A week ago I was preparing to travel to Charleston in high anticipation of a wonderful weekend of stellar music, impressive food, camaraderie, and beautiful views. A week later, and I am still riding the high of the weekend
The weekend may be over, but the memories will last a life time. A gigantic thank you to High Water for putting together such an amazing weekend and also for including immersed in cool music as a part of the media team. It was a real bona fide privilege. I am so very humbled and thankful.
Sunday began earlier than Saturday because they added another band, performing at 12:30. I was thrilled because it was The High Divers. As I have said before, they put on a great show and with a new album, I looked forward to seeing them again. They clearly set the joyous vibe for the day!
The High Divers
T. Hardy Morris
The mullet is back y’all! T. Hardy Morris brought his uber cool to the stage and rocked us out.
Is it a good luck charm? It caught my eye…
I think she was pretty stoked to score a front row position…
Spotted in the crowd, the cutest embroidered jeans…she was totally en trend.
I was thrilled to have a chance to see Valerie June. She just exudes cool, creativity, and wisdom. Her music is different and worthy of your ears. Perhaps her sound is best described as an intersect between Appalachian, roots, country/folk. She sings of love, perseverance, life, and healing. Her show is a sight of colors, sounds, and hypnotic music.
Wandering around, I stumbled upon some fun shots.
The convenient rearranged backpack beer holder…
He was taking advantage of some space to toss a frisbee…it wasn’t long before the green grass was covered in blankets and people.
Peeked in on the oyster education gathering.
Looks like I was a bit on the late side, darn!
Creative food line waiting. Fun can be had anywhere, especially when you have a strong daddy.
Okay, I’ll admit that I am not a huge country fan. I most certainly listen and appreciate the genre. But…I was so in awe of Joshua Hedley‘s cool suit, I kinda blanked out. He plays old school country which you don’t hear as much anymore. There’s talent galore, but to me the fashion sense of this band made me the happiest.
Yep, even the keyboard player had a belt sweet enough to envy a bit.
Tank and the Bangas
This band was the secret surprise of the day! They brought it, and the festival goers reveled in the glory of them! Dancing…singing…performing with a capital P, they laid it out. A photographer’s dream, I came home with some amazing shots, but the memory of this fierce band is planted firmly in my heart. It is not for everyone to cover Nirvana, but they did it and did it well!
Their energy and audience participation expectations brought everyone on their feet hands in the air and singing along!
Soakin’ up the afternoon music bliss.
Soothing melodies and guitar centric, M Ward is easy on the ears. At High Water Fest, he played his beautiful Bigsby and each intermittent guitar riff proved to be exciting. With Keith Richards and Jack White as Bigsby players, he is in great company. M Ward has his own distinct style that doesn’t reflect theirs at all. Music on the laid back side, his set was perfect for chillin’ and sitting back with appreciation. The day was wearing on us all with so many early power house acts, we all needed a bit of a chillin’ sound break.
This pic is just dripping cool.
I am pretty old…I admit it. But I love the fact that I stumbled on Shakey Graves many, many years ago and I don’t even live in Texas. He put out a series of videos where he played his guitar and his suitcase drum/tambourine in an empty field and even a giant sewer pipe. Check it out, sometime. His career has moved like a fast-moving train ever since. He has paired up with some of the most amazing acts, and toured his heart out. So, to see him at another huge festival made my heart bust with joy. He knows how to write, sing, and play catchy, lyrical tunes with perfection. His show begins solo, like the start of his career, then he brings out the band. Never disappoints!
He loves to get the crowd into the music, and participate, they did!
Hamilton Leithauser, the lead singer from the successful indie band, The Walkmen, graced the stage in a simple dark suit. No frills, but the music was on fire. His voice and songs had everyone amazed. He turned out to be one of the happy surprises of High Water Fest. With a successful solo career, he has been releasing new songs lately, perhaps hinting at another solo album. His show began a bit late and seemed to end way too soon. I look forward to seeing him again. He is a seasoned vocalist and performer…so very good.
Shovels and Rope
The hometown darlings of the festival, Shovels and Rope, took to the stage in matching pink velvet outfits. It was striking on stage and mimicked their bubbly personality and synergy as a couple and musical duo. They garnished the largest crowd of the festival, and the most enthusiastic. Their show was so upbeat and fun as they blend folk, rock and roll and country rock perfectly. It was something to behold.
Heading back to my sittin’ spot. I had fun with my blanket neighbors.
Wandering the crowd to catch Susto, I stumbled upon this lovely family.
Clearly he is a Susto fan with gobs of personality!
If you have never been to a Susto live show, you are clearly missing out. Dynamic music with psychedelic spaciousness and catchy indie hooks, Susto continues to bring down the house. With a hefty touring schedule they have made a name for themselves all around the world. Even better, they are a Charleston band and had no trouble setting the night on fire in the comfort of their backyard. They warmed up the crowds for the final act, Band of Horses, but more importantly they are clearly ready to headline themselves.
Band Of Horses
What is not to love about this iconic southern rock band? With a catalogue of songs dating back to 2006 and many number one hits, Band of Horses, continues to remain relevant and revered. From soothing sweet love songs to rocking anthems, they bring the crowd to any festival. But on this perfect spring night in North Charleston, they clearly commanded the stage with musical weight. The festival goers swooned to “Noone’s Gonna Love You” and sang-a-long and cheered to their latest hit “In A Drawer”. They even covered a Susto song, “Hard Drugs”. It was a lengthy set and all who stuck it out (not worrying about Monday morning) were totally present and clearly loved it. Me included! I didn’t want the night to end.
A beautiful day, a host of talent, and magnificent people helped to make this year’s High Water Festival a true winner! I didn’t want it to end and didn’t want to face the rainy Monday drive back to Atlanta. Charleston is a magical place and I was able to experience a magical weekend!
Be sure to mark your calendars!