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After numerous false starts and postponements due to the pandemic, the 34th annual Old Settler & # 39; s Festival for early birds at the campsite and on the main stages finally started on Thursday, October 21st, with country punk queen, Life coach, and overall badass Sarah Shake and her band The Disarmers kick off the festivities on Black & # 39; s BBQ stage at the festival.
Sarah Shook had the unenviable task of getting her gritty songs to better perform for a gritty honky tonk in the early afternoon, but she still coped with grateful audiences including numerous people who had earlier started work or called in sick they sing along with every word of their songs.
Sarah Shook's great ability to bring melodies to stories of the failing side of life satisfies a deep appetite for music that we never knew we had until it came, and leaves an unforgettable, more fulfilling experience than your usual musician experience up to the point that is considered essential.
In addition to some of her best-known songs like "Good As Gold" and "New Ways to Fail", she also tested a few new songs, including one that might be called "Poison" with a bit of a rockabilly vibe, which will likely be on her new album which will be released on Thirty Tigers in 2022.
Just as Sarah Shook took the stage, news broke that her previous label Bloodshot Records had been sold to Exceleration Music to hopefully ensure that the two previous Sarah Shook and the Disarmers albums would be well promoted and kept in stock for the foreseeable future .
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The native Brit was the headliner of the evening Jade birdwho recently built her nest in nearby Austin. After the five-man female power of Della Mae only had to take the stage as a solo acoustic act and at the same time suffered from a (non-Covid) respiratory infection, the young Jade Bird had a huge task ahead of her.
It still remains a bit baffling why the mostly acoustic pop-bar chords of Jade Bird were pushed into the "Americana" realm to the point where they also merge with country. It's not that the sheer talent isn't evident or that the songs aren't of paramount quality. It's just so sonic, it's an odd fit.
But just being in the audience of Jade Bird – who was forced to play a quarter of a hundred songs to complete her 75-minute headlining set – it's nearly impossible not to be incredibly popular with her. The songs are the enviable combination of light melody and infectious pentameter, while still remaining surprisingly earthy and engaging. Now, her voice control and range are incredible. Simply put, she's a powerhouse.
And unlike so many of the darker Americana acts, Jade Bird actually has personality. Her quick smile, her nervous laugh and her folksy British manner were reminiscent of Dolly Parton – simply infectiously cheerful, even if many of the songs are of youthful indecision and sour love. All the more perfect that Jade Bird concluded with an interpretation of Dolly's “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?”.
While some of their early songs feel a little "screaming" (for lack of a better word), Jade Bird's new stuff is a lot more balanced. When she sang the more subtle title track to her recent Dave Cobb-produced album Different Kinds of Light, she silenced the field of Old Settlers and won them completely after the applause.
In terms of sound, Jade Bird may still not fit perfectly into the “Americana” world, even with its constantly expanding and changing boundaries. But with her talent, songwriting, and overall presence, Americana and Austin, TX should be more than happy to have her.
Stay tuned to Saving Country Music for a full recap of the Old Settler & # 39; s Fest.