July 12, 2011
Imagine sitting on a blanket in a gorgeous national park, a Flying Dog draft in one hand, festival food in the other, listening to smooth sounds of some of the best live musicians around.
You don't have to go to the Gorge to get there. Months ago we featured the Hot August Blues & Roots Festival in our preview of summer music. As we hit the halfway mark, it's time to do a feature on what could be the sleeper hit of the summer.
What: Hot August Blues & Roots Festival
When: Saturday, August 20, 2011 (~noon - 10PM)
Where: Oregon Ridge Park (1,000 acre park in Cockeysville, MD, just over an hour from DC and home to one of the best beaches in Baltimore, apparently).
What: Started in 1993, Hot August Blues Festival is a one-day roots/rock extravaganza that raises money for Common Ground on the Hill, a multicultural music and arts/arts education organization. Since its inception, the festival has played host to a slew of fantastic musicians, including some of the best live acts around: Dirty Dozen Brass Band, North Mississippi Allstars, John Hiatt, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Lyle Lovett, Bonerama, and dozens more.
Why: This year is similarly eclectic, and not to be missed, featuring Soundproofblog favorites Kings Go Forth, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Baltimore locals J. Roddy Walston & the Business, and more.
What's fascinating about this festival is how Brad Selko, festival founder, has his fingers aptly put on the pulse of an American sound revival, selecting artists that not only put on a stellar live show, but have also mastered musical traditions that define the more classic genres they strive occupy (see Robert Randolph's soulful pedal steel, Kings Go Forth rocking Milwaukee motown, Derek Truck's definitive electric slide guitar playing).
How: Get online and buy a ticket. $53 will get you a ticket and parking pass. $150 gets you a VIP pass that includes all you can drink soda, wine, beer, and special access to viewing areas and preferred parking.
Consider it a pre-fest to Freefest (which has been all the buzz this week!)--one that's significantly more chill, and an awesome deal to boot.