There were many highlights to the No Depression Festival at the Marymoor.
For starters, the Marymoor is an ideal location for a summer show.
The Tallboys, fresh off their new CD release party the night before, were out in full force, playing before the music began, and between nearly every set. They had crowds gathered under a big maple tree for some shade and fun. It set the mood for a fine day of music.
Star Anna tore up the stage with a hard rock'in version of Lucinda Williams "Joy". You could hear that growl.
The standout performance of the daytime show was clearly Justin Townes Earle. He was funny, talkative, but not too much, and played with some serious style alongside his harmonica man.
The ever enjoyable Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter gave the hard thumping beats, electric guitar solos (or duos), and that haunting voice that adds it's unique wonder.
I must confess I have never seen Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings perform live. I've tried for at least the last 7 years, but had yet to be successful. After last night, I feel like I've been cheated these last 6 years. By far, these two artists are the most likable, down-to-earth performers I've ever seen. There's no pomp, no awkwardness, no rambling, no nerves, no obligatory laugh lines; just honest performance of some of the best music to be heard today. People have commented already a bit on the Loretta Lynn story, about their meeting at the Grande Ole Opry with Emmylou Harris, so I won't say much more here, other than to add the comment about diet pills came because she said she couldn't wear her white dress because she popped the zipper on it and the hairspray comment came as a comment about Emmylou's hair and how she could possibly keep such nice big curls in it (Which I find strange, as usually Emmylou has pin-straight hair). But I will add that I was struck by Gillian's voice while talking on stage which has a tinge of Dolly's pinched voice. Absolutely perfect.
Opening with "Miss Ohio" gave the crowd what it wanted and got everyone to their feet. They played a number of songs from Time, threw in a new song about a sweet tooth that they say will be on their new album (that promises to be brilliant if it contains a fraction of what was in this song), and ended with an encore that included the brilliant and classic duet "Jackson". Both the new song about the sweet tooth (I love this) and "Jackson" really gave Dave room to showcase his voice and it was a crowd pleas-er! They ended a beautiful day with a beautiful set and topped it off with a beautiful encore. The crowd was buzzing afterward, and for good reason. We want some more sweet tooth, and soon.