With the first two days of the 2021 Byrd’s Creek Music Festival already behind us, it was hard to believe that we were almost to the end of our first festival of the year. We were certainly excited for the day’s lineup, but sad that it was almost time to go home.
Sunday at Byrd’s Creek ended up being a day of adaptability. It also highlighted the family atmosphere that embodies what’s special about this event—something that’s often hard to describe while writing about it.
Mose Wilson & Friends
The first surprise of the day was the unfortunate cancellation of one of the acts. However, that couldn’t put a damper on a festival with a campground loaded with musical talent. Pulling together musicians from across the festival setlists, Mose Wilson returned to the stage for an Americana and classic country jam session including members of the West King String Band, Hannah Juanita, Chelsea Lovitt, and more.
Check out more on Mose Wilson in our coverage of Day 1 of Byrd’s Creek 2021
Sad Daddy ft. Melissa Carper
Earlier this year, the award-winning Arkansas bluegrass band (that’s not entirely a bluegrass band), Sad Daddy, announced that they were working on their first album since 2016’s Fresh Catch. The setlist included their hit, “Mountainside,” a country-classic styled number from band member Melissa Carper’s recent solo album, and an encore with fan-favorite, “Bigboned & Buttugly.”
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Dusty vocals and traditional country storytelling took center stage as the Byrd’s Creek Music Festival welcomed Bristol’s Momma Molasses. Showcasing a talent for making new music sound vintage, the band played several tracks from their album Anthems From A Broken Heart as well as the latest single, “C-A-R.” Momma Molasses had the audience swaying along to her combination of classic country-western swing and soul-grass sounds.
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If Birds Court Fly
In a weekend rich with full-acoustic sets or minimal instrumentation, Virginia’s If Bird’s Could Fly brought a welcome change up with the hum of electric bass and rhythm led by a full drum set. This added an alt-country edge to their soulful folk performance. The set featured a mix of songs from their recent album Long Gone Songs, as well as their 2012 record, Ghosts.
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The Rainstorm – As in a real actual storm.
Fortunately, the festival had eluded several storms that had come through the region throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, the odds of probability were no longer in our favor, and we finally were caught by a solid downpour. Normally, this wouldn’t even make it into a festival recap; however, what happened next highlighted the family feel of Byrd’s Creek.
Inside the event barn located on the festival grounds, sound equipment was already being set up so that we wouldn’t have to miss the night’s headliner, Sierra Ferrell. With the vendors having closed, festival owner Jason Kemmer fired up some catering sized grills. Hot dogs and sausages were made available for free to the soaking wet festival crowd in a gesture you don’t see at…well, any other festival. As more people came to the barn, early arrivals helped set up additional chairs. Pretty soon everyone was inside, fed, and ready for more great music.
The event barn, in many ways, made the perfect setting for the post-rain Sierra Ferrell concert. The rustic, classic instrumentation fit so well echoing in the rafters of the well-appointed barn. Her beckoning vocals matched the intimacy created by the dimmed lights and seated crowd—like a sepia-toned scene out of an old movie where the road-tested troubadour holds the townsfolk in rapt silence. Of course, the spell was put on hold between each song as the appreciative audience roared with applause after favorites like “Jeramiah,” “Why’d You Do It,” and many more from her now released album Long Time Coming.
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End of Day 3 of the 2021 Byrd’s Creek Music Festival…And a look at upcoming events at Oaklawn Farms:
We may not have been ready for the weekend to end, but it was unfortunately time to head back to the real world. This edition of Byrd’s Creek Music Festival checked all the boxes: plenty of high-quality roots music, a fun return to live performances, and a promise of more great events in the future!
During the festival, it was announced that the Oaklawn Farms, the home of Byrd’s Creek, will be hosting a fall concert series. Called Music at the Manor, it refers to the once-beautiful estate house on the grounds which owner Jason Kemmer is restoring to its former glory. The shows run from September 15th to October 6th on Wednesday evenings. The lineup includes Bella White, Kelly Hunt, Logan Halstead, and The Local Honeys. Ticketing is donation based—pay what you can to support the show—and can be purchased here.
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