It’s September, the concert summerbreak is over and what better way to kick of the new concert season than with a festival? Take Root -a festival for “past, present and upcoming American music”- had it’s 14th edition on September 10th. There were some mighty shoes to fill after last years edition. An edition I missed due to medical conditions. But I’m back I and I surely was not going to miss this edition!
The afternoon started with Dan Baker and The Breakdown. And even though it was only 4PM in the afternoon, there was a fairly large crowd here already. The trio plays in the singer/songwriter genre. Dan baker on guitar, flanked by a fiddler and upright bass player. A decent opening to the festival
Onwards to the “kleine zaal” where Morgan O’Kane was about to start his set. A lot more traditionally styled music from the Appalachians this time. Morgan on banjo and the look of that reminded me a lot of 16 Horsepower. With a good jolt of power in the gig, the music wasn’t that far off either. The rest of the band consisted of cello, fiddle, guitar and spoons. Loved the gig, banjo-players rule!
In the main hall the audience was fast gathering for the first of the headliners: Israel Nash Gripka. His first Take Root was back in 2009 on a small stage and after a lot of touring and building himself a good reputation over here it’s only logical he’s on the main stage now. I’ve seen ING a few times before and though he’s good, it’s just not really doing it for me.
So I headed to the entrancehall. A bit of an odd location for a stage, but it allows for an upper balcony and using a big curtain to shield of the entrance, it is an interesting location. Opening this stage is Mack Johansson and it took me some database searching to put the face to a band, but as it turns out I saw him earlier in Hyacinth House, back in 2008 at Eurosonic and as it turn out I even saw the band in 2006 at the R&B night. But were quite a few years further now and the music has changed a lot too. I wasn’t able to stay too long unfortunately, but liked what I heard a lot. A bit different, but then I’m into that :)
However as one of the big names Jolie Holland was up next and I had to be in the “kleine zaal” in time to get a decent spot for the photos. It didn’t start of too well unfortunately as photographers and audience were informed that we were only allowed to take photos during the first three songs. And I’m fine with that, but please TURN ON THE LIGHTS! It was incredibly dark and I could hardly shoot any photos at all. Also the music totally didn’t work for me, so after those three songs I left the gig.
Which was just as good as it turned out; at the Foyer stage the quaint band Man Man was giving what was without doubt the most energetic gig of the festival. The music didn’t fit in any of the Alt.Country aimed genres but was tremendously fun to watch. A wild, sweaty, driven band that you just had to dance to. I absolutely loved it!
And that was the first part. Huge disappointment with Jolie Holland whom I had high expectations of after reading interviews in the newspaper and lots of people via the social networks. But luckily acts like Morgan O’Kane and Man Man got the festival off to a great start.