HARDLY STRICTLY 8 - Sure to be a Barnes Burner!!

This year's lineup is stellar as usual. Saturday is a barnburner and Sunday is ALSO a barnburner. Or should I say Barnes Burner because Mr. Danny Barnes has the potential to play w/ 5 or 6 acts.


T Bone Burnett again brings a band, but this time w/ unknowns such as Robert Plant and a fiddler named Alison Krauss. Nothing to see here!


I'm just skipping the banjo stage altogether. I can hear Steve Earle rant some other time.

We kick off in high gear at noon w/ Santiago Jimenez (Mexicali music) followed by the Bad Livers reunion show at 1:05 (Star Stage). The Bad Livers show is THE must-see of the weekend, in my biased opinion.

After Bad Livers, 20 minutes to get comfy at Star Stage for The Desert Rose Band, another must-not-miss reunion. Del McCoury Band -- best "conventional" bluegrass band on the planet -- follows, so if you find comfort please stay!! Mickey Hart's latest drum project comes after and I know Simon will want to see this.

BUT... the Saturday Rooster tradition continues w/ Dave Alvin & the Guilty WOMEN and then Robert Earl Keen (w/ Barnes on banjo?). I plan to be as nimble and greedy as possible on Saturday afternoon and bounce between Rooster and Star.


The Strictly lineup at the main Banjo Stage on Sunday sets the bar. You can see Ralph Stanley, Earl Skruggs, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and Emmylou Harris all in a row. Kari adds that Hazel Dickens' stories are always highlights for her. You could find find worse ways to spend an afternoon.

If you are seeking the Hardly action, the Rooster is a fascinating place on Sunday w/ Bonnie "Prince" Billie, Greg Brown, and Iron & Wine playing all in a row from 1 till 4:30.

Elvis Costello's Hardly one-off is titled "High Whines & Spirits." Who will be in this band?? T-bone still hangin' around? I love a good mystery.

The Arrow Stage has some cool shows too in the afternoon too. The Infamous Stringdusters and The Waybacks play back-to-back beginning at 2:10, and these sets are suspect to Danny Barnes appearances.

To close it out, Heavy Trash assaults the Star Stage at 5:45 featuring Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion. Hardly the gentle caress of Emmylou.

[SPECIAL NOTE TO MY PALS WHO MIGHT ATTEND: I will not attempt to answer/talk on my cell phone at the festival, because it's futile and it runs counter to enjoying music. But if you TEXT me... no problemo!! Please TXT me!! ]

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