Despite a little rain and mud, Hidden in the Hollow packed in a few hundred beautiful humans last weekend into an extraordinary gathering that has become a true gem of the High Country’s music scene.
Grounding, beautiful, and awesome are all appropriate descriptors for the special home place of Hidden in the Hollow, tucked in the hills of Butler, Tennessee. When the likes of Col. Bruce Hampton, Jeff Sipe, and Dumpstaphunk are added with several hundred willing attendees, the results are downright magical. Such was the case for the fourth installment of Hidden in the Hollow Festival. The capability of this festival to provide “bang-for-your-buck” is remarkable.
The private event was a huge success this year, featuring a communal vibe with free-flowing jams, beer and even pizza available to all. Founders and organizers Brenden and Valentine Reilly really go above and beyond to make every attendee and artist feel valued and respected in a way that you pay extra for at any other festival. The lineup featured many area artists that were very familiar with playing together, which made for fully-realized collaborative potential throughout the weekend.
Tents were still being secured to the hilly terrain as Mission in the Rain got the vibes off on the right foot with favorite covers from the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band.
There were many notable performances and moments that took place over the weekend, including mid-afternoon treats dished out by the increasingly impressive Melissa Reaves (whose “Purple Rain” was flat-out jaw dropping), as well as a great set by Samba in the Rain. But, for those who seek out those “magical” moments, several were provided at the Hollow by the Jeff Sipe Supergroup. Virtuosity and command was the norm during their set. Western North Carolina’s Nicky Sanders of the Steep Canyon Rangers dished out psychedelic, High Country hillbilly harmonies that kept the crowd hanging on every note. Musical bliss. Coming all the way from New Orleans, headliners Dumpstaphunk was more than worth the wait of their extended soundcheck, bringing the spacey funk to get the crowd of mountain dwelling hippies down and dirtier than ever.
Years past have brought the likes of George Porter Jr., Larry Keel, Melvin Seals, and more to the Hollow, and this year’s festival flexed once again with possibly their biggest lineup to date.
Thanks to a great year and a supportive community of music lovers, things are looking up for next year’s Hidden in the Hollow.
“We were really pleased with the festival,” said Valentine Reilly. “It went off without a hitch, and while we still have some kinks to work out in order to make it financially sustainable for years to come, we are most definitely going for a Hollow 5 and planning is already underway.”