One of the leading European festivals for Americana music, the Take Root Festival 2015 was again attracting music lovers to Groningen on the second Saturday of September. This year’s edition was again a splendid mix of well- known and uprising artists of the genre. Appropriately there was for U,S. food lovers to enjoy delicious buffets, meals and snacks from the continent. By the overlapping timetable and different saloons please understand you could not see all shows.
As beloved and acclaimed artist from last year’s edition Carrie Elkin together with Danny Schmidt was to open the concert series and to play a second show. The two voices and the folky guitar plays were in perfect love and harmony together. Songs like “Landeth By Sea” or ”Kiss Me Now” were setting the fans in dream estate for the first time. Starry begin of Take Root!
From Portland, Oregon Houndstooth were next in the foyer. Their sounds were much more Texas rockinin’, the voice of lead-singer Katie Bernstein was in controversy sweet and fairy-like. Songs like “Baltimore” or were inviting all freaks to dance and move to the grooves, and they really did. Hell Yeah! By the final track “Bliss Boat” they concluded their gig stormy applause.
Off course roots-music is also played in Europe and so from Dublin Villagers were to hail on the stage in the Grote Zaal. They started by “Dawning On Me”. They were spicing up their music by integration of Irish clays by the harp-plays of Mali Llywelyn. Lead-singer and mastermind Conor J. O’Brien was the quiet pole on stage, but by his voice there was so much light of affinity in the dark. They concluded their act by “Little Bigot” and the final thunderous applause was theirs.
From the windy city of Chicago Ryley Walker was to enthuse by his finest fingerpickin’ guitar solos. By songs like” On the Banks of the Old Kishwaukee” and his voice he was taking his listeners by closed eyes in the packed Kleine Zaal on a prairie ride across the Great Wide Open. The fervid slide guitar solos by the guitarist were adding some bluesy hooks. Ryley Walker was to many visitors who did not know him one of the many performing surprises.
From Lafayette, Indiana David Corley & Wild Connection were next. To many fans the songwriting late-comer , his debut “AvailableLight” was released by the age of 53, was relatively unknown. By his title song and specially the song-diamond “The Calm Revolution” he was to hoodoo by the mix of country, blues and folk the thrilled crowd. He proved live what a great songwriter and performer he is, with kind of a same iconic aura like Willy Deville and Lou Reed. The fans supported him so much by their passion and David was really so grateful by their joy. He had a heavy past behind him as worker and as a result he had a heart-stroke before. Unfortunately when everything was so good and he intended to play still an encore his heart came to a cardiac arrest. Thanks to the doctor’s support and by Gods spirit and grace he could be reanimated and is on the way with rehab. He is even out of intensive care and the doctors expect full recovery. GREAT MIRACLE & GOOD NEWS!
DAVID CORLEY – ALL THE BEST FROM YOUR FANS – THEY ARE IN DELIGHT FOR YOUR PERSON & MUSIC!
Many of the freaks attending the solo-show of Mark Kozelek, the protagonist of Sun Kill Moon did not hear yet of the tragedy which had occurred so they loved the opener “The Christmas Song” and his bittersweet irony tunes like “Hey You Bastards I’M Still Here”. His murderous canto, intensified by pounding drums or acoustic guitar was kind of ghost-spooky and also perfect for any Halloween event. He was farewelled by applause like a gladiator.
From California Dawes were to spread sunny musical flavors by their west-coast- rock with their opener “Things Happen”. Dawes and specially Taylor Goldsmith by his sweet charming vocals can be entitled as young successors of legends like Jackson Brown or bands like Crosby, Stills & Nash. Their lead-guitarist was no one less than Duane Betts, the son of Dickey Betts, legendary guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band. By his buckshot of southern-rock solos you could immediately get aware what great chip off the old block he is. Great highlight-titles like “From A Window Seat” made the play-time pass ever so quickly and by “All Your Favourite Bands” the grand-final was already achieved, finalized by a loud-blast of applause.
From Winnipeg, Canada The Crooked Brothers were to pull a spell on you by their Manitoba Spirit music; a great blend of Blues, Bluegrass and Country influences. The brothers with their funny synonyms of Darwin, Jesse & Matt Crooked were real stunning masters on their instruments like dobro-guitar, banjo and mandolin. They were taking their freaks on a hell-ride and everybody was feeling like “Your Love is a Ghosttown” .
A real star was next: From Austin, Texas, lady music-icon Patty Griffin. Patty can definitely rock, which she proved by being a member of “Band Of Joy”, face to face with Robert Plant and Buddy Miller. So she started at splendid De Oosterpoort for Take Root festival by her hot song “There Isn’t One Way” Her voice was ever so strong. She was escorted only by brilliant six-string therapist David Pulkingham; he was also a member in the touring band of The Dixie Chicks. Her repertoire this night was also very sensitive by “Gunpowder”. Absolute highlight was the title track of her new cd “Servant Of Love”, where she was the magician-queen on grand-piano. By the spiritual gospel-ballad “Waiting For My Child“ she was farewelling her thrilled fans without further encore.
As headliner in the big saloon all the wolves were hungry for some spicy, musical Kentucky Fried Chicken by My Morning Jacket. The boys from Lousiville were starting by the spiritual, “Bermuda Highway”. The fire of lust between band and auditorium was to ablaze from the very first tune. The mawkish vocals of Jim James were to ensorcell. By his aura and voice you could call him the “Child Of Neil Young”! But the boys could heavy-rock, too by “Compound Fracture” and specially by the wild solos of Carl Broemel on lead-axe and the beats of drum-manimal Patrick Hallahan. MMJ was ever so magical by the many different musico faces, even kind of psycho and doomy by “Like A River”. The boys could have played till dawn, but by the stompy, melodico-rockin’ “Circuital” the ceremony had to stop at its best. The glory show by My Morning Jacket was over. The overwhelming hurricane-applause was really touching for them, specially for Jim. Come Back soon Southern “Kentucky Gods”.
By the midnite-hour it was Soul-Disco party time, the 70’ies styleby Con Brio. No feet were standing still by their funky rhythms. They had a fervid horn and drums-bass section. Charismatic master of dance and chant was Ziek McCarter. He was ever so powerful continuing the legacy of Michael Jackson and James Brown. There was a glorious dance-party going on till the early Sunday morning hour…
Superbe, surprising Take Root 2015 festival was over. All the bands and musicians in the line-up were so enchanting and proving that there does not have to be always only big-stars for a starry night.
Take Root 2016, Groningen & De Oosterpoort will be well worth for a new weekend music-experience of Roots-Americana!