[ The Heavy Pets ]
As we awoke on Saturday, MagFest was a little cooler with the overcasting sky. It was nice to sleep in a little without the sun beating on my tent, and we dodged the rain aside from a light drizzle that ushered in some cooler weather. Our day of music began with an excited discovery of The Stacks, a musical duo consisting of a married couple. Tania Elizabeth and Andy Stack work together with ease, a sure sign of their chemistry as musicians and humans alike. They covered The Band and were awarded a standing ovation by an early Music Hall crowd that was escaping the heat.
The Heavy Pets followed on the Amphitheater stage and put on another great show. These guys seem to get better and better with each time I’m lucky enough to see them. Their catchy tunes and funky jams definitely stood out against the americana nature of MagFest. While I think it would have went over better later on in the day, everybody involved seemed to enjoy an early boost of energy to get their day going.
The Heavy Pets have a new album out called Two Horses which is available on all major MP3 outlets.
[ The Duhks ]
The Duhks had a familiar figure on stage, pictured up there to the right. That is Tania Elizabeth, who we previously saw with The Stacks. She displayed a little more of an upbeat style with the Duhks progressive bluegrass set, which packed in the Amphitheater stage with one of the largest day crowds we saw all weekend. The band has apparently gone through some recent member changes, as noted on stage, but they sounded like they’ve all been playing together for years.
[ Willie Nelson & Family ]
As the day grew in to night, Mavis Staples took us straight to church. Then Donna The Buffalo got a dance party going. Willie Nelson muscled through an hour and a half worth of classics. And Drive-By Truckers brought their alternative country to the Suwannee.
For us night owls, there was the Donna the Buffalo late-night show in the Music Hall that started at 1am. I’m not sure when it ended, but I left around 2:30 and it seemed to be going strong. They brought out The Stacks, Jim Lauderdale, Grayson Capps and more as we celebrated the life of a member of the Suwannee family named Shelley late into the night at MagFest.
The long day ended with a walk back to the campsite full of pit-stops at local pickin’ parties thrown by fellow campers. I overheard a patron say to his friends, “Man, this just feels like home. We just stumbled upon these awesome bluegrass musicians in the middle of the woods. This feels like home to me.“
I couldn’t say it better myself…the Suwannee just feels like home. After MagFest, I couldn’t be more excited for Suwannee Hulaween and Bear Creek.
[ Donna The Buffalo ]