The local roots music festival Shakori Hills returned to its Chatham County homestead over the weekend, marking the first fest since organizers purchased the land late last year Early Friday afternoon, the volume of people streaming into this Spring’s event seemed especially considerable. The line of ticket purchasers snaked well past the designated waiting area.
Below, check some clips from day two of the festival; Saturday footage is on the way.
Phil Cook & the Guitarheels, “1922”
Phil Cook and his revolving band of Guitarheels played the Meadow stage in the early evening. Cook’s set sported high anticipation, as he was presenting newly recorded material with an all-star cast. Channeling his inner Ry Cooder, Cook presented “1922” and “Ain’t That Sweet” to a highly enthused audience. His brother, Brad, served as musical MVP, adding slick bass. Fresh off jaw surgery and wearing a head brace, ace fiddle player Bobby Britt powered his way through the set and continued the next day with Big Fat Gap.
The Brothers Comatose, “Roots”
The San Francisco group The Brothers Comatose served as the energetic band on the Carson’s Grove stage. The five-piece acoustic group plowed through a somewhat covers-heavy set, which seemed to attract scores of folks from all over the festival grounds. They went up-tempo with “Cluck Old Hen” and offered a tribute to fellow West Coasters, Cake, with a bluegrass version of “Stickshifts and Safetybelts.” But their originals were plenty fresh, too: “Roots” was a minor-key dance number, while “The Scout” served as a chance to fill the stage with singing and dancing kids.
Greg Humphreys, “Someday, I’ll Have My Due”
Longtime Triangle resident Greg Humphreys returned to support his new album, Bohemia. Channeling his inner Sam Cooke, Humphreys presented a stunning new number called “Someday, I’ll Have My Due.” It delighted with the legendary soul singer’s cadence and instrumentation. As tends to happen in the Cabaret tent once the tempo picks up, all clear sight lines for video efforts disappeared. As Humphreys kicked into “Windows,” not a shred of free space remained as Humpheys’ impressive trio reeled in an overflow crowd. With wife and new baby in tow, Humphreys, at least, was back in familiar surroundings, reanimated and reenergized.
Tonk, “Country Power”
Raleigh’s Tonk provided a great, straight-ahead, honky-tonk set, offering a perfect segue from afternoon to evening. Between roadhouse piano, smooth steel guitar and slick Telecaster licks, the six-piece delivered the foundational elements of country music. Ben Barwick and Jay Brown exchanged lead vocal duties on standout numbers “First Lie” and “Country Power.” The Shakori Hills crowd responded by twirling their hula hoops and lifting their beer huggers in thanks.