A Snoop Dogg song at a folk festival? While popular act The Gourds have accumulated a mass following with their impassioned live shows, their bluegrass cover of "Gin and Juice" remains a crowd favorite. The Austin, Texas band headlines the 32nd annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival in Hailey, Idaho.
This year's lineup at the festival, which runs Friday, July 31 through Saturday, August 1, carries a mix of Idaho musicians, aspiring acts and established bands on the national scene. Kicking off the shows are the hillbilly folk, bluegrass and country of Up a Creek, The Damphools and the Kim Stocking Band or the acoustic and Americana rock of Joe Paisley and Olin & the Moon. Following are the polka-rock-jazz quintet Brave Combo and rockabilly Blasters, two bands that have taken their music on the road for over 30 years, swaying audiences while still infusing their music with a passionate purpose.
That's what a great folk festival should be all about. And all the acts at the Northern Rockies Folk Festival give as good as they get, but maybe none more so than The Gourds. The band posted on the NRFF Facebook page that they couldn't wait to play in Hailey again. They said few moments on the road equal the experience of their show last summer and they hope to reinvigorate that stompin' pleasure again this year. Its summer in the mountains, the grass is green and the days are long. And it's the right time of year to enjoy good music, a beer, and some barefoot dancing in a park. When the band is as fired up for an event as the audience, that makes for a great time.
Friday, July 31, 5 p.m.; Saturday, August1, 11:30 a.m. Hop Porter Park, Hailey. Tickets $12 Friday, $18 dollars Saturday or $25 advance purchase for both days. Tickets available online at nrff.net, at Notes Music in Hailey, or Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum.