Deep Roots Mountain Revival may have just been the best kept secret in bluegrass this fall, with rare performances that took place seamlessly throughout the weekend from the likes of Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Fruition, and many more.
Deep Roots was held at Marvin’s Mountaintop, the former location of All Good Music Festival and a site that has held crowds upwards of 25,000. There was a fraction of that number at this inaugural event, making way for an incredibly intimate musical experience for everyone involved.
Collaborations were the name of the game at Deep Roots, seeing some of the best artists from multiple generations of bluegrass playing alongside each other. Check out some our favorites below:
Paul Hoffman of Greensky Bluegrass sat in with Fruition to trade some smokin’ mando licks with Mimi Naja. The eclectic quintet from the Pacific Northwest gained quite a few fans in the West Virginia mountains with their raw energy and uplifting harmonies. Greensky’s own set peaked with New Grass Revival’s “Can’t Stop Now” epicly interwoven with John Denver’s “Country Roads”, the adopted anthem of West Virginia. The rail-riders had been asking for a favorite cover, “Atlantic City” all night long, and they delivered on the encore with a gutsy rendition of the Springsteen classic.
David Grisman treated fans to a mesmerizing set with the help of the new David Grisman Sextet, complete with their new music, some old Dawg tunes, and even a little sampling from Old & In The Way, the famed bluegrass group he led with Jerry Garcia. The Dawg even brought out fellow mandolin legend Ricky Skaggs for a couple of tunes.
Saturday night was all about Leftover Salmon, The Keels and some flat-pickin’ slamgrass. Larry and Jenny Keel, plus new mandolin player Jared Pool, delivered an invigorating set at the wooded Roots stage with the help of banjo player Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon. Directly after that was over, they hightailed it down the mountain for Leftover Salmon’s set at the mainstage. Lead singer and guitarist Vince Herman went to college in neighboring Morgantown, so this was a massive homecoming for the rowdy frontman. With the help of Larry Keel and Cris Jacobs, the Colorado legends turned the place into a backwoods carnival. This was Leftover Salmon at their finest, blazing through some of their classic repertoire including “Down in the Hollow”, “River’s Rising” and even busting out a few inspired Dead covers, “Ramble on Rose” and “Mr. Charlie”. Much later on, Herman came out to pick and party with the raucous Rumpke Mountain Boys who kept on trucking with the Spiritual Rez horns until the sun finally crept over the beautiful Appalachian mountains.
We can’t forget the undeniable rock and funk slice of the pie at Deep Roots. Melvin Seals and JGB got the Thursday pre-party kicked off with their sexy versions of Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead favorites. Two of the fastest rising young jam bands in the region right now, Big Something and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong threw it down for a wild after-party Friday night at the Roots Stage. The Hip Abduction continued their red hot summer of rockin’, danceable reggae, a truly refreshing sound that should be on everybody’s must-see list.
Marvin’s Mountaintop has been brought back to life in a whole new way, and it’s only going to get bigger and better from here, so next fall make sure you let the country roads take you home, to Deep Roots Mountain Revival.