Music & Arts: Edinboro takes us somewhere else…
By Nick Corsi
DOWNTOWN EDINBORO ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL
We kicked off the summer season at Raven with the Edinboro Art and Music Festival. This small but packed venue really gives us a chance to get back into the swing of things. I remember someone saying if you like what you do, then you never work a day in your life, when you are working at this festival…”work” is the last thing on your mind.
DONNA THE BUFFALO
The closest thing that came to work was the 3 hour load in, from then on the pleasure was all ours. Two local acts, Salmon Frank and Rachel Eddy and Lori Burke kicked off the evening by getting people moving, followed by Donna the Buffalo. Few people ever get to see what really happens to musicians when they go “somewhere else” on stage. For this band, it is another day in the office when the 5 of them speak a language foreign to those outside of the musical tongue. With eyes closed and an energy unlike any other surging through the air, Donna the Buffalo produces a grass roots sound that strikes your soul. I had the pleasure of mixing the second half of their set which lasted until 2am including the 25 minute encore. I was consistently pushing Jeb Puryear slick sounding guitar that at times cut like a rock n roll and at others created a sway like ambiance. These solos were complimented by the sweet sound of the B3 played by Dave McCracken and the dynamic fiddler, Tara Nevins who ranged from foot stomping bluegrass to “let’s put this audience in a different world.” – Check out Donna the Buffalo
The lead singer of The Horseflies said they get their dark influence from the gray skies of upstate New York. The Moog synthesizer and the deep, thick bass created a dark and rolling foundation from which Fiddle Player Judy Hyman, percussionist Taki Masuko and Banjo Ukeli players Jeff Claus and Richie Stearns built from. The Horseflies don’t just dance through the night, they move with a purpose. Five minutes that could go on forever just stopped without a single look between the band members. These guys were tight, dynamic and a true pleasure to work with. Raven Monitor Engineer Nate “Slim” Harpst was able to continually keep the band comfortable on stage throughout the evening. The dynamic music provided a lot of level changes on stage within which some pretty consistent monitor adjustments were necessary. – Check out The Horseflies
STEVE JOHNSON BAND
A great finish to the weekend, Steve Johnson Band’s rhythmic and multi-genre country, blues, funk, and bluegrass sounds capped off the last night of the festival. Another really great band to work with, SJB gave us a really tight, clean stage and a really tight sound. Slim decided to set the stage up “festival style” as opposed to bringing in and sound checking the main act at the beginning of the evening. This meant that load in and sound check would be done on the spot for the headliner. There were 6 vocals, 6 instrument and 5 drum inputs already patched on stage. The key to picking and choosing which mics you use on the fly is labeling, knowing your sub-snake zones, and keeping your cable as neat and clean as possible. Slim’s monitor check was under 5 minutes after the band was in position. After the show, Drummer Daniel Witherspoon, and keyboardist Steve Davis said it was some of the best stage sound they had heard in a long time.- Check out the Steve Johnson Band
…Another successful and somewhat stressful Festival for Raven, but as always, the music that comes from local, grassroots festivals never disappoints…For some it is a night out, and for us at Raven, it is another day in the office
Nick has been working on stage at music festivals for a few years and continues to enjoy the fastpaced, and clutch situations, it is what live production is all about!
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