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WOUB Culture’s 2023 Nelsonville Music Festival guide: Day 2

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WOUB Culture’s 2023 Nelsonville Music Festival guide: Day 2

By: Emily Votaw

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – The 2023 Nelsonville Music Festival is well underway at the Snow Fork Event Center (5685 Happy Hollow Road). 

Look for photos and additional coverage of the festival throughout the weekend from WOUB Culture, but for now, let’s go over a few highlights from the festival’s Saturday lineup.

11:15 a.m. – Megan Bee (Creekside Stage) 

Award-winning songwriter Megan Bee has released a number of full length albums over the past several years, and WOUB Culture has had the privilege of covering those releases. You can find that coverage in the links below, plus check out the 2018 Gladden House Session she took part in, too.

Like A Canyon

Waiting

Cottonwood 

12 p.m. – Stuart’s Afterschool Music Program Bands (Porch Stage) 

The Nelsonville Music Festival is a big fundraiser for Stuart’s Opera House, and if it wasn’t for Stuart’s Opera House, a whole lot of kids in our region wouldn’t get much of an arts education.

One of the number of arts education programs offered by Stuart’s is the Afterschool Music Program, and you can check out a showcase of bands developed by students in that program today at the festival at noon.

2 p.m. – The Laughing Chimes (2 p.m.) 

The Laughing Chimes – they’re a jangle pop band!

You know, jangle pop: early R.E.M., neo-psychedelia that doesn’t cringe at punk rock. Take The Byrds and shake ’em up with Badfinger and rinse off what you get and give it to a band with big ambitions and limited means.

The end product will be a little off kilter and that’s what we like about it – that’s what we like about jangle pop.

I interviewed Evan Seurkamp, a founding member of The Laughing Chimes, before they played a set of Smiths covers at The Union back in the spring. Listen to the group’s March 2023 release, Arboretum Miles, below.

6 p.m. – Lucinda Williams (Snow Creek Stage) 

Lucinda Williams is a big deal – goes without saying.

She defined a particularly kind of accessible yet satisfying super-charged rock-blues-country for the new millennia with 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. 

Last month Williams released her latest – Stories from a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart. The record’s lead single, New York Comeback, features backing vocals from none other than The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.

Find Williams joined by fellow NMF performer, Margo Price, for a rendition of Williams’ Changed the Locks, below. The performance was recorded in 2021 for the 7th Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Honors.

7 p.m. – John R. Miller (Creekside Stage) 

A number of musicians I’ve interviewed over the years have cited West Virginia-raised, Tennessee-based alt-country singer John R. Miller as one of their personal favorites – and this year you can investigate that “hype” for yourself by catching his performance at the Creekside Stage at 7 p.m.

Miller releases his latest full-length, Heat Comes Down October 6 via Rounder Records. Produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Langhorne Slim, Natural Child)  and John James Tourville (of The Deslondes) at Tokic’s Bomb Shelter studio in Nashville, the record features members of Miller’s longtime live band (John Clay Burchett, J. Tom Hnatow, Chloe Edmonstone), as well as bassist Craig Burletic, multi-instrumentalist Jeff Taylor, and an all-female trio of backing vocalists.

Miller has impressive fans – including Tyler Childers and Athens-own Tom Riggs.

The album artwork for John R. Miller's "The Heat Comes Down." It is a Robert Crumb-esque illustration of a man walking down a path where a field divides.

7:30 p.m. – Margo Price (Snow Creek Stage) 

Margo Price’s solo debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, was recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis Tennessee, produced by Matt Ross-Spang (whose other credits include John Prine, Jason Isbell, and Elvis Presley), and released in 2016 via Jack White’s Third Man Records. That’s a lot of “cred,” right off the bat.

In 2022 Price’s memoir, Maybe We’ll Make It, was published by University of Texas Press. Her fourth studio album, Strays, came out in January, and features contributions from Mike Campbell (formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Sharon Van Etten.

WOUB Culture is going through a pretty intense Roky Erickson fixation right now (Roky played NMF back in 2013 – I know, we can’t believe it either), so we’ve got to share Price’s cover of Erickson’s Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer), featured on Light in the Attic’s Erickson tribute record May the Circle Be Unbroken – a compilation produced notably by Bill Bentley, who also produced 1990’s legendary Erickson tribute album Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye.

Sorry, one last Roky Erickson anecdote – DID YOU KNOW Erickson’s debut full length solo record – known as The Evil One in the U.S. – was painstakingly produced by none other than Stu Cook – Creedence Clearwater Revival’s bassist?! Look up what Cook had to endure to get If You Have Ghosts committed to tape – you’ll be in awe.

9 p.m. – Alex G (Snow Creek Stage) 

I first knew Alex G (“real name” Alexander Giannascoli) via Trick – released in 2012 and increasingly beloved over a course of about a decade by the Internet. What really grabbed my attention, before I heard the music, was the album’s artwork.

In at least one interview Giannascoli says it’s a picture his sister took on her phone at a funeral when a stray German Shepherd burst into the church. There’s something really eerie and comforting about that, all at once. Supposedly (and I cling to this because I love it, not because it’s been validated by the artist as far as I know) Trick is an album told from the vantage point of someone and their recently deceased pet.

Also worth noting: Alex G does the soundtrack for (in my opinion) impeccable horror/coming-of-age film Everyone’s Going to the World’s Fair. That film is a slow burner, and I don’t know anyone other than myself who was completely enthralled with it – but I think it does a pretty good job depicting the horrifying/hilarious/unknowable experience of being a femme-presenting person. The soundtrack is a big part of the film’s building sense of dread – so you know it’s good.

Last year Alex G released the critically lauded God Save the Animals, which ended up on multiple year-end lists, including those published by the New York Times, Pitchfork and NME.

 

 



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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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