Pisgah Brewing Company has gained a reputation for consistently bringing some of the most sought after shows of North Carolina’s summer to their coveted Outdoor Stage.
Last Saturday night was no exception, with Keller Williams and The Infamous Stringdusters each playing a set of their own before joining forces for a surreal “Grateful Grass” set that beautifully enhanced Pisgah’s loving family atmosphere.
Per usual, a barefoot Keller Williams jumped on stage and got the crowd warmed up with his signature looping style. His feel-good cover of Weezer’s “Island in the Sun” got everyone’s jitters out and hips moving before playing memorable versions of some of his goofier hits such as “Doobie in my Pocket,” and “Freaker by the Speaker.”
Repeatedly announcing their love for the Asheville area, The Stringdusters spared no expense upon their return to Pisgah Brewing Company. Leading off with the popular cover “Ginseng Sullivan,” the ensuing set was full of gems, including staples such as “Get it While You Can,” and an emotional “Let it Go.” The highlight of this set came in the form of an oft-paired “Long and Lonesome Day” that ripped into a “Fire” and had Pisgah’s wooded venue feeling like it could go up in flames at any second.
Anyone that has seen the Dusters in the past few months knows that they have been road-testing quite a few Grateful Dead tunes in preparation for this event. That dedicated musicianship joined with Keller Williams’ childlike love for the Dead’s music to create the purest of Pisgah magic. The boys started off with a hard hitting “Jack Straw” before making their way into a jubilant pairing of “Scarlet Begonias” and “Samson and Delilah”. “Crazy Fingers” had just the right amount of spacey Keller whistle to it. Quickly becoming a wheelhouse of the Dusters, “Big River” was played with the twang and ferociousness we have come to expect out of Andy Hall and Jeremy Garrett. Things got a little bouncier towards the end of the set, closing with “Feel Like a Stranger,” “Mr. Charlie,” and finally a fat, funky “Shakedown Street” to bring it all home, because as we all know, sometimes you just gotta Poke Around.
Written by Richard Oakley
Photos by Anna Norwood