Outer Banks Bluegrass First Day Review
By Kip Tabb –
A couple of quick notes on the first day of the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival.
Amazing first day. Weather was about as good as it could be, very well organized and the music was better than advertised.
It’s really tough to pick out a highlight but there was some mandolin picking that just blew me away.
Austin Koener of Nu-Blu in particular was clean, quick and really creative. Fantastic work.
Whiskey Rebellion did not disappoint even though they were playing without their banjo player who was at home with his wife who was ready to have a baby. What was perhaps most impressive was how full their sound remained even though they were missing a key band member.
Ryan Phillips on guitar did an excellent job of filling in the spaces, and what may have been most impressive was the way mandolin player, Jared Pool, laid down rhythm patterns for the band. He also held his own playing chords behind some blazing lead guitar work from Phillips. And his lead picking was nothing short of astonishing.
Whiskey Rebellion seems to me, to be one of the groups on taking bluegrass into new directions. Some of their songs have a distinctly jazz fusion feel to it and that diversity of sound and impressive musicianship truly make them worth seeing.