Scattered showers, wind, some thunder and bouts of humidity was not enough to dissuade the staff, musicians and crowd that came together to make the 2017 Shore Made Music Festival a wonderful success.
The day did begin with a soggy start, with rains forcing headliner Angelica Garcia into the Historic Onancock School for an unplugged session. For Garcia and her fans, this was an opportune bit of misfortune. Angelica thrives in an intimate setting, where she can truly connect with her audience. Poet, musician, and storyteller, Garcia captivated the school room with a breathless set of original music from earlier work and her new Album “Medicine for Birds”. Garcia is a special artist, and for those of us that live on Shore, we feel blessed and thankful she has landed here.
While some say the Garcia performance drove off the rain (this is only partly true), the sky did calm, and with only spit and spurts of rain, a good bit the show did go on.
Jessica West has been pleasing Shore audiences for many years now, and it was a delight to once again see her on stage. Known for her intriguing and genuine originals, West did not disappoint. Her voice, as always was pitch perfect, always in harmony with very solid guitar work.
Speaking of intricate guitar work, Emily Guemple wowed with a rocking country acoustic flavor. With vocals that soared over her finger work, Guemple provided the crowd with a fresh, sassy set of favorites.
Shore favorite Austin Riopel brought his own brand of classic, tasteful and intelligent Americana to a raucous and receptive crowd. One of our best flat top guitar players, Riopel applies a unique wit and charm to his music–even the most well-worn pieces seem original and new. Riopel is always a joy to watch, and it seems with each show, each performance he hones his craft to an ever finer granularity. He is one young artist who seems ready to break through to the next level.
Dee Irvin is one of those artists that you just want to celebrate. There is such clarity and purity to her music. Her voice, there is an exactness and precision, yet there is also a humbleness and reverence that makes her eclectic arrangements so powerful. When her sets are over, it just never seems like enough. It’s easy to see Irvin going on to very big things. We love her.
One of the treats of the day was the all family band The Shore Loafers. This was only their second gig out, yet, they came to rock. From southern classics to early new wave to classic rock, the Loafers ripped and tore through a high energy set. For those about to rock, they salute you.
Izzy and Chris enthralled the crowd with brilliant guitar and harmonica. Full of swing, blues and a touch of zydeco sauce, this duo was a southern fried tour de force. Besides ripping guitar work and soulful harp playing, Izzy and Chris have great stage presence. Their jokes and banter, especially when recalling an ill-fated trip to the west coast was almost as entertaining as the music. If you ever get a chance to see them, don’t miss out on these guys.
The Virginia Creek band provided a very slick, smooth, professional and enjoyable set of country-rock. Each song seemed easy and effortless for this group. The late afternoon time slot seemed ready made for Virginia Creek’s southern style. Sadly, one set is probably never enough for the Breeze…it seemed like they were just getting warmed up when their time was up.
Always fun, eclectic, raw, sometimes silly, the awesome Corn Funk Review were once again wonderful on the Shore Music Stage. This is a true all-star band, with the dynamic Peg Volk, Melinda McPeek and Lynn Rogers fronting, and the brilliant Chris Chandler and Scott Wade on bass and guitar. This band always finds a way to put a smile on your face as you ask, “Are they really singing She put the lime in the coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up?”
The evening ended almost as it began, with the phenomenal Red Miller and the Parks Brother, The Reasoners. Red should be commended for taking the technical lead, from the sound to the stage and lights, and making the 2017 Shore Made Music Festival a reality. As brilliant an engineer as he is, on the keyboards is where he truly shines. The Reasoners were dazzling, with gorgeous keyboard flourishes, super tight drumming and perfectly phrased vocals. Note: Izzy from Chincoteague was on hand for harp duties).
The evening ended with The Reasoners hosting an all-star jam. The Parks brothers on drums and guitar provided the backbone for Allmanesque jams, as well as a haunting version of The Band’s The Wait. Yes, folks, if anyone asks, you can tell them the Shore does indeed have talent.
The weather once again attempted to derail the Shore Made Music Festival, but in the end, it was a day of musical beauty and perseverance. In the background, presiding over the entire event, was the glorious old historic Onancock School. This is just the second year old friend. Shore Made is just getting its feet wet, and we’ll be here again next year to support and help you keep your promise to stay open to the public.