One thing is for sure—between the Duck Jazz Festival and the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, the Outer Banks sure knows how to throw a music party.
Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival Highlights
We’ve had a chance to talk about the Blue Grass Festival, and it did not disappoint. Three acts in particular really stood out for us, although music is a lot like beauty—it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Love Canon, with their bluegrass arrangements of classic 1980s hits are worth a special trip to see. An informal survey pointed to their version of Sledge Hammer as being as good as the original if not better…really.
Flatt Lonesome is a young group—no one is even pushing 30. They’re talented, great vocals, and they take some chances, coming out with a different sound that is rooted in bluegrass with a distinct country flair.
Our favorite, though, had to be Billy Strings. The songs start as bluegrass but they wander off into other genres in short order. There’s rock, jazz chords and jazz riffs that are as good as anything out there. Amazing.
And for the traditional bluegrass fans—Rhonda Vincent truly is the Queen of Bluegrass. The consummate professional with an outstanding band, the Rage.
Duck Jazz Festival and Davina and the Vagabonds
The Duck Jazz Festival though is every bit as good as the Bluegrass Festival.
The Jazz Festival has become a two day affair, beginning on Saturday, but luckily Sunday is the main day so no one has to make painful choices.
The Robert Jospe Express—a trio of very talented musicians traced the development of jazz from the basic blues music to the African and Latin American beats that have helped to define it. He ended his show with at least 30 members of the audience on stage, clapping out rhythms.
Davina and the Vagabonds gets our Blue Ribbon Prize for the weekend as the best performance we saw. Great music, great vocals, wonderfully talented band, and Davina keeps up a conversation with the audience that is at once informative and funny.