May 24th, 2009 · No Comments · By

So the Bonnie “Prince” Billy show at Fry’s Spring is tonight, and I’m sure many of you are quite excited about that; while I’ve never disliked his music, Mr. Oldham’s stuff has never precisely been my cup of tea, so I’ll leave the blogging about that event to others.

Personally, I’m much more excited about the Esmont Rocks festival, happening down in Esmont, VA today. It’s a spectacular all-star line-up of bands, most (if not all) of them with some Charlottesville / Esmont / central-VA connections.  It includes:

– spectacular songwriter and singer Sarah White, along with King Wilkie guitarist Ted Pitney; all-star authentic-country ass-kickers Jim Waive and the Young Divorcees; brilliant ironic-country idiot-savant (and Esmont native) Johnny Corndawg; sprawling art-metal warlocks Horsefang; retro-70’s metal powerhouse Corsair; a new band called Mss. feat. Tyler Magill (of Grand Banks / Radio Wowsville fame); and Pokey Lafarge, who tore the roof off the Tea House last night with his new backing band,

… honestly, any one of those performers alone would already be enough to convince me to make the drive down to Esmont for a Sunday. When you also add to the line-up:

– long-time local favorite power-duo Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri; all Star folk-rock gentleman (and lady) Mister Baby; newly-formed hard-workin’ bluegrass-rockers PantherBurn; and DJing by cville expatriots Jason R. “el Duce” Andrews and the legendary Jimmy T… well, you’ve got yourself a pretty ass-kickingly great festival line-up.

There’s also two bands I’ve never heard of (the Ruinaires and Ian Gilliam and the Fire Kings), as well as one I’ve never liked (the Kings of Belmont, whom I’m willing to give a third chance solely because of their presence at this fest).

But honestly, what’s not to like?  I’m usually not one for festivals, but a party on the river on a warm summer Sunday, chock-full of bands who are not only most of my favorite local acts, but also some of my favorite people… well, fuckin’ sign me up.

There’s also a cookout, fishing, swimming, camping, and babysitting. It starts at 4pm (they won’t allow admittance before then), and continues late into the night. As Jen’s website says: The entry fee is for you to bring FOOD TO SHARE. Anything will do, just bring something. At least one dish/food item per car/family. (For our purposes, Beer is not considered food). Bring blankets to sit on and picnic away to your heart’s content. Bring coolers as you please! This is a private party, but if you found this website, then you’re on the guest list.

I hope to see y’all there. Max Fenton and I are carpooling down, so call us up if you need a ride there, although we can’t promise a return trip (he’s coming back early for the BPB show, I’m just planning to wing it and see which of my half-dozen friends there I can hitch ride back with).  I’m intenselty excited about this festival… plus I hear Nailgun founder John Ruscher is coming down from NYC for the show!

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