The Infamous Stringdusters
13 June 2015 - LOHI Festival - Denver, CO
for The Lot Scene by Parker
Setlist: Set 1 - Weary Hearts, Lovelight, Where the Rivers Run Cold, Get It, American Girl, Y2K, High on a Mountain, Rovin’ Rambler, Colorado, Goodbye Liza Jane, The Hitchhiker
Set 2 - Sentenced to Life>Cluck Old Hen Jam, Big River, LLD>Hillbillies, Lonesome River, Echoes of Goodbye, HC Funk (Rosie), Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad, 17 Cents, Things in Life, Lovin’ You, Head Over Heels, Angeline, Ain’t No Way>Hazosphere, Sunny Side of the Mountain
Encore - Fork in the Road
It was a sunny afternoon down in Denver yesterday as we headed to the 5th annual LOHI Festival headquartered at Highland Tap and Burger. With a couple of blocks cordoned off, the festival took over a nice expanse of the city with local eateries and bars providing the food vending and with plenty of beer and booze on hand as well to keep all in attendance well fed and well watered. A huge thanks needs to go out before I get going much further to Justin Picard of the 1-Up and Music Marauders and all the folks who made LOHI happen this year: you guys are amazing and we here at The Lot Scene very much appreciate your friendship. The fest itself is yet another of Denver’s rich and ever-growing music options — two stages and a tight line-up (other acts included Roosevelt Collier’s Superjam, Kung Fu, and Hot Buttered Rum) with enough vendors to round things out and even a costume theme. Safari. And there were a goodly number of folks dressed up as well. All in all, one groovy single day fest that is well worth your time if you can make it.
So, the Dusty boys played two sets: one afternoon and one evening set. One in the warm, Colorado sunshine and then one in the chilly Colorado rain that seems to have become our new norm here in the Mile High City. However, regardless of the weather, both sets were expectedly fantastic and who doesn’t love dancing around to some hard drivin’ bluegrass in the rain every now and again? But back to that sunshine set, the boys opened with Jeremy on vocals with “Weary Hearts” (Weary Hearts LOHI) under some lovely blue Colorado skies followed by grooving and stirring “Lovelight” — I mean, who can’t love those harmonies, right? Looks like we were off to a very good start. Andy had even dressed for the theme in a leopard-print shirt. Gotta love this band! Talk about a song making reference to the place of a show, “Where the Rivers Run Cold” was next and, given the amount of rain and precipitation all over our Colorado in recent months, there is no doubt in my mind that our rivers are all running rather frigid. The exact opposite of the musically warming effect “Rivers” has on a crowd. Then it was Booksy up to the mic to croon out a fit and fine “Get It” for us and, trust me, we got it. And got it good. So then, how about Andy with a little Tom Petty for you? “O yeah, all right, take it easy, baby, make it last all night, she was an…” Yeah, an “American Girl” cover with a wickedly hot Panda solo followed by a freakish Falco solo and some jazzy jolts from Jeremy on the fiddle. Not to mention the deft dobro work from Andy to bring things to a close. Damn fine music. A highlight of the set to be sure. The fast pickin’ instrumental “Y2K” followed with some quick, quick licks from every hand in the band as the tune tried desperately to keep up with itself. Next was another Booksy-led song, a slow and soulful, slightly mournful version of Olabelle Reed’s “High on a Mountain”. It was excellent and certainly interesting this downtempo pace. Later in the set we got an apropos and colorful “Colorado” (Colorado LOHI) after which Travis remarked that “only in Colorado can you say ‘cheers’ and a bunch of doobies go up [in the air]” — well, what can we say? It’s legal here. Now if we could just get them to legalize bluegrass as good as the Dusters, right? “Goodbye Liza Jane” and “The Hitchhiker” rounded out this first set for the afternoon. Jeremy sounded particularly excellent on the vocals for “Hitchhiker” as did the harmonies. However, the trophy had to go to Andy Falco and his truly, dare I say, epic guitar solo, a minutes-long affair filled with riff after riff and even a little “Shakedown Street” tease. Hats off to you, good sir! Incredible!
After a break filled with some tasty musical treats from Roosevelt Collier and crew, we all gathered back at the main stage under a cloudy, rainy sky for another helping of some Rocky Mountain Stringdusters. They ripped back out into things with Falco on lead for “Sentenced to Life” which went into a frenetically fast pickin’ “Cluck Old Hen Jam” to close. The Man in Black’s “Big River” was next as we all stood through rivers of rain coming down, combining the weather and our surroundings into one huge, sopping wet dance party. Of course, with Andy Hall thrashing away on that dobro of his in time to this lively ditty it made things all the easier for us in the crowd to dance away the rain. Later on down the line Jeremy gave us the vocals for the bigs sound of “Echoes of Goodbye” which contained some mighty, mighty solos and jams and smiles from the band. Clearly they were loving this Colorado gig. Roosevelt Collier joined them for his first time on dobro for a little funk, some “HC Funk”, that is. It was killer seeing him play that new instrument and he killed it. Of course. Would you expect anything different? Next up we got a great little gift from the boys: that well-known American traditional song “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” (also known as the “Lonesome Road Blues”). And none of us felt even remotely bad for having heard this song, if the screams from the crowd were any indication. Later on down the line they mellowed things up a bit for the sweet and tender “Lovin’ You”, taking the energy a bit calmer just so they could bring it back up a bit with Hall singing lead on “Head Over Heels”, another love song to help warm the soggy audience. They brought things back up another notch with the instrumental “Angeline” and then further with the hopping “Ain’t No Way” into “Hazosphere”, perfectly timed to the worsening weather to keep us all dancing and warm as we could be. To be honest, it was really pretty fun and there were some hard core ISD and music fans out there in that crowd. Kudos to you all for braving that weather until the final countdown. “Sunny Side of the Mountain” was the final selection of the evening and the boys finished it quickly given the time and rain and scurried hurriedly off stage so we could get a rainy encore. Nice to have a sunny closer at any rate. The Dusters returned for a “Fork in the Road” as our final music for evening finishing a full two minutes ahead of the 10PM curfew and end point for the fest. Good job, fellas! And a great headlining job for LOHI, too. Way to bring some incredibly good energy and your usual stellar showmanship as well as to motivate a bunch of sodden folks to keep dancing through the downpours. Bravi, fellows! Also, looking forward to my next LOHI that’s certain. Thanks again to Justin and all the folks who made it happen!