At a little after 4:00 we wandered over to the performance tent, where we heard good sounds. Often a festival doesn’t want to throw one of its better bands at an audience that isn’t complete yet or that hasn’t yet become ready to concentrate on music. That means the opening acts on Thursday are often local or regional bands that truly appreciate the chance to perform, but aren’t necessarily up to the standard of national touring bands. Sometimes, one of these bands provides more than just a pleasant surprise. Backwater, from Ocala, FL, is just such a group. They are a well-established group in Ocala, where they have opened for a broad range of national touring bands and play regular pub gigs downtown, and have toured festivals mostly in Florida. Their sound is a smooth and melodic mix of bluegrass, country, swing, and grassifed rock and pop. Founded in 1984, they are led by Bill Taylor on mandolin, who had a gold record with the Guardsmen for Snoopy and the Red Baron years ago. David Dean on banjo is solid and quite nuanced in his play. Chuck Richolt on guitar and doing much of the lead singing is very solid, with a good voice. Johnny Mason plays bass. The band has a lively and interesting stage presence providing some laughs and plenty of good music. They have a new CD being released soon, which you will be able to purchase through their MySpace page.
Thursday at YeeHaw Junction suggested that a very good weekend is coming. Sound by Harry Grant is strong and clear. Plenty of people appear to be arriving, but there’s still room in the camping area for people in the area to come. Last night’s chill will be replaced by rising temperatures over the next two days. If you can’t come over, come back to the blog for more each day.