This festival was meant to be. A perfect concentrated blast of Americana in a venue which is beyond ideal. Little did the Victorians know, when they built this place they had set the scene for what has become a jewel in the UK festival calendar. A healthy mixture of generations is a testament to any well planned event and Easton Farm Park, Suffolk, has something for all of them: a set of gorgeous buildings, barns, and acres of lush countryside, along with a fun park and animals. And this weekend wasn't about goretex and wellies, it was baking!
Amelia Curran performs sad songs at varying degrees of slowness with a voice that throws an arm around the audience and doesn't let go. Nestled in that space nobody wants this bittersweet bliss to be rushed. 'The Furious Curve' is serenity itself and 'What Will You Be Building' whetted our appetite for a forthcoming release.
Being from New Orleans Andrew Duhon has a flood song, but he also has a tasty English roots song...
Joined by Kara Grainger for a set of blues he plays harmonica for 'Secret Soul' and they nail a dramatic 'Long Black Veil'. A deft pairing who continued to shine throughout the next couple of days.
Police Dog Hogan are an idiosyncratic bunch pulling pop, cajun, country and just about anything else into a hotchpotch of 110% entertainment. They persuade us of their love of food with 'Moutarde De Dijon' and the barn gets hot under the collar for Steve Earle's 'Galway Girl'. But it has to be 'Shitty White Wine' which takes the plaudits: 'a kangaroo on the label is never a good sign'.
Sounding more than the sum of their parts, Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo, are the surprise package of the weekend. Neil Young's 'Look Out For My Love' is given the same meticulous treatment as their own haunting 'Pause', 'Nostalgia' and new song, 'Tuesday'. Strings and voices in perfect harmony.
Local singer/songwriter Lucy Sampson has been looking forward to this for a year, but still manages to seem very composed. Backed by double bass her ukulele and guitar propelled melodies have an edge of quirkiness and a magnetic pull. Stand out numbers are 'The Snuggle song' and 'Blue'.
Corb Lund sings about goth girls, does a great talking blues, and gives us a history lesson with 'Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier'. And proves why he's so loved with 'Time To Switch To Whiskey'.
Stalwart of the scene, Jason Ringenberg is resplendent in gold lame shirt and has his own way with tunes from Hank and Merle. As for his own material 'Rainbow stew', which was learnt whilst working as a hog castrator, has to take to prize.
Hailing from Sussex, and quickly becoming Spiral Earth faves, Hatful Of Rain's brand of folksy bluegrass has class stamped all over it. Our wishes come true when 'Winter Rose', 'Rockin' Chair Daddy' and 'Way Up On The Hill' all feature in a storming set.