bristol Rhythm & Roots — or just “Bristol” to bands and regular festival-goers — back in 2009, when friends Holy Ghost Tent Revival and the New Familiars both played; we attended again in 2010, took 2011 because of its proximity to Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival, and in 2012, I just said well, fuck it, and decided to do back to back festivals. Bristol boasts both one of the most regularly fantastic line-ups — this year’s headliners include roots rock legend Robert Earl Keen, hipster darlings Delta Spirit and Dr Dog, and one of North Carolina’s favorite daughters, Tift Merritt, just to start with the lineup — and one of the cheapest ticket prices ($40 for a weekend pass if you buy before August 31) out there.

It’s a can’t-miss weekend for me, and this year’s line-up has me spinning circles of excitement. In alphabetical order behind the jump, two dozen bands I’m wicked excited to see.

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bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2010

bristol rhythm & roots

Cost effective and bitchin’, as one of my coworkers would say. Happy 10th birthday, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion! You don’t look a day over seven. You were a highlight of 2009, and you brought it again in 2010. Can’t wait for 2011.

“Was that your brother?” One of the best parts of the festival is the random conversations with bands, and being told that no, that wasn’t someone’s brother, that was one of the big-shots running the festival, was an unquestionable top-notch conversation. I have no defense for my occasional foot-in-mouth disease.

Continue reading “bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2010”

bristol rhythm & roots 2010

bristol, tennessee/virginia

I think this may be my second favorite place in the world outside of the state of North Carolina (Camden Yards is my favorite). Not this Econo Lodge specifically, but Bristol in general. We’re in Tenne-virginia for the 10th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion this weekend; keep an eye out here for photos and out at Twitter for ridiculousness.