I've been to Pickathon the last several years, and it's become one of the highlights of my year. From the intimate mid-woods stage with its hay bales to sit on; to the mainstage - beyond which you can see Mount Hood on a clear day; to the late night beer-drenched throw-downs in the barn. Then there's the remarkably informative intimate workshops in the smaller barn, the "circus"-spirit kids' area, the locally sourced delicious food, the artfully interesting sun shade feature that blows in the breeze all day (great for lying in the grass and zoning out), the impressive dedication to eco-friendliness, and a few thousand of Portland's most friendly music fans.
Of course, there's the music itself. In addition to catching some incredible sets from favorites like John Doe & the Sadies (one of my favorite shows ever), Justin Townes Earle, Langhorne Slim, Dale Watson, Heartless Bastards, etc., some of my favorite artists the past few years have been folks I never even heard of before I got to Pickathon. This year's lineup promises to be no exception. Check it out:
Mavis Staples, Bill Callahan, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Califone, Vetiver, The Sadies, Fruit Bats, Thao, The Wilders, Damien Jurado, Richard Swift, Pine Leaf Boys, Danny Barnes, The Builders and The Butchers, Sonny and The Sunsets, Bruce Molsky, Rock Plaza Central, Buffalo Killers, Pokey LaFarge, Strand of Oaks, Ted Jones & the Tarheel Boys, Elliott Brood, Truckstop Darlin', Joy Kills Sorrow, Old Light, Black Lillies, Charlie Parr, Ages and Ages, Mike + Ruthy, Whitey Morgan & the 78's, Brownout, Old Sledge, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Black Mountain, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sharon Van Etten, Future Islands, Laura Veirs, Diane Ferlatte, and Kitty Daisy & Lewis.