The fifteenth annual Michigan-based Hoxeyville Music Festival was a hot bed of bluegrass and Americana excellence with home-state heroes, Greensky Bluegrass, leading the way once again. We’ve already shown you some of the best sit-ins host band Greensky Bluegrass had over the weekend, including tunes with Sam Bush, Larry Keel, Fruition‘s Jay Cobb Anderson, and more. Now let’s take a more in-depth look at the amazing music that graced Hoxeyville’s stages over the weekend, including stellar sets from the aforementioned stars and a collection of some of the region’s finest talent, including Luke Winslow King, The Appleseed Collective, and The Accidentals.
There’s something powerful in the exuberance of youth. And The Accidentals have just that, and then some. With silky harmonies, an infectious energy, and thoughtful songwriting, this three-piece is poised to take over the seen. Check out the group’s covers of classic acts like The Beatles and Rush and one of their own tunes featuring some adorable backing vocalists below.
“Taxman” > “Tom Sawyer”
“Michigan And Again”
Luke Winslow King
Michigan native Luke Winslow King has found himself playing his brand of rock-based blues all around the world, but he was clearly happy to be home. King’s vocals were clearly from the heart, but his guitar-playing seemed to come from another world at times. Give a listen to his skills below, and see why he is a welcome sight to music fans around the world.
“I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always”
The Larry Keel Experience
The husband and wife duo of Larry and Jenny Keel brought mandolin player Jared Poole out for their first trip to Hoxeyville. Judging from the fun they had with their own set as The Larry Keel Experience and Larry’s sit-in with Greensky Bluegrass, it seemed obvious they would be back. We’ve got three amazing tunes for you including a heartfelt dedication to both Allen Tousaint and the late Glen Campbell in the form of a song they both made their own, “Southern Nights.” Enjoy!
The Sam Bush Band
Jamgrass pioneer Sam Bush is responsible for inspiring many of the bands on the bill to pick up instruments, including headliners Greensky Bluegrass. His work with the seminal 70’s band New Grass Revival was a watershed in the world of modern bluegrass. Bush, equally at home on the mandolin and fiddle, gave fans a set packed with classic songs, tunes from his latest album Storyteller, and a wonderful set-closing “Old Joe Clark” that featured a wild rave-up medley featuring tastes of The Allman Brothers and Rare Earth. Check out that magic jam and more in the clips below.
“Joe Clark Medley”
The darkening skies sounded an ominous note for the first Greensky Bluegrass set of the weekend. The group got going quickly even as the first drops started to fall. As we mentioned, their set saw some wonderful sit-ins from Sam Bush and Larry Keel, but Greensky was sure to deliver some amazing work on their own. We have a pair of dark, emotional highlights for you to enjoy below including a wonderful Bruce Hornsby re-imagining and a howling “Windshield” that had the crowd singing along in full voice.
“King Of The Hill”
The Hoxeyville Music Festival awoke to find sunny skies as far as the eye could see. Wet clothes and camping gear were laid out in the sun, and fans got stoves working or hit the packed vendor row for a bit of brunch. They nibbled happily away until the sound of the first band of the day got them in gear and down to the stage.
The Appleseed Collective
The Appleseed Collective fuses ragtime jazz, traditional bluegrass, and plenty of charm and wit together. With time in New Orleans under their belt to help diversify and authenticate their experience, the band has gelled into a homage to the past and a light for the future. Check out highlights of their stellar set at the Hoxeyville Music Festival below.
“Ain’t Nobody Gonna Get None Of My Jelly Roll”
The Whistle Stop Revue
In their continued attempt to spotlight regional talent, the promoters of the Hoxeyville Music Festival brought in The Whistle Stop Revue from southern Michigan. The Whistle Stop players quickly displayed chops and an “Aw Shucks” stage demeanor that was clearly made for the big stage. Check out some of the next wave of talent coming from the not-so-frozen north below.
“1952 Vincent Black Lightning”
Singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter welcomed Paul Hoffman from Greensky Bluegrass and Jay Cobb Anderson from Fruition, along with a full band for a sparkling set of insightful and melodious rock and roll. That’s not to say that the talented musician wasn’t capable of holding down the show all by his lonesome—he shooed the rest of his band away for an enthralling three-song solo in the middle of his set. Check out highlights, including a rocking cover of Neil Young‘s “Vampire Blues” below.
Fruition brought their Pacific Northwest sensibilities to Michigan’s Hoxeyville Music Festival and mixed their rock-solid songwriting with their all-in stage performance. They even got a little help from Paul Hoffman from Greensky on one track and dropped an electrifying cover of a classic Led Zeppelin tune in addition to their stable of incredible Americana tracks. Watch the fun below.
“Hey Hey What Can I Do?”
“Pass The Spliff”
Due to the unfortunate cancellation of Charles Bradley‘s set, there was an extra spot on the line up that needed filling at the last moment. Luckily for the crowd and promoters, Greensky Bluegrass was more than happy to stretch out and take the extra time to make more magic. Longtime fans remember their days gigging in small bars and clubs around the country where Greensky would regularly play until their fingers bled. They were so ready to fill the time that when the night’s time finally started to tick away, they had to cut songs they were hoping to squeeze in! The center piece for their evening’s work were amazing renditions of three songs from their seminal release Handguns. Check out mind blowing takes on “Blood Sucking F(r)iends,” “All Four,” and the Saturday closer “Don’t Lie” below:
“Bloodsucking F(r)iends” > “All Four”
Once the fifteenth annual Hoxeyville Music Festival was in the books, fans began to pack up gear and prepare for the trudge homeward. Strangers who had become friends and friends who had become family enbraced and promised to see each other again next year. The promoters of Hoxeyville have built the perfect beast—a festival that is the perfect size and spirit. Children romped freely around the farm by day while adults grooved by night. Local bands showed themselves more than capable of standing should to shoulder with national touring acts and, even in the midst of a short but fierce rain shower, the joy never left the faces of any in attendance. What more could any music lover ask?