Labor Day Weekend got off to an incredible start.
My schedule on Sunday was different from the rest of Musikfest, in that I was able to make it out during the early portion of the day. This was a good thing, as there were quite a few artists I wanted to check out during that part of the festivities.
In addition to old favorites who perform at Musikfest every year, the festival boasts a healthy offering of first-time performers each year. Whether they are local, or they come to us from afar, ‘Festgoers have a guaranteed opportunity to discover something new for ten days in August in downtown Bethlehem.
We reached out to a few ‘Fest rookies to get their thoughts on their upcoming debut at the nation’s largest free outdoor music festival. They are…
Neil Grover, local singer-songwriter, performing Wednesday, August 9 at 7 p.m. at Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz, and Thursday, August 10 at 8 p.m. at Yuengling Lagerplatz (amid the Festplatz site).
Kara Hartzell, singer-songwriter and bassist for Alex Mery & The Townsmen, performing at Fegley’s Bethlehem Brew Works on Friday, August 4 at 9 p.m. (unofficial Musikfest performance); Wednesday, August 9 at 9 p.m. at Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz (w/ Alex Mery & The Townsmen); and Thursday, August 10 at 2:30 p.m. at the Provident Bank Main Street Stage.
Jim Rea of Springfield, MO-based bluegrass quintet, The HillBenders, performing Monday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Americaplatz, and Tuesday, August 8 at 7 p.m. at Volksplatz.
Zach Russack, Hackettstown, NJ-based singer-songwriter, performing a full-band set Thursday, August 10 at 3:30 p.m. on the Provident Bank Main Street Stage, and a solo set at Red Stag Pub Liederplatz on Sunday, August 13 at 2 p.m.
After two weeks on the road together, hundreds of miles logged, and countless memories made, Alex Mery & The Townsmen and Zach Russack brought their Southern Exposure Tour home on Sunday.
This has been the experience of a lifetime.
Distressed chalk work? Nah. This sign is a result of torrential downpours and a thunderstorm that hit Philly tonight right as I was parking our truck/trailer a mile away from the venue for our evening performance. This is all probably a result of my aforementioned “decent weather” from my accounts of Day #11. Now, let’s rewind…
Today was a long trek across most of Ohio and PA, from Cincinnati to Harrisburg. We stopped along the way to replenish our souls with Cinnabon, but otherwise, we drove straight through smushed into the good ol’ Chevy Silverado. Being in such close quarters for the past eleven days has been enlightening. Aside from ridiculous traffic earlier in the tour, we didn’t have any troubles on this particular venture, and honestly have experienced some pretty fantastic weather throughout. Upon arriving at Zeroday Brewing however, that changed. The skies dumped a fun amount of rain right on us as we unloaded our gear.
Once we set up, and dried off a little, we had a comfortable show. Knowing that we are back in PA and had a supportive crowd there, along with some familiar faces and friends, was a refreshing experience for all of us. We enjoyed some craft beer along with the appropriately named “Large Ass Pretzel”. We also added some flavor to our show with special guest singer Cat Cirotti and a duo between Alex Mery and Zach Russack.
Tonight, we hit Philly as we head closer to home. Honestly, I’m experiencing bittersweet emotions as the end of our grand adventure is coming to a close. We have all shared some amazing moments together, and I will miss spending every day exploring, playing music, and just enjoying life with these fellas, but it’s also time to return to normalcy.
BUT, enough of that sappy business. Onward and east toward Philly we go!
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Today, we spent a few hours in the car traveling through the rest of West Virginia and Kentucky, before finally arriving in Ohio. We had a double-header today in Cincinnati, starting out with a gig at Sitwell’s Coffeehouse. This intimate, low-key environment was a perfect start to our day, with a few light tunes accompanied by delicious food.
Howdy, y’all! Zach and Alex here again, coming to you now from the vast, woodsy expanse of West Virginia, where we’re pretty sure we saw a grand total of five towns once we hit the WV border from Nashville. But what sights they were! Being in all that open country and winding highways reminded the two of us of driving through Vermont. What a beaut!
This morning, we went on some individual adventures throughout Nashville before eventually running into each other and catching a fun photo with a historical statue in the area. Then, we spent some time lounging around the pool and resting before our official Nashville gig. Once we loaded up the car and headed to Drifters BBQ, we were golden… until we opened the trailer.