Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Folk & Roots Festival - Part II

When we last left our hero, he was chillin’ with some watermelon at the Folk and Roots Festival. Well, it was 7 o’clock, time for a party, and I know what I wanna see…. Anybody remember the London Quireboys? Just me, huh? It was indeed an eclectic lineup, but no, the Quireboys were not at the Folk and Roots Festival. However, a duo called Honey Honey was due to take the stage. I checked them out beforehand and I really wanted to like them but didn’t think I would like them as much as I wanted to. Turns out I liked them more than I thought I would like them, and I wanted to take the female Honey half home with me. But I’m getting way ahead of myself…

Honey Honey is comprised of Ben, on guitar and bass drum, and Suzanne, on vocals, banjo and fiddle. They opened with ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’, a song that Sonny wrote for Cher, but was ultimately salvaged by Nancy Sinatra. This song served as an intro into their single ‘Little Toy Gun’. By this time I was already on the bandwagon and running for president of their fan club. And not only were they rocking the stage, but she was pretty darn cute while doing it. So much that I stole a cardboard sign and a Sharpie from a homeless guy so that I could scribble out a marriage proposal. Unfortunately, I think I displayed the wrong side of the sign and instead got a couple bucks for a sandwich and some thanks for serving my country. I suppose it’s for the best since my first wife was at the show with me.

We were sitting next to the sound board about 30 yards yonder from the stage, so I told the Mrs. I needed to get something to eat so that I would have an excuse to get a little closer to the stage. Though most of the crowd is sprawled across the park on blankets and camping chairs, the first 25 feet or so in front of the stage is usually commandeered by more hardcore fans standing, dancing, or stalking their favorites. I joined the crowd for a tune up front and shortly thereafter the power went out. I’m blaming Rod Blagojevich since he lives just a couple blocks from the park and was probably looking for something to do.

But Honey Honey was undeterred, moving to the front edge of the stage to finish their song for the lucky few, myself included, at the foot of the stage. As the festival staff were still in panic mode, Ben grabbed his acoustic guitar and Suzanne grabbed her fiddle and they did another impromptu jam for the crowd that had been sucked in front and center like a rugby scrum.

They were ushered off stage for a bit while some techy looking folk took up a collection of hemp clothing from the crowd to burn and fuel the festival generators. Several minutes later the power to the people was restored, and despite their time being up, Honey Honey was brought back to do a couple more songs.

After the set ended I wandered back to the Mrs. who wanted to know where my food was. I confessed that I got distracted and ended up watching the rest of the set from up front. Her reply: “You suck.”

We stuck around for the last act of the night – Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears from Austin. Some pretty solid, high-energy, old-school soul and R&B to round out the evening.

Since Honey Honey made me miss out on dinner, we made a pit stop on the way home at The Daily Bar & Grill, snagged a table out on the patio, and shared a ½ pound turkey burger, fries and a beer while watching the crowd wander home.

Put it on your calendar and meet us there next year.

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