Saturday May 9 at The Shaky Knees Music Festival got off to a great start with Hey Rosetta on the Piedmont stage. This unique seven-piece Canadian rock band from Newfoundland put on an impressive show. These guys are incredibly in sync with each other, nobody steps on anyone's toes (musically speaking). Every member of this band is a multi-instrumentalist- lead singer and band leader, Tim Baker, switches from guitar to keyboard as Romesh Thavanathan plays the cello, lead guitar, and percussion, depending on what the song calls for. I had a chance to sit down with Tim Baker and Josh Ward (bass guitar). I was very excited to ask them about their new album "Second Sight" which hit the USA back on January 27, 2015.
I started by asking Tim and Josh what was different about this album from their previous album, "Seeds".
"Well first of all we had a lot more time to experiment. We knocked 'Seeds' out in only a few sessions. Our producer for ‘Second Sight’ was Marcus Paquin (Arcade Fire, the National, Stars) who was like part of the band. We had a very relaxed vibe in the studio; we felt comfortable to just experiment."
I then wanted to know what their procedure in the studio was like to which Josh replied,
"Things usually start with me and Phil Maloney (drums) just finding the groove, and then we build up the layers from there."
If you haven't listened to this band it's time to jump on the train. Be sure to check out their orchestral new album.
After the interview I walked across the grounds to see local rockers, The Black Lips, play to a sweaty crowd from the Ponce De Leon stage later in the afternoon. Despite the brutal southern sun radiating heat off the concrete parking lot, many dedicated fans formed a joyous mosh pit in front of the stage.
In between shows I stopped to talk to some of the festival goers to see how everyone was enjoying the weekend. Locals said they love this festival because it takes place in such a convenient area. "It's so fun to be able to see the building I work at from the festival. It was amazing to see how quickly they set everything up" said a man dressed in white Elvis-style suit. At music festivals you come to expect people dressing up in strange costumes, it's part of the fun.
Next, I went to catch the red-hot, German trio, Milky Chance, deliver a very tight performance as the sun began to set. They had the audience in the palm of their hand, and everyone sang along as they played their smash hit single “Stolen Dance” at the end of the performance.
Festival headliners, The Avett Brothers, took the Peach Tree Stage at 9 o’clock to close out the second day of Shaky Knees. Once a simple three-piece folk band, The Avett Brothers have developed their live performance into a full on stadium-rock show. At times the group has as many as 7 musicians on stage all playing in perfect unison. I really enjoyed watching Tania Elizabeth (fiddle) perform with this band that I have been following for eight years. Tania joined the band in 2013 and adds a wonderful dynamic to their sound. Even though they have explored a whole new way of performing since I started listening to their music they still keep their old fans happy by playing the simple, beautiful songs from Emotionalism, with Scott and Seth Avett performing alongside long time friend and bass player "The Inevitable" Bob Crawford.
Overall it was another wonderful day at the 3rd annual Shaky Knees Music Festival. Any music lover surely appreciated the array of artists that performed today.
Written By: Eric Owings