Festival Coverage

Drumstrong 2014 – Festival Review

I had high hopes for the Drumstrong Rhythm & Arts Festival this past weekend, and it most definitely did not disappoint. Right from the get go, the music was solid. Starting off running with Modern Primitives on Friday afternoon, and ending with Dom Flemmons Sunday night, everyone’s musical pallets should have been whetted. From indie to bluegrass to electronic and nearly everything in between, Drumstrong definitely covered their bases with this lineup. The shortest setlist award goes to The Mantras, whose 30+ minute jam on Saturday definitely got the crowd’s interest. HRVRD’s creative use of looping and vocal effects was a crowd favorite on Friday night, and Railroad Earth blew the non-existent roof off the festival during their Saturday night headline slot. There were plenty of bands local to the triangle that showed up as well. Lost in the Trees, American Aquarium, Chatham County Line, and The Love Language just to name a few.

Not only was the music fantastic, but the artists and vendors had something to offer people of every taste. Including talented painters like Sarah Goodyear, and even handmade drum vendors, the amount and quality of local crafts was extremely high. Sponsorship from PBR and Starr Hill Brewery in addition to multiple food trucks from the Charlotte area meant that refreshments were of quality and in high supply. All of these elements, along with the pleasant location of Misty Meadows farm set a great backdrop to a great festival that offered much more than great music.

Then there was the drum circle. Starting off at about 3:00 on Saturday afternoon, a huge crowd gathered underneath the tent with drums, tambourines, cowbells, and five gallon buckets in hand. For the next 24 hours, everyone drummed non-stop while the entire event was broadcast worldwide. As people got tired, and as hands got blistered, people would switch off and take breaks. However, there were always a few people always willing to drum through the night, and into the early morning. Catching up on Sunday afternoon, we were able to witness the culmination of this year’s efforts, into an almost deafening roar of percussion as the clock counted down to zero. When the 24 hour mark was reached everyone stopped in unison, which left a strange silence after the constant pulse that had been present. I think that it’s safe to say that this year’s Drumstrong Rhythm & Arts Festival was a big success, and here’s hoping to an even bigger weekend next year.

– Ben Goodson


The Main Stage at Drumstrong

I spent this past weekend at the Drumstrong Rhythm and Arts Festival. Upon arriving at the festival grounds, I was surprised at how big the stage setup was. There were huge banners in front of the speaker stacks, ample stage lights, and huge soundboards. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect music-wise, having only heard a few songs by the artists on the bill, but I heard a lot of good music that weekend. Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite acts that played.


Jesse Clasen of HRVRD

The first band that threw me for a loop was the Friday night headliner, HRVRD. They’re a Charlotte-based band that plays a darker style of indie rock and alludes to post-hardcore at times (thinking of Circa Survive). The bassist and drummer did a fantastic job of holding down the mood of their songs. Meanwhile, the lead guitarist laid down some gloomy-sounding chords. Awesome set from these guys.


Miami Dice throwing it down

Miami Dice is an electro-pop group that makes reference to the 80’s in both style and sound. They somewhat remind me of CFCF, a band I remember enjoying quite a lot in past years. Miami Dice’s slightly odd stage act is worth mentioning. They come fully equipped with blazers, Ray-bans, and backup dancers. They played a very danceable set on Friday night, and I’m interested in seeing what they’ll do in the future.


The Futurebirds

Futurebirds are a laid-back country rock band off of Fat Possum Records. Their extended song lengths give ample time for vibing out, and it’s hard for me to not imagine their practice space being a big barn somewhere in rural Georgia.


Dave Wilson of Chatham County Line

Chatham County Line are a renowned bluegrass outfit from the Triangle region. Their set Saturday did not disappoint, and it’s clear that they were some of the most skilled musicians at the whole festival. They just released their sixth album this week, entitled “Tightrope”, off of Yep Roc Records.


Joe Pug Trio

Joe Pug is a singer-songwriter currently based out of Austin, TX, and the guy knows his way around a folk song. The first song he played Sunday was “Hymn #35”, a contemplative tune that comes off like a riddle. From that moment I knew I was going to enjoy his set. His music has themes of vagrancy and regret, and his narrative lyric style is reminiscent of Bob Dylan. Pug has also stated literary influences of John Steinbeck and Walt Witman. Definitely check this guy out if you’re looking for some good folk.

I look forward to seeing what the guys over at Drumstrong have in store for next year!

-DJ Nasty Nate

Festival Coverage

Drumstrong Rhythm and Arts Festival


DRUMSTRONG Rhythm & Arts festival, an annual 3-day event in the rolling pastures of Misty Meadows Farm in Weddington, N.C., has confirmed its performer lineup for May 16-18. This yearʼs acts include:

Railroad Earth, Felice Brothers, Kopecky Family Band, Chatham County Line, American Aquarium, Yo Mamaʼs Big Fat Booty Band, Dom Flemons (Formerly of Carolina Chocolate Drops), Joe Pug, HRVRD, Lost in the Trees, The Mantras, The New Familiars, The Love Language, Marley Carroll, Bombadil, Overmountain Men, Junior Astronomers, Dirty Drummer, Elonzo, Ancient Cities, Super Ape, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, Of Good Nature, Replicas, Sinners and Saints, Time Sawyer, Pullman Strike, The Business People, Cairo Fire, Miami Dice and more to be announced

Located just 4 miles south of Charlotte in Weddington, NC, festivities start Friday evening, May 16 with outrageous stage sets, art & food vendors, a craft beer garden, yoga, KidzFun and some “warm-up” drum circle activity. We have on-site drum and yoga instruction, health expo, vendors with drums, food, and unique souvenirs. Come out and play, drum, learn, dance, eat, camp and show your support.

About Drumstrong

DRUMSTRONG events raise awareness and funds for cancer organizations globally through family friendly rhythm gatherings. Since the first 25-hour drum session at Misty Meadows Farm in 2007, DRUMSTRONG has expanded to over 70 cities in 25 countries to help local cancer initiatives.

About CLTure

Founded in 2012, CLTure is a cooperative business collaborative that utilizes the most artistic and creative minds in the area to produce superior media, print, video and web content. As a full service boutique marketing, advertising and entertainment company, CLTure helps businesses market their products through creative interaction with their target market by utilizing their exclusive network of creators. The company is proud to advocate for independent business, music, arts and culture.

Concert Preview

WUNC sets schedule for Music on the Lawn concert series

Our neighbors to the west at WUNC North Carolina Public Radio have announced the line up for their annual Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series. Starting April 29, the station hosts 10 free Friday concerts running through September. The series mixes national acts like Robin & Linda Williams & Their Fine Group and Loudon Wainwright III with local talent including Chatham County Line and Holy Ghost Tent Revival, but all the performers have some kind of connection to the state.

They aren’t every Friday, so be sure to check the schedule. All shows start at 6 p.m. at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham.

Fri 4/29 – The Small Ponds
Fri 5/27 – The Freighthoppers
Fri 6/10 – TBD
Fri6/17 – The New North Carolina Ramblers
Fri 7/1 – Robin & Linda Williams
Fri 8/19 – Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Fri 9/2 – Craicdown
Fri 9/9 – Shady Grove Band
Fri 9/16 – Loudon Wainwright III
Fri 9/30 – Chatham County Line

Concert Review

Troika Saturday

This past Saturday marked the the last night of the local music festival Troika in downtown Durham. Despite the cold weather, Anastassia and I, AndyQ, had a glorious time running around from venue to venue listening to the Triangle’s finest local music. This is our collaborative blog on our experience.

The first place we went to was at the new Motorco Music Hall, which had a nice upscale warehouse lounge vibe going on.

Filthybird started the evening out nicely with some mellow music. It was fun to watch the lead singer with her short stature play such a huge guitar.

After Filthybird, some men in snazzy suits and well manicured beards came to the stage. With their four-part harmonies and fancy finger work on the fiddle, Chatham County Line managed to crank out some good ole bluegrass reminiscent of classic Avett Brothers.

It wasn’t surprising when we looked back at the crowd and saw that they had packed the house filled with swooning listeners.

We were in for a surprise when we headed over to The Casbah.

Gray Young completely changed the atmosphere of the evening with their garage rock cords that were evocative of Explosions in the Sky. With their awesome stage presence and edgy music, it was impossible to stand still. Seeing Gray Young right after a nice folksy band like Chatham was an eye opening experience to the wide range of local music in the Triangle, and both of us really appreciated that.

Then, we saw  The Loom from Brooklyn, who were well worth the walk to the Trotter Building, which was decorated nicely with lovely lanterns. I liked the band’s ability to start off with a mellow opening, only to build up to a crescendo of high energy horns, banjo, and drums. The “Middle Distance,” showcased their driving beats that backed haunting vocals. The sweet raspiness of the female vocalist accompanied by the male lead’s voice was very enjoyable.

Next, we ran back to The Motorco for Cassis Orange. This girly, but rough band was really fun to watch, with the singer dancing and jumping around. Their use of different and sometimes odd instruments came especially handy when a flutist joined them to cover Ke$ha’s “Tik-tok”. That was probably the best cover that I have heard, hands down.

Finally, after almost five hours of shows, the best was saved for last with Hammer No More the Finger. We had heard of them, but didn’t really know what to expect, and they definitely did not disappoint. It was obvious even from the beginning that they had a solid fan base in Durham. The venue was packed and a sort of mosh pit was forming. No one stood still because the guitar riffs and catchy songs were too good to not dance to.

In general, the festival not only presented some great local music, but it showcased the noteworthiness of downtown Durham, helping to disprove some people’s sentiments that Durham is Raleigh’s ghetto. We were very disappointed that there was not enough time in the night to listen to all the bands that performed.  We also went with fellow DJ Godrik, who would like to add “beer should have been cheaper”.

Music News and Interviews

We have Troika Music Festival passes!

For 3 days, from November 4-6, Durham comes alive with music and art. Troika Music Festival began in 2002 and is still going strong. Bands featured this year include Birds & Arrows, Veelee, Old Bricks, I Was Totally Destroying It, Red Collar, The Small Ponds, Americans in France, Phil Cook and His Feat, Chatham County Line, Mount Moriah, Gray Young, Spider Bags, and even more! They’ll be performing at venues around Durham and WKNC has 3-day festival passes to give away!

Just be the correct caller when the DJ asks for it now through November 3, and you could win a pair of 3-day festival passes!

Music News and Interviews

This Week’s Fantastic Giveaways

This week we have a lot of cool stuff to give away!

File:STP @ Virgin Festival3.jpg

We have tickets to The Stone Temple Pilots with The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on October 5 at The Raleigh Amphitheatre and  Sound Tribe System 9 at The Raleigh Amphitheatre on August 25.

We have tickets to Warpaint on August 18 at The Local 506.

On August 19, we have tickets to Cockabilly Roadshow at The Pour House and Lou Barlow At Cat’s Cradle.

On August 20, we have tickets to Jack the Radio at Slim’s, Chatham County Line at Fletcher Theatre, and The Design at The Pour House.

On August 21, we have tickets to Malarkey Gras ft. American Aquarium at The Pour House.


The Other Guys, Scott Pilgrim v. The World, and The Expendables

Keep Listening to WKNC for these giveaways and more!

Concert Review Local Music

Wildwood release party Saturday at the Cradle

Magic happened in the form of live local music Saturday night at the Cat’s Cradle as Chatham County Line had their album release show for Wildwood.

Birds & Arrows were invited to open for a late arriving crowd who were chit-chatting quite loudly at the start of the set. That was until the war painted lead singer Andrea Connolly opened her mouth for the first time and her strong but enchanting voice immediately silenced the entire venue as B&A jumped right into one of their favorites, “Honeymoon Song.” The group debuted several brand new songs including their new single “Pride of Lions” which is slated to be released this Friday evening in Durham. Needless to say, I believe many in the crowd were not followers of our local music scene, and I heard nearly a dozen people exclaim how impressed they were with this “unknown” band. After their set, the crowd gave B&A a well deserved rousing applause.

Birds & Arrows are playing this Friday in downtown Durham for the release of their new 7" single off of 307 Knox Records. Billy Sugarfix who is also on the release and Schooner are playing as well.

Chatham County Line took the stage a short time later to a cheering and delightful near-sellout crowd. There was an immediate hush followed by an ecstatic breakout as the acoustic band dived right into to a couple of brand new songs off of Wildwood. If you still have not had the opportunity to hear the new album yet, which is being released officially tomorrow, you will be happy to know that it is the band’s best to date, even outshining its famous last release, IV. Where IV was poppy, Wildwood is hesitant, teetering on the edge of a jumpy hook and laidback mountain picking culminating in a highly pleasing and overall satisfying listen that keeps you coming back (I’ve had it on repeat for almost two weeks now). The crowd in Carrboro was kind enough to stay mostly quiet through the show until the end of each song (save for a few drunken loudmouths) as the group plays acoustic and using only one microphone stand to play around. Dave Wilson even commented that “Carrboro was always more polite than our hometown of Raleigh.” In total, CCL played 22 songs (by my count) in its entire set including 7 from Wildwood bringing the audience to their knees at the end of the final encore begging for even more.  After this show, it is obvious that CCL owns the Triangle and the entire Southern bluegrass scene.

Chatham County Line is playing several shows on Tuesday including free ones at Sadlack’s Heroes in support of Schoolkid’s Records and another at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill.

Listen to CCL on the Local Beat 7/2/10:
Chatham County Line on the Local Beat 7/2/10

DJ Highlights Local Music

Local Beat recap 7/2/10

Sorry for taking so long to get to this recap, but the holiday weekend got me sidetracked. Last Friday on the Local Beat, we had a very entertaining show that crossed all sorts of topics.

Music press kits

The first hour of the show went to Boat Burning, a self described “hard ambient” improvisational band hailing from Chapel Hill. Ken Friedman and Andras Fekete got to the studio an hour early to begin setting up their equipment. Never before had we been able to fit in an entire drum kit, and Andras had well over a dozen pedals for his guitar, proving to be quite difficult to squeeze into our studio. Eventually, the equipment was setup, and the interview was underway.  I was curious as to how the band performs live, and we discussed in great length how their improvisation is structured and how the guys know what to do with their instruments throughout a song. Andras and Ken did their best to answer my questions, and it made for some enlightening conversation on improvisational music.  Below is their “Hard Ambience: A Manifesto” which describes the band’s SOP:

“1) Subvert the past –  past performances should not impose on the present (ie. DON’T RECORD)
2) Subvert the present – during an improvisation, when a successful moment arrives, mark it for destruction (ie. DON’T LINGER)
3) Subvert the future – avoid predefined motifs (ie. DON’T PLAN)
4) Feel it – play from the heart, or don’t play at all (ie. DON’T THINK)
5) Space is the place – silence is a contribution (ie. DON’T NOODLE)
6) Anything goes (ie. NO FEAR)”

They also played two songs for us, which we named “Searching for the Thresher” and “Jagannātha”. Andras even impressed me when he played his guitar with a screwdriver. You can listen to them in the music player up above and download them on our Local Beat ReverbNation page.
Boat Burning on the Local Beat 7/2/10

Boat Burning plays a monthly show at Fuse in Chapel Hill on the last Sunday of every month. Typically, musicians from all over the Triangle drop by and improvise along. Also, be on the lookout for a Boat Burning album coming out later in the year that features all improvised tracks.

For the second hour of the show, I was joined by Scott Klein, cofounder of Sound Around, a mobile device app builder. Scott is a recent NC State grad who, with his brother Steve, has developed a way for bands to create customizable and unique apps that their fans can download to their cell phones. Scott and I chatted about his new business and the unique features it offers to musicians. We also talked in great length about the future of mobile phone technology and its ability to allow fans and musicians to interact on a greater scale than ever before. For more info on Sound Around you can check out my previous blog here.
Scott Klein of Sound Around on the Local Beat 7/2/10

Lastly was Dave and John of Chatham County Line who came by in the last hour to promote their brand new album Wildwood, which is set to be released on July 13.  Wildwood is the band’s fifth album since becoming a group in 1999. Dave and John spent a great deal of the interview reminiscing of their local music influences over the years, and we spent some time talking about how those bands played a role in their sound.  A list of local bands and artists that the guys specifically named is on the right. You also may not realize it, but CCL is a very famous band over in Europe. Despite their humble beginnings and small fanbase in the states, these guys regularly sell out crowds across the Atlantic. Naturally, I had to ask them where that came from. All in all, it was a terrific hour of casual conversation, one which I won’t soon forget.  You can catch Chatham County Line at the Cats Cradle this coming Saturday July 10.
Chatham County Line on the Local Beat 7/2/10

Local Music

Local Beat preview 7/2/10

Tomorrow on the Local Beat will be our second live show of the summer and features some fine guests.

Band email

The first hour of the program might be almost entirely live music as we are going to pack the studio with Chapel Hill experimental band Boat Burning. They plan on bringing in quite the arrangement of equipment and informed me they will be jamming to several different songs in upwards of 10 min each! According to their Myspace page:

“Boat Burning is an experiment in live music composition using amplified guitars and chance. Each performance is unique, as there are no predefined pieces: all compositions are created live.”

I have never had a group in quite like this, so it should make for an interesting first hour.  Also, feel free to listen to their recorded material with the widget on the left for what you might experience tomorrow.

The second hour of the show will be a little more toned down; Steve and Scott of Sound Around will be coming in to chat about their brand new iPhone application and discuss the future of phone technology with regards to music and the interactions between bands and their fans through this new medium. In case you are unaware of what Sound Around is, be sure to read my blog post about the product here.

Last, but certainly not the least, is a special treat. A couple members of Chatham County Line will be coming by to promote their new album Wildwood, their upcoming shows in the area, and I may even let them guest DJ some of their personal favorite local artists!

All of this is happening tomorrow night from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on 88.1 WKNC. Don’t forget, you can always follow the Local Beat on Twitter, ReverbNation, and Facebook!

Music News and Interviews

Local concerts for Haiti

It seems people in all walks of life are doing what they can to help the devastated nation of Haiti.  This includes some local bands and venues that are putting on some benefit concerts.

At the Cats Cradle on January 23 will be an interesting show with two new bands Kick the Future (Debra DeMilo, Terry Anderson, Jack Cornell and Terry McInturff) & The Bipolar Bears (Robert Kirkland, Scott Davison, Terry McInturff and Ron Bartholomew) as well as HWYL, Kitty Box and the Johnnys, Charles Pettee, Puritan Rodeo, The New Town Drunks, and The Moaners.  The show starts at 6 p.m. and costs $10.

At the Pour House on February 4, there will be an additional benefit show, this one starting at 6:40 p.m.  A Rooster For the Masses will headline alongside Chatham County Line, Filthybird, The Hotwires, Roger Gupton, Debonzo Brothers, and Andy Bilinski.  This show is $12.