Our more astute readers might remember that last month, editor Amber Valentine, videographer Spencer Wells, moonlighting photographer Mark Fain, and contributing superstar Braden Rapp came together as one for Daytrotter's Barn on the 4th of July Show, as part of Amber's continuing string of "Rock and Roll Road Trips". Wait. No? You don't remember that? Well, maybe you'll recall the obnoxious string of five posts all dedicated to the adventures that were had with the likes of Dawes, Young Man, These United States, Justin Townes Earle, Jonny Corndawg, and The Walkmen. Yeah, I thought that would jog your memory!
Well, on the 22nd, at least half of those RFC staffers will be returning to Maquoketa, Iowa for another booze enchanted hootenanny, beating the August heat with great music and even greater folks in the best barn in the Midwest. (Sorry, Seacrest 1883 Octagonal Barn in West Branch, you're cool too.)
We really think you ought to join us there to catch a portion of the epicness that you missed on the 4th and to fully grasp what all the fuss is about when it comes to these barn shows. To say they've ruined me for regular concerts is an understatement - After hanging out on hay bales and in corn fields, bars just don't have the same passionate energy anymore. That isn't to knock Schubas or Lincoln Hall, of course. Rather, it's to say that these barn shows are something special and a three hour drive and a ten dollar bill is a small price to pay for the experience, let alone the bands.
Before hitting the proverbially Windy City on the 24th, Roadside Graveswill be bringing their whiskey soaked Americana to the Maquoketa barn and joining them will be Gold Motel, The 4 on the Floor, Dinosaur Feathers, Lonnie Walker, The Treats, What Happened Japan?, Danger Ronnie and The Spins and the just-added-to-the-bill folk trio Gun Lake. Yes, you read that right - Nine - Count 'em, nine! - noteworthy bands. In a barn. For $10.
Last time around, it was no secret who RFC was most excited to see. While these barn shows always offer the best and brightest of line ups, with nary a weak link to be found, it was long time favorites Dawes and the Walkmen that we knew would steal the show, as they've already stole editor in chief Amber's heart long ago. This time, however, it's Ann Arbor, Michigan's little known Gun Lake that we're most looking forward to. Why? Well, we're not sure if you know but that Amber's quite the connoisseur of folk music, particularly of the "dude with a beard and a knack for heartbreaking poetics" variety. Not only does Gun Lake fit all of those criteria but they also go far above and beyond, combining the self deprecating sadness of Elliott Smith, Fleet Foxes harmonies, Justin Vernon-esque hushed beauty, and a heavy does of originality to create some of the most enrapturing folk music we've heard in a while. Yes, those are heady comparisons for a band that's only just recording their debut album but believe us - Gun Lake can deliver.
Check out their myspaceand hear for yourself before dustin' off your dancin' shoes, grabbin' your sunglasses, and buyin' a 12 pack of your favorite cheap American beer! Because it's time to plan a rock and roll road trip of your very own!