Interviews with Jenn Browning, Healing Arts Coordinator, and Pierre Lauffer, Sustainability Coordinator, will provide updates on programming for the spring festival.
Join us live from Circle City Recording studio in Pittsboro this Sunday!
Interviews with Jenn Browning, Healing Arts Coordinator, and Pierre Lauffer, Sustainability Coordinator, will provide updates on programming for the spring festival.
Join us live from Circle City Recording studio in Pittsboro this Sunday!
Over the years, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival has presented many headliners who have brought the thunder, along with a never-ending supply of good times. Yet, never before has Shakori Hills GrassRoots brought a headliner who knew how to bring the party quite like Roosevelt Collier.
Roosevelt has become known as “The Dr.” and an artist at large who brings the sweet sounds of funk with him wherever he goes. His music warrants its own genre of “dirty funk swampy grime,” which is guaranteed to be the cure for whatever ails you.
You can come and groove with Roosevelt Friday, October 4 at 8:30 p.m. on the Meadow Stage. In the meantime, make sure to listen to his album Exit 16, which is available on all major streaming sites.
I chatted with Roosevelt for a couple of minutes on his drive through Florida to his next music destination about his beginnings, his records, and what he is bringing this year to Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival. What followed was a delightful conversation with a genuinely warm and bright individual.
How did you get started playing music?
I guess I was born with it. I was born into a family of music, y’know? Like everybody in my family played music, or went to see shows. I was born into the sound of music. I started playing through family and church.
Were you in the church choir or church band?
Yeah, all of that. Anything that dealt with church was me and my family. I was born and raised out of the church, so y’know all of my family played gospel music and sang in the choir and did all of that good stuff.
From there you also played with the Lee Boys for a while. What was that like?
That’s my family, y’know. That’s what I’m saying, we took what we were doing in church, and just moved it to the music scene. That was fun, it wasn’t nothing different except for us playing at the clubs and the festivals and the arts centers and all of that stuff. Man, that was a good time in my life just playing with my family.
I can’t even imagine how exciting it must’ve been to have that experience with the people you love.
It’s definitely like no other, y’know? You can’t find that bond nowhere else, just because it’s family.
Do you ever play together now?
Very rarely, they are busy and I’m busy so our timing is just not coming together right now.
So last year you came out with Exit 16, what was it like to record and produce that album?
Exit 16 came out under the great label, the GroundUP Label, which is spearheaded by Michael League from Snarky Puppy. Michael also helped to produce and write some of the tunes off of the record. And that was my first solo record, and the process was fully about learning how to make a record, and making some music.
I really want to thank that label and Michael League for just giving me a pair of wings, and just letting me explore my full potential as an artist, y’know? And that record did good! It was my first record and everybody loved it, and I’m so thankful and joyful.
It was a great task, and we all just went in and turned it out. I actually slept in the studio, I was knee deep in the process. We cut that record in about three days, going at about three tracks a day. We were in it. Bobby Sparks on the organ, JT Thomas on the drums, Michael League on bass, and me. And that’s it, man, that’s a wrap.
That sounds exhilarating to spend time in the studio and really turn this album out.
It was so fun! And I mean I guess, for me, I just wanted to be there. I didn’t want to get off track, so I stayed there late at night, woke up in the morning and got right back to it. It was a lot of fun, of course it’s tiresome too, there’s a lot going on with it, but the overall process is amazing and fun.
After finishing the album, you also went on tour with Michael League and the rest of Snarky Puppy. What was that like?
Oh, man! So I’m thankful for that. Michael League is huge on artists, he cares about artists more than anything in the world, which is very rare with a label, y’know? So they have this platform that allowed their artists to come in and open up for him and be a part of the tour.
Snarky Puppy, they are actually still on tour now, and all of the artists on the label, they give them face on the tour. They give us about 6-8 dates, and it was totally amazing. Every night big shows, big crowds, going on tour on a bus, and to be a part of that whole experience was amazing.
How did touring with Snarky Puppy compare to the Free Energy tour?
Those are two different tours. Me playing with Snarky was a great opportunity for me as their artist on the label to get exposure and just giving us a platform of letting our music be heard.
The Free Energy Tour, it’s a big co-billed tour. I went with another Florida band called the Heavy Pets, we’re friends. And we always talked about doing a tour together, so we decided ‘Let’s just do a co-billed tour together, and let’s name it this, and look to really go out and spread love.’ That’s why you have the Free Energy Tour. That tour there is a great thing, and those guys are a great Florida-based band, the Heavy Pets. We just gotta make sure there’s good music from the great state of Florida.
So you describe your music as ‘dirty funk swampy grime’, how would you describe that?
Y’know my music has been labeled just about everything. And I’m from the south, I’m from Florida, we are from the swamp. We get down and dirty. It’s more like my roots mixed with a lot of southern rock and blues and funk. So to an extent, you’ve got a swampy, dirty blues comin’ to you.
Your music has also been nominated for a couple of honors, starting with you being featured as an artist at this year’s WOMEX (The World Music Expo) in Finland.
Yes! I’m honored to be able to play WOMEX in October, y’know that’s a very big showcase, that’s one of the world’s biggest showcases. So I’m thankful and glad for that, and I mean I wasn’t expecting it at all, but this opportunity came so I’ve gotta take it, y’know? I am definitely ready for it.
You also were nominated by the 2019 UK Jazz FM Award for Blues Artist of the Year, what was that like?
Man, that was a pretty wild experience too. Just to be nominated for it is great, I wasn’t expecting it at all, not at all. And that helped me out a little bit there too, so man I’m forever thankful for London.
So going forward, what can we expect from your future music?
We are definitely working on another album, that’s definitely in the mix, and we’re gonna look for the next year to tour real heavy.
I’m already up in the studio working on it, it’s almost halfway done now. This one is definitely different. Where Exit 16 was the story of my life, [it] told the story of who I am, where I’m from, and where I’m going. So this record is gonna be one chapter of my life, which is more of the bluesy swampy stuff. Just because I’m a part of so many genres.
So, at Shakori Hills this year, what can fans expect from you?
Alright, Shakori Hills listen. Y’all better come ready to get down. They know that Rosie don’t play no radio baby. It is going down as soon as we hit the stage, so please come expecting to dance and party.
With a voice as haunting as the wind through the trees, Sierra Ferrell brings an unexpected power and prowess with every word that she lovingly crafts. Though often identified as a country artist, Ferrell brings in influences from a variety of genres, to create the kind of music that feels as wild and free as the woman who wrote them. Like many artists, the sound that she creates is drawn from the experiences and people who have helped shape her into who she is today.
“I draw inspiration from my friends. I’ve met lots of different musicians, and lots of different people who play all different sorts of styles, and I pick and choose a little bit from each of them to create my own.”
As far as her lyrics go, Sierra Ferrell is also a master at invoking a kind of familiar feeling. The words are easy to identify with for anyone who’s loved, lost, or anything in between. She crafts playful and heartbreaking characters who speak to all of the different experiences that make up a life. She is a master of worldbuilding, filling her universe with life by using a quick strum of the guitar, a longing flick of a fiddle’s bow, and words that cut to the core.
“[The inspiration for my lyrics comes] From not just my life, but other people’s life experiences. Sometimes when I write a song, it might not be 100% about my experience, but it might be about someone that I met that day or someone I’ve known for a long time, and I’ve watched them go through their experiences and emotions.”
Though Ferrell had long been a staple in the Nashville music scene for her hauntingly beautiful melodies, she reached a high level of viral popularity with her performances on the Youtube channel, Gems on VHS. This channel creates a platform for unplugged, acoustic performances by musicians from a variety of genres. The account was recently featured in Rolling Stone, with Sierra getting a large feature in the article.
“Working with Gems on VHS has just been phenomenal. And I love Anthony, he’s such a lighthearted, sweet man. I think he’s definitely helped me progress on my career more than anyone, really.”
Ferrell recently released a video for her ballad ‘Why’d Ya Do It’, a tango that dances through the register of both her guitar and her voice. It was was filmed at Carter Vintage Guitars, the landmark Nashville guitar store which holds everything from the first electric guitar to the Strat which lovingly helped to write ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
As for the experience of recording the video, it was all about the community around it.
“It was great! I got to go in, then they gave me a guitar, They let me pick out whatever guitar I wanted to play, and of course I picked that one. It was a lot of fun! I’ve actually had Thanksgiving dinner with the owners once. We went and had Thanksgiving dinner with them last year, and it was a lot of fun. They’re very good people, and I got to meet their kids, and it was a lot of fun.”
In 2020, Sierra will be releasing her latest album, the first of which she will be debuting under her new label, Rounder Records. Rounder produces records for artists such as Steve Martin, Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Bèla Fleck, and so many more. The album will have a lot of those hauntingly beautiful lyrics, and a lot of well-placed twang.
“There’s going to be a lot more country taste on it I feel like. I’ve been listening to a lot of country tunes, and it’s gonna be a lot of different harmonies, there’s also gonna be a mix of other things, because “Why’d You Do It” isn’t recorded anywhere else. There’s also a couple of other songs that are not in the charts of country, but it’s gonna actually skate down country at times. I can hide in the music a little bit.”
Before her big album release next year, Farrell is gearing up for an Australian tour shortly following her Shakori Hills performance in October. She will be opening for Pokey LaFarge as they make their way through Adelaide, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane. The two are planning to put on one hell of a show, something they’ve actually done before.
“We’ve played one gig before in Nashville at Franklin’s, and we had a good time. I thought it was a blast, then all of a sudden I didn’t even know, someone was like ‘Oh, do you want to go on tour in Australia with Pokey LaFarge’ and I said absolutely, that sounds like a blast… I’m going to get some vinyls made before I go over there. It’s probably going to be something unique for the tour, because I’ve already been over there once with my other two albums.”
Sierra Ferrell will be making her return to Shakori Hills this fall with a whole new setlist, and an incredible show that will tap into your emotions, and make you want to get up and dance.
“I’ll probably have different bandmates in the band, I’m gonna have a lot more new songs. I’m gonna be singing my butt off, and I also will have some good merch with me. I’ll have T-shirts, hats, buttons, I even have a shirt with my face on it which is weird for me, but my manager insisted having a shirt with my face on it, so voila!”
While you wait for her album in 2020 you can stream several of her albums on bandcamp.
Sierra Ferrell will be at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival Friday, October 4 at 6:30 PM on the Meadow Stage. Single Day Passes are on sale now.
Written by Guest Blogger: Taari Coleman, longtime Shakori Hills GrassRoots Volunteer
The first time you volunteer for the festival it will likely be for the ticket. And no one faults you for that, it’s the same reason most of us did.
You’ll sign up to do set up, or work in the kid’s tent, or in one of the food booths and as you scroll through the application you’ll be casually thrown by how many ways you can offer your time, how many ways you can make a difference.
Because it’s your first time, when you arrive at the Festival Grounds, you might be a bit nervous. And no one faults you for that either. Most are nervous when faced with meeting new people and potentially embarking on a new task. But the nerves quickly fade as you realize that everyone around you is exactly where they want to be, and very happy to be there.
And then you’re put to work. You’re painting faces, scooping ice cream, directing drivers to parking spaces, checking wristbands, or riding around with the trash and recycling crew. And everyone is excited to see you, even if they’ve just met you a half hour ago. Maybe you weren’t aware that the spirit of Shakori exists not only in each individual person, but in the very ground itself, in the effort put in to make this thing happen and make it good, in the way people smile and cheer as they pull slowly up the gravel driveway, but you know that now, because you helped pull it off and you feel it the way you can feel the beginnings of rain on your skin.
So the first time you volunteer it’ll probably be for the ticket; but the second time you volunteer for the festival, it’ll be because you know that the magic is real and you want to be a part of that.
Camping at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Music & Dance doesn’t just provide lodging during the Festival; it completes your Shakori Hills GrassRoots Experience. Tents are nestled in the woods where the environment is shady and cool. Thousands of campers shout, “Happy Shakori!” to each other as they wander the trails. Passing theme camps and impromptu jam sessions as they make their way towards the sounds floating from the stages.
If tents aren’t adequate shelter in your book, RVs are welcome. If the late-night hangs aren’t up your alley, set up in our Family/Quiet Camping Area. No matter the camping experience you desire, you will find your happy place here at Shakori Hills GrassRoots.
If you want to extend your stay here and have a more extensive selection of spots to call home, early camping is encouraged. Find out more about early camping and anything else you would want to know about camping in the details below. See you at The Festival!
Most importantly be respectful of your neighbors and the land! Please clean up your campsites and take home with you what you brought, we appreciate it. We offer trash and recycling bags at the ticket booth for sorting your trash.
Please keep the following guidelines in mind so everyone can enjoy their festival experience:
-Vehicle and RV camping area is limited, please park closely and considerately.
-Vehicle/RV and tent camping in designated areas only. There are marked nature preserve areas, please respect this and do not camp here or have fires here.
-Vehicle/RV campers must display vehicle camping pass on the upper driver’s side windshield. On an RV/camper without windshield: on the door of the RV/camper. The sticker must be on a vehicle that is camping, if you want to come in and out with a vehicle, you are towing the camper, etc. with you need to purchase a 4-day parking pass and park in the lot near the festival entrance.
-Regretfully, we must enforce towing in the marked NO PARKING zones. -Vehicles parked in no parking zones will be towed by a professional towing service to a parking area on-site.
-For safety, comfort and the environment please no driving around the festival grounds. If you are using a vehicle camping pass and need to leave the festival grounds, we request that you do so between 8 a.m. and noon.
-No driving in campsites after dark! If you arrive after dark and wish to vehicle camp, you must camp in the vehicle camping section of the main parking lot.
Motorized Vehicles are not allowed, if you have special mobility needs, please contact us in advance.
-Bicycles must have lights after dark.
-Camp Rangers are available to help you — look for people wearing Camp Ranger t-shirts.
-Outdoor hot-water showers are available
-ALCOHOL POLICY: We have a No Public Display of Alcohol Policy — meaning you must keep your alcoholic beverage in a cup – bottles and cans are no longer permitted in the stage and festival areas. We will ask you to conceal your alcoholic beverage if displayed.
-No radios, amplified music, generators or idling vehicles will be allowed.
-No outside firewood, please. It brings in bugs and tree diseases that our trees are not used to. We have firewood available for purchase on site.
-Sorry, NO DOGS! Service dogs will be permitted if they are for the service of the human they are with. Please check service animals in at the Ticket Booth upon arrival. See below in “Nearby Lodging” for pet boarding.
-Public intoxication and drug abuse are not acceptable, and we reserve the right to (and will) intervene if we believe anyone is acting inappropriate and/or disrespectful.
-Please take only memories, leave only footprints.
Tent camping on-site is based on price per tent (no matter how many nights). Tent camping is $25 in advance and $30 at the gate. Each tent camping pass is good for a 10×10 tent/canopy/tarp or smaller, anything larger will need two passes. Tent campers note: Early tent camping (before Thursday) is an additional $10.
All camping is on a first come, first serve basis. Roping to save space is not welcome!
Shuttle: Tent campers without vehicle camping passes cannot drive a vehicle into the campsite, but there is a shuttle that runs from the parking lot to the tent camping areas.
Please read further vehicle camping guidelines below.
Vehicle and RV Camping is for 4-day ticket buyers only. After Thursday, we can’t guarantee that there will be room for vehicles in the campgrounds.
A Vehicle Camping Pass (car or camper under 25 feet *not including tow vehicle*) is $84 in advance and $94 at the gate and includes space for a)one vehicle and b)one big tent/canopy (larger than 10×10) or two small tents. You can receive up to two tent camping passes with your Vehicle Pass. Tents larger than 10×10 will require two passes. For the vehicle/camper to enter the camping area (to drive past the ticket booth) a Camping Pass has to be adhered on the vehicle: on the upper driver’s side windshield; or on an RV/camper without windshield: on the door of the RV/camper.
An RV Camping Pass (camper + tow vehicle or RV/camper 25 feet or over) is $125 in advance and $135 at the gate and includes space for a)one camper + tow vehicle or large camper and b)one big tent/canopy (larger than 10×10) or two small tents. You can receive up to two tent camping passes with your Vehicle Pass. Tents larger than 10×10 will require two passes. For the vehicle/camper to enter the camping area (to drive past the ticket booth) a Camping Pass has to be adhered on the vehicle: on the upper driver’s side windshield; or on an RV/camper without windshield: on the door of the RV/camper.
Wednesday Vehicle and RV camping are an additional $10, you must check in when you arrive.
If you have a Camper (under 25 feet) + Tow Vehicle and don’t wish to pay the RV price, you are welcome to tow your camper to the campgrounds, unhook, and then park the tow vehicle in our main parking lot; otherwise, you must pay the RV price.
Large vehicle owners also note that RVs and buses 35 feet and over will be limited to the front camping area adjacent to the main parking lot.
Vehicle camping sticker needs to be displayed on each vehicle that is camping. If you are camping with a vehicle and a camper, each vehicle/camper must have a sticker. If you want to park the vehicle that is towing the camper in the parking lot, you can purchase a 4-day parking pass for it.
Sorry, there are no hook-ups and generators are not allowed!
If you have children with you or enjoy quiet at the festival, you may want to consider camping in the family/quiet camping area. We have two of those on site, and they both contain tent and vehicle camping. Ask the parking crew where this is upon arrival.
We allow people to begin camping or set up camp starting the Saturday before the festival. There is a $10 early set-up fee. Early Vehicle or RV Camping is $10 per day.
If you plan to set up early or camp early, please pay your fee and pick up your camping passes upon entry to the grounds. Do not set up without receiving a camping pass! You may set up as much as you want, but you cannot rope off extra space to be used later.
Please see the ticket booth for this year’s campfire notice. If the weather has been arid, we will not allow fires.
We are excited to announce the full lineup of performers for Spring 2019!
Our line-up is always carefully crafted to showcase national, regional, and local acts that span multiple genres. This spring Lukas Nelson and Promise of The Real will headline with their rocking Americana and country roots in what promises to be electrifying performance. We welcome back the West African and funk sounds of Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba and our bluegrass buddies Driftwood. Local rock favorites Arson Daily almost burned down the Grove Stage last year with their high energy set so you know we had to get them back.
We have partnered with Music Maker Relief Foundation to present a special Blues Revue featuring Cool John Ferguson, Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, and Harvey Dalton Arnold. Fans of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and old-time Swing will not want to miss Ellis Dyson and The Shambles featuring special guest Katharine Whalen.
From the Meadow Stage to the Dance Tent, and everywhere in-between, each of the 50 + performers has been thoughtfully curated to create the perfect soundtrack to your Shakori Hills GrassRoots experience.
4-Day Passes, youth tickets, and camping spots are on sale now!
Early Bird ticket rates end Thursday, February 28.
Day passes go on sale Friday, March 1.
Visit these fine locally-owned businesses starting March 1 to get 4-Day or Single Day Passes:
Travers Brothership, Otto Von Schirach, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, The Tan and Sober Gentlemen, Young Bull, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles w/ Katharine Whalen, West End Blend, Gaslight Tinkers, Bella’s Bartok, The Broadcast
Niito, DJ Rang & Brevan Hampden, Ecstatic Dance Music Maker Blues Revue featuring Cool John Ferguson, Pat ‘Mother Blues’ Cohen and Harvey Dalton Arnold, Maj Deeka, The Oblations w/ Dino Horns, The Materials, Sirius B, RK III, Victoria Victoria, jphono1, Bulltown Strutters, Honey Magpie, James Davy, Chris Frisina, Local Flora, Laura Boswell
The Shakori Hills family lost one of our most beloved members on Saturday, February 16.
James Olin Oden has been a festival regular for the past ten years. He first came as a fan and quickly got involved as a performer and even as a staff member for a short time.
His uniquely uplifting musical sound, a blend of his Irish and American roots, wisdom of all manner of subjects, and love of the GrassRoots family will be missed dearly.
Details of a memorial being planned for the Spring 2019 festival will be announced once they have been finalized.
In the meantime, we felt James’ words and music were the best way to honor the man. Below, enjoy a piece he wrote for the Spring 2018 program followed by some clips we thought helped capture his spirit.
Originally printed in the Spring 2018 Festival Program.
written by James Olin Oden
When I first came to Shakori 10 years ago, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I knew that I was going to a music festival and there would be campfires, with lots of musicians, music lovers and artists all over the grounds. Well, in between all the fun and camaraderie, what I found was family.
We’re a peculiar family to be sure. Made of all kinds of different camps, many with names like Camp Sparkle, No Hope (and Know Hope), Rivendale, Frabjous, and Wayward Way to just name a few. There’s no rule that this should be; it just happens in a Grassroots kind of way. Each camp has its own peculiarities and proclivities, and we intermingle quite a bit, cross pollinating ideas and moments of utter silliness. Also, the camp decorations are something to behold. In Fall one of my favorites is the Festivarians site, where they have I think a 100 or so jack-o-lanterns hung in a grove.
The fires at each camp have always been a very central thing. We gather round and conversations flow freely as does music. Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning we just sit and stare and breathe together. Not that we can’t do a Shakori without fire (we just did; it was hard, but we did it, together!), but they have always proven to be a central part of the event. Amongst the fires, rocks and trees of Shakori we live freely enjoying one another’s self-expression and our corporate expression as a group. We learn hard lessons about living with each other and allowing each other to breathe freely within the group. This is not to say there are no boundaries, we just work really hard to uphold the real boundaries and allow freedom wherever we possibly can. Because of this, we have all grown as one big Shakori family.
Every family has a vision, and at Shakori you see the music and dance flowing from the camps like many vibrant streams down to the stages forming a great river of music and dance. We gather at the stages forming a unity of both musicians and dancers flowing as one big pool of united humanity. It’s really amazing to observe. There are, also, workshops covering all kinds of things musical and cultural. Even these ultimately stem from the camps. Over the years I’ve seen many a person young and immature in their art (whether it be music, dance or those other media (-;) become strong leaders and find their way to stages and workshops. It’s a beautiful thing seeing your family grow.
None of this could happen without the staff, and they are a beautiful and integral part of this family we call Shakori. There is the board of directors that set the vision, the staff that handle the operations and booking, the rangers that look out for everyone’s safety, and the security that is there to ensure everyone has a good time. They all work in unison to make sure the festival keeps going. Add to that all the volunteers that put in so much hard work to make this thing come together (tents don’t raise themselves). It really is much like someone preparing a beautiful feast for all their friends. Great hospitality requires a great amount of work, and they do all this work selflessly for one big happy Shakori family.
So please do enjoy your time here. The land and the people of Shakori greet you with open arms.
Welcome to the family!
Want to get your name out to thousands of festival-goers before and during the 2019 Spring Shakori GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance? Well, our audience becomes your audience when you advertise in our festival’s program! Only a few spots remain available.
We strategically distribute 15,000 programs throughout Central NC (and beyond) during the weeks leading up to the festival – and our programs are readily available and widely read during the festival as well. Advertise your business, reach new customers, and support your local music & arts festival!
The Spring Program Advertisement Deadline is this Friday! Get with the program and reserve your space today by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1439 Henderson Tanyard Road
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Its #ThrowbackThursday! We are compiling videos from past shows, keeping the Shakori Spirit alive. Here is a 2019 recap: ow.ly/zfR550yPz6I Big thanks to our #festivalfamily for sharing your videos. If you have a #ShakoriHills video, email or tag us! 📸 : Tom Dorgan pic.twitter.com/78RjRKkUhU
In the best interest of the health and safety of our #community it is with deep sadness that we are cancelling #SpringShakori. We hope to see you back for the fall. Full announcement on our blog which includes details regarding your #ticket purchases: shakorihillsgrassroots.org/20… pic.twitter.com/VdZY8tLBB8