The threat of rain didn’t keep folks from attending the bi-annual Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in Pittsboro over the weekend. Arriving at the festival grounds in the early afternoon, the usually open space between the entrance and the cabaret tent was teeming with life as the children’s activity tent overflowed with parents and young ones energized by non-musical offerings.
The music, of course, was bountiful as well. The soaring vocals of Dark Water Rising coming from the main stage echoed over the treetops. California-based musician Frank Fairfield sat in close by the infield chaos tooling with his banjo, surrounded by three instrument cases. Just more than two years ago Fairfield had agreed to be the first in our Simple Music Series for IndyWeek.com, and he was gracious enough to give us another installment. Fairfield, having flown cross country the day before, kicked into one of his signature fiddle tunes, “Sally Goodin” and despite claiming to be a bit off, he proved to be more on point on an off day than most could hope to be at their best. The scene shows Fairfield sawing away on his fiddle as ambient noise rose from the busy festival grounds.
Later in the afternoon, the rain did come. It was intense and combined with wind, sending most festival goers running for cover. In the dance tent, Bubba George Stringband played to a full dance floor as the power cut on and off throughout the storm. The crowd cheered as the band continued playing during the periods of temporary power loss. That evening, the Trekky Records all-star band Auxiliary House returned to Shakori Hills at the Carson’s Grove stage. Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, Lost in the Trees’ Ari Picker and Trekky founders Martin Anderson and Will Hackney were among the many musicians, which
reached 13 total on stage: three drummers, three key-related players, two guitarists, a bassist, a cellist, tuba player and two people on vocals. The cast played a number of tunes including the not-so-serious “Kegs” as their songs blasted long into the Shakori Saturday night.
Frank Fairfield, “Sally Goodin”
Auxiliary House, “Father Time”