For such a massive festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival—the four-day weekend of music and mud on a 72-acre site just north of Pittsboro—doesn’t worry with big announcements. On Sunday, the festival created and posted its official Facebook event. The lineup, too, just went live, and features what’s come to be expected from this fest in its 11th year: lots of roots and Americana, a sampling of worthy locals, a handful of noteworthy or even legendary “they got who?” acts, and enough unknown quantities to reward a little curiosity.
Headlining this year are Indigo Girls, Del McCoury Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Donna the Buffalo (though that last is a fixture and should be no surprise to Shakori regulars). Considering Indigo Girl Amy Ray played a string of shows with Mount Moriah’s Heather McEntire earlier this year, there may be an extra-strong local connection with that set. As the multi-decade bluegrass veteran headlining a rural grassroots festival, McCoury’s set seems an obvious highlight, especially given the success of Raleigh’s inaugural IBMA weekend last year.
What multi-faceted avant folk-rock powerhouse Des Ark, led by Chatham County songwriter Aimée Argote, will sound like is anyone’s guess, as the act is even now putting the finishing touches on what promises to be a curveball of an LP: Argote’s said the new sound privileges quiet, sad textures and different instrumentation. Throughout the lineup, there are familiar, welcome local names – Morning Brigade, Diali Cissokho, Toon & the Real Laww – and unknowns aplenty. Like any lineup, curiosity is often rewarded. So why not scan the lineup for yourself?