The Infamous Stringdusters stole the show last Friday night at the 2nd annual Carolina in the Fall Food & Music Festival in downtown Wilkesboro, North Carolina. It was a warm and breezy evening in the hidden hotbed of American Folk music, perfect weather for some heel-clickin’ bluegrass.
“You Can’t Stop the Changes” opened things up a bit for a crowd that had been pretty calm throughout the day. Jeremy Garrett then led the way with an assertive vocal performance on the favorite “Where the Rivers Run Cold”. The widely familiar classic “If I Had a Hammer” was customarily segued into “The Place That I Call Home”.
A cover of the Stanley Brothers’ “Lonesome River” got an enthusiastic reaction from the many traditional bluegrass fans in attendance. Never strangers to nostalgia, The ‘Dusters had some fun with their original “Summercamp” by transitioning into a cover of “Walking on the Moon” the popular hit by The Police. Later in the set, the band delivered another couple of tributes to the forefathers, with Flatt and Scruggs’ “Head Over Heels”, a perfect anthem for the romantic late-summer magic in the air. That was jammed into “Home of the Red Fox”, a Bill Emerson instrumental that the Dusters have made all their own with a fully-explored improvisational version. The set ended with the essential original “Let It Go” and a finely-tuned cover of The Grateful Dead’s “He’s Gone”, which was well received by the remaining crowd.
The encore of “Gettin’ Down the Road (Hillbillies)” was a perfectly appropriate ending, featuring the well-loved line “A mountain silhouette in the evening, outside of Boone; today I rode along, and I penned, this little tune.”
The boys take a quick trip to the West Coast for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco followed by a show at Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads. One weekend later, it is finally time for the Infamous Stringdusters’ biggest party of the year, The 7th Annual Festy Experience. This is the quintessential ‘Dusters experience, a reunion of the band’s most loyal friends and family, and it is taking place October 7-9 at Nelson County Preserve in Arrington, Virginia.
Setlist: You Can’t Stop the Changes, Where the Rivers Run Cold, If I Had a Hammer >> Place That I Call Home, How Far I’d Fall for you, 17 Cents, In God’s Country, Lonesome River, Summer Camp >> Walking On The Moon, Try Try Try >> Tragic Life, Head Over Heels >> Home of the Red Fox, Let it go, He’s Gone
Encore: Gettin’ Down The Road (Hillbillies)