Notes from the other desk…
There is something I love in every band on the lineup this spring. I can’t wait to see what Keller and those McCoury boys dream up for us on Thursday, I love the memories of Miami from Locos Pour Juana, I’m excited to disappear into Hindugrass, but here are the ones I’m most excited about watching you guys discover and love, if you haven’t already…
One of the agents I love working with called a few weeks before the festival last October to say that the Ben Miller Band was really close by and they’d love to play the festival. I said that I’d love to have them, but we were full. He pushed a little more, I watched some videos, and couldn’t help but make the effort to make some room for these guys on Sunday afternoon. It was raining and cold, and a little quiet at the Cabaret Tent, many folks had gone home because of the weather and the rest were spread out waiting on the closing show. I showed up to at least show a little support for a band I knew nobody knew about. What happened was exactly what you want to happen when you take a chance on a band you believe in.
They started playing – pulled out the washtub bass, some swampy guitar, and…a trombone – and they ROCKED it! People started flocking. By twos, fours, then tens, the crowds came. They came because they could hear it. And they could feel it. Their feet drew them, maybe even more than their ears. And there we all were, four or five songs in, in a packed and dancing Cabaret Tent that felt a more like Saturday night than Sunday afternoon. At once we felt like we were at church – albeit a strange, Southern, snake-handling type one – and in a juke joint on a sweaty bayou. There was a washboard, some spoons, I think they even played Billy Idol. So, this spring…we brought ‘em back, for the folks that heard it then, and those that will hear it now. Move your feet, hoop ‘n holler! Enjoy!
When someone like Pierce Freelon messages you from Panama to say that he’s met someone that he thinks should play the festival, you have to pay attention. So, over an Indian dinner cooked by a mutual friend, we watched a video of Yomira John of which Pierce and members of The Beast had been a part. In a studio that had lost power because a local festival had tapped the city of its electricity, the musicians and engineers did their best to capture what was obviously a once in a lifetime musical experience.
By candlelight – accompanied by the band – she sang from her heart in a language I did not understand, but I knew that Pierce was right, that the folks at Shakori Hills needed to know this woman, hear her voice and catch some of her laughter and spirit. She’s old enough to be the mother of any of the musicians around her, but she flirts like a teenager in French and in Spanish, quite the charmer. If we were in Panama, we’d be lucky to see her, as she’s quite the celebrity. Which means we are doubly lucky that she will be joining us at Shakori Hills – aren’t we always!?
Yomira will be a guest with The Beast on in the Meadow on both Friday night at 12:30am and Sunday at 2:45pm.
Check out Pierce’s project Beat Making Lab at www.youtube.com/beatmakinglab
Somehow these two, from the cold north of Boston, are able to capture a warm afternoon in a dusty but very comfortable village in Mexico. Their songs – catchy, dancey, and fun – and will draw you in at first listen as something both familiar and something you’ve never heard. They play a jaw bone, for goodness sake! These guys are the epitome of folk, from our country and from our neighbors to the south, but they also bring to the genre something modern and fresh. It’s beautiful and engaging, it’s a journey while standing in one place, it’s exploring a foreign land with some exciting tour guides, it’s a museum! Catch them on Friday at 5 in the Meadow and Sunday at 6 in the Grove.
I am also very exited about seeing Kym and Will of Loamlands, their newest musical invention. These guys are local treasures, even at such a young age, and they capture so much of what is local here in our lil’ music haven, they are also longtime festival veterans at this point, so I’m sure it will feel just like home. Check out the full band set on Friday at 5:30 in the Grove, but make sure to wake up on Saturday morning and come see just the duo in the Meadow at 10:15am!
And I don’t even know what to say about Oliver, except that you have to see him! If you’ve ever questioned “World Music” or wondered why we should be listening to songs from somewhere across the world, all of your questions will be answered at his set. Open your hearts and be ready to fall in love! In the Meadow on Saturday at 8:30 pm and Sunday at 6:30pm.
Can’t wait to see you at the festival!
Love & Peace,
We can do this! A sustainable American Dream…
Solving problems is fun! And even more fun when you get to do it with others. Sustainability for humanity is to solve some basic problems by creatively finding ways to exist in harmony with the Earth, the natural environment and other living beings– pretty simple really.
Some things we need: Food, Shelter, Energy, Companionship and A Good Challenge. This last item is most important because it is where we learn how to be Human.
Civilization is really a great thing– when we see it break down (like in Mali recently) it leads to terrible things: murder and rape to name just two… Civilization is truly our most awesome human accomplishment. I love Beethoven! The country of Mali has a culture and civilization built around music, at Shakori Hills GrassRoots we have had Mamadou Diabate, Grammy-winning Malian, perform many times and listening to the sounds and melody of the Kora reverberating in the trees surrounding the Meadow Stage field is awesome and beautiful and I think would make a Beethoven stop and cheer in wonderment! Mali’s Festival In The Desert was cancelled this year because some very uncivilized men decided music should be illegal and instead of listening to music men should only pray… The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival is hosting the Festival In The Desert Caravan (the exiled version of Festival In The Desert) this summer in New York and also a GrassRootsAmerica Sustainability Fair tour which will start at Shakori Hills this April. What I am saying is we need to take a civilized approach to solving problems!
Sustainability is a funny word, to say the least, what does it really mean? It is a possible reality for humanity and our great challenge of the day; with oceans rising, fossilized fuels almost in shorter supply than demand, CO2 rising and O2 falling in the atmosphere, toxins in water and air, violence seemingly everywhere… you get the picture. On the fun and bright side it is an opportunity to remake ourselves greener, to be creative and to bring many good jobs to our people, to cooperate in solving problems (hey we got to the moon in the 70s) We Can Do This! Just a few things to consider: solar panels on every roof that faces the sun, windmills on hilltops, hydro power, bio-diesel, buildings made of wood construction to sequester carbon, small neighborhood schools so no more school busses using up fuel, local food production from many smaller farms, very well insulated and smaller homes with larger gardens, LED lighting, tree planting everywhere we can, electric and solar vehicles, trains, bicycles and tricycles, and so much more…
Clean Energy equals Peace, and Music brings Love and this is all we really need…
GrassRoots Festival Co-coordinator
Did you miss your prom? Do you wish you had missed your prom and want a redo? The folks that put on the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival are giving you that chance! Come out, dressed to impress, to the Shakori Prom on December 15th at 7pm at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro.
We’ll have live djs, wine & beer cash bar, desserts, raffle prizes, and a photo booth! Come dance to your favorite timeless tunes on vinyl. The best dressed Prom King & Queen will be crowned! Follow this link to the Facebook invitation.
Donations accepted at the door.
Our raffle prizes (Raffle tickets $5 each):
- Grand Prize – A pair of 4-day tickets to the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance in Miami, FL, Feb. 21-24. Includes tent camping and 2 tickets on the Piedmont Biofuels Bus there and back.
- 2 4-day passes plus tent camping to the Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance
(more prizes to be announced…)
480 Hillsboro Street
(Same building as Chatham Marketplace)
We are very excited to offer locally made beer and wine for sale at two locations at the festival this fall! Both bars will be open every afternoon at the festival! Stop by, have a brew, support your local breweries and wineries as well as the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center! No need to waste gas on a beer run, we’ve got all you need right here! Beer will be served at the Lil’ Coffee Barn (top of the Carson’s Grove hill) and at the shack located in the center of the food court (formerly Merchandise Barn).
Special props to our wineries and breweries:
There is nothing like the first morning when the humidity lifts and somehow the world can be seen and felt more clearly through the thinner air. In the fall, change – the inevitability and beauty of it – is tangible. The mists of summer clear and we feel more energetic, inspired to begin projects that were put off, to continue with our lessons, or go back to the fields.
The circle of time is no more evident than in autumn’s arrival. The Earth is headed toward the darkness of winter, but still has much life in her. She sprouts out the last tomatoes and then the gourds, the sweet potatoes, the juicy beets, the earthy, sturdy, vitamin-rich blessings that equip us to move into slower times. The leaves begin to turn. We wake up from our summer naps to the reds, yellows, and oranges, and remember just how alive we are, how alive the earth is around us, and the work we must do to keep it so.
The harvest will not appear without the work of the farmer, her hands dirty and calloused – but she still loves the smell of the wind over her fields and the sound of her family’s laughter over the table. It is the same with community – both local and beyond – the work is hard, but the benefits are generous and life-giving.
We must work to maintain relationships with those who are different than us. How boring would the world be if we all believed the same thing, acted the same way? We must work to heal the Earth, the home that we all share. Use our hands and voices to both fix what wrongs that have been done and stop future damage. We must work to end conflicts, to lay down arms, to turn machine guns into shovels. It is hard work, but it will lead to harvest.
Here at Shakori Hills, through the festivals and the dreams of the growing Community Arts Center, we are aware of the work that has been done and all the work yet left to do. We look at the beautiful community around us, the work people do to help others and the offerings we are so lucky to have. Our fellow farmers and harvesters, what a joy to do this work together! We are here to celebrate that work. To take a break from it and acknowledge each other’s burdens while helping each other to carry them.
We must all continue the work. But there will be that morning when we wake up, smell the autumn air, and know that the work has paid off, that the harvest has come in, that we have done what we are here to do, together. And to celebrate…we will dance.
Love and Peace,
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival Co-Coordinator
The 3rd Hops & Roots Fest will be held at Shakori Hills over Labor Day weekend (September 1st) 2012. See their website for more details. We hope you can make it!
On Saturday, August 18th The Shakori Hills Community Arts Center will be holding our 3rd Annual North Carolina Stars in the Round Fundraiser. It will be the perfect way to spend a summer night with old friends and festival family! All proceeds will go toward the purchase of the land for the arts center. Once SHCAC owns the land, we’ll have more freedom and infrastructure to carry on our mission of being a center for arts education and community building for Chatham County and beyond.
The evening’s highlight will be a singer-songwriter circle featuring Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), Greg Humphreys (of Hobex), Lynn Blakey (of Tres Chicas), Christy Smith (of The Tender Fruit), Lizzy Ross, Randy Dean Whitt, Crys Matthews, and Alex Hall. Each songwriter will share their unique musical talents one song at a time, then pass the mic to the next. With this lineup of unique musicians, there should be some very special musical moments!
After the circle, Chapel Hill’s The Ayr Mountaineers will share their summery brand of sweet Americana. This band has been coming to Shakori Hills in some form since the beginning, and we’re excited to have them as part of our musical family.
There will be pizza from the Shakori Hills Pizza Shack, beer from Carolina Brewery, local ice cream, and the Lil’ Coffee Barn will be open with coffee and snacks. This is a family-friendly event (kids 12 and under are free), and all are welcome to camp overnight on Saturday.
To find out more about the effort to buy the land, visit shakorihills.org.
Location: Shakori Hills – 1439 Henderson Tanyard Road – Pittsboro, NC 27312
Time: Gates at 5pm show at 7pm
Tickets: $10 advance / $15 day of show at gate
Ticket link: https://grassrootsstore.org/store/home.php?cat=250
Info link: http://shakorihills.org/events/nc-stars-in-the-round/
Contact: 919-542-1746 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to find out how you or your friends can help purchase the land at Shakori Hills for the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center? Visit the SHCAC website and read all about it. The site has been updated and we think it’s just beautiful, so go, hang out, read up on what’s going on, and stay tuned for updates…