We arrived at Farmout at 3pm on Saturday, traffic was bad on 220 because of the accidents due to the rain. We noticed that the storm was heading south and we hoped that it wouldn’t effect the show. The sun was high and it was very humid, Dave from the Discordian Society was setting up the stage and everyone was weather proofing the equipment. It had already rained twice, but they were going to go ahead with the festival.
The Discordian Society went on at about 3:30 in the brilliant sun. They had a distinct funk sound, but I wouldn’t go as far as to compare them to any of the newer funk bands. It was an older more original fusion of rock and funk. Shortly after they played the rain fell. Everyone huddled under the stage holding tarps and sticks to guide the rain off of the stage. It was getting pretty crowded so we headed over to the barn for shelter. I’m glad we went because we got to meet Heevahava from Cincinnati. They just moved to Roanoke and were very happy to be there. Omar pointed out a very large spider living in the corner just before the rain dwindled. Sarah the creator of Farmout was excited to hear that people were arriving through out the shower and urged everyone to press on with the day.
Shortly afterward Secret Squirrel took the stage. It must have been hard for them given the humidity, but they were very professional and did a wonderful job. Their sound was very sophisticated combining acoustic guitar, violin, bass, and well harmonized female vocals. Next up was Heevahava a rock and roll duo with electric guitar and drums. I was impressed with their drummer Omar. He was fast and very good, filling the valley with sound. Next up Silent Press, they practice two doors down from some friends of mine in a warehouse in about the only bad neighborhood in Roanoke. They already had a fan base who quickly filled the front of the stage. I thought they were going to be the loudest band there until Madrone took the stage. I was getting a little scared to follow them.
We went on at about 10pm only a few hours off schedule, which is pretty good considering all the rain. Secret Squirrel and I felt the sonic differences in our styles and the rest of the bands on the roster. The audience didn’t seem to mind at all.
I was really happy to see all the women performing this year. The two bands that followed were fronted by women. The Sad Cobras were very creative and really understood the sonic principles of their instruments. Versatile and melodic, they impressed us. Soria from Philly was a great add this year. Fronted by a powerhouse female vocalist they showed us all how much fun performing could be. The crowd roared when they played their rendition of the Dead Kennedy’s classic “Kill The Poor”.
Finally the gracious hosts The Wading Girl had to stop working to play their set. They had a lot more to worry about this year, but it certainly didn’t show in their set, I’ve never heard them sound so good before. They began their set with the song “Baby Got Back” and invited the Illbotz to join them on stage. A song uncharacteristic of their music they really rocked it out. The Illbotz came to their attention far too late to book them for the Farmout, but they practiced this song with them so they would have a chance to perform. I’ve really been digging the new Wading Girl songs on their myspace page and I was happy to hear the song “Amber Waves”. It was 1am but there were still lots of people there having a great time.
Finally at about 2am The Lobsters took the stage, which in my opinion was perfect for these rockers. Like The Wading Girl they’ve been working hard touring and making a name for themselves on the east coast. Q their bass player stood up front for every single band and gets my “Most Considerate Rock Star” award.
Spring Hollow Farm had started to calm down as the festival came to a close. I would like to express my gratitude to Sarah, The Garrisons, The Wading Girl, The Green Dolphin and everyone who worked extra hard this year to make Farmout so much fun. The food was wonderful, there was plenty of beer and attitudes were by far the most positive I’ve ever seen. I will take away with me the joy of knowing that there are so many musicians and bands ready to support the music they love.
Here are a few pictures that I took, just click on the photo to see a larger version of each photo.