Saturday, December 07, 2019

LIVE REVIEW + GALLERY: Spruce Peak Folk Festival 2019 Day Two

LIVE REVIEW + GALLERY: Spruce Peak Folk Festival 2019 Day Two

The lineup for day two included Lowell Thompson, Parsonsfield, and Shawn Colvin. The first two were especially intriguing to me for a few reasons: Lowell himself is a Vermont native, and the guys of Parsonsfield hail from my regular tromping grounds, Somerville, MA. So immediately, my ears were open.

Lowell was in his own company for the show, playing a solo set. I found myself tapping my foot in time with his music, something akin to the classic rock melodies my mom used to play on the radio, with Tom Petty-like sounds and soothing arrangements. One of the best things about Lowell’s music is how subtly smart and intentional it is amongst its seemingly mainstream vibe. It doesn’t surprise me he has toured with acts like Dawes–he’s my true Americana guilty pleasure.

When Lowell and I caught up to chat amongst the wildflowers, I asked him how he would classify his music. He simply replied that he’s just a songwriter; a perfect kind of simplicity.

Following Lowell was Parsonsfield. Normally this is where I would tell you exactly what genre they create within, but, as is a trend I’m noticing about this festival, there’s no neat, clean way to fold them into a box. And even if you had an idea of what to expect, Parsonsfield will take you on a round-the-music-world trip, flying around stage with Bluegrass soul one minute, to walk back to the piano for cool and even-tempo folk, then rip the mandolin for a while and before you know it, you’re bouncing, dancing, clapping along with them.

Shawn Colvin came on to close the weekend out. By this time, festival-goers had settled into their lawn chairs and blankets, letting the sinking sun take them to the end of the folk festivities. Spruce Peak has plans to continue the annual festival well into the coming years, and plan to keep the dynamic sets coming. I’m personally very excited to see what the future has in store.