Editor’s Ramblings – August 2023

Hello PA and welcome back to another month of music.  It’s been a busy summer so far and August looks to be the craziest yet. With more shows stacking up than you can count, it would be pretty hard, not to find something you’re into this month. Just read the pages of this issue, tons of stuff happening. 

Last month I got the chance to attend the 26th Annual Briggs Farm Blues Festival in Nescopeck PA.  The Festival is known as “The Best Weekend of the Year” in the area and after attending, it’s easy to see why.  Upon arrival and checking in at the gate, we were introduced to Alison Briggs who was nice enough to make some time for us and give us a tour of the event.  We hopped in a golf cart and soon realized that the event was more like a small town. They offer camping for just about any setup and style.  From simple first come, first serve tent camping in the woods, to reserved camping on the hill surrounding the stage area. The reserved sights offer a great view of the stage area, so you can see the whole show from your picnic table along with your own private porta potty.  Down in the woods and out through the fields surrounding the stage area is the first come first serve area and offers camping for any setup.

With something like 2,000 campers, I believe, and with over 10,000 attendees throughout the weekend this is a BIG event.  With this many people one would think it was a madhouse, but in fact it was quite the opposite. Alison and her Team have been doing this for awhile and it shows. This was hands down one of the best run events I have seen of this size. Plenty of staff, plenty of supplies for the people attending and no one seemed to be having a bad time. Some of the most polite party goers I’ve ever seen. Of course world class blues helps keep everyone chill. 

That is what the Festival is all about world class blues in the hills of PA with like minded people. After the guided tour we checked out the vendor section for a bit and then headed over to the main stage to check out “Jackie Venson”. Wow! Talk about making a guitar sing. Her playing gives the guitar a voice and it soon sounds like she is singing a duet with her guitar.  Pretty amazing performance. Not only was she the first to hit the big stage Saturday but it was also super hot with the only thing hotter being her performance. 

After that we went for a stroll through the wooded camping area to get a feel for the event. The woods area reminded me of the good old days of festivals, people chilling around the fires, elaborate camp setups, guys delivering pizzas on golf carts. Wait a minute; we never had pizza delivery at the festivals I went to! That’s right, you can call up and order a pizza and get it delivered to your campsite or your chair. Once you show up to camp at Briggs you don’t need to leave, they have just about everything you need from food and drinks/beer to guys selling ice to restock your cooler. 

All the bands were amazing and with two stages it was hard to catch them all. The second “Back Porch” stage somehow sucks you into a time warp and it’s like you’re at a completely different event. Watching “R.L. Boyce” play with some of his fellow rockers was amazing.  He was having a great time and it showed on stage.  His chill vibe and energy carried through to his music and really reminded you how simple playing the blues is. 

After “Eddie 9V” killed it on the main stage we came back around and were drawn into the “Back Porch” wormhole as “Ghalia Volt” took the stage.  A self proclaimed “One Woman Band,” she has a style like no other. Equipped with a kick, snare, hi-hat and tambourine operated by her feet. With her arms playing the guitar and not just rhythm but the whole blues package; Leads, slide guitar, and the rhythms.  It was my favorite performance of the night and with her firecracker style between songs, she kept the crowd surrounding the “Back Porch” even as the headliner the “Robert Randolph Band” took to the main stage. 

After her set ended we got some merch and headed over to catch the rest of the “Robert Randolph Band”.  These guys had the stage area packed and were a great finish to the night. The Briggs Farm Blues Festival did not disappoint!  A big thank you to the whole Briggs Farm Family for making us and everyone else feel at home on the farm and for continuing to host “The Best Weekend of The Year”. 

If you like the blues and want to attend a festival like no other, make your plans now for next year! July 11th-13th. Go to Briggsfarm.com to keep up with details for next years event. There is something for everyone, stay for the day or stay the whole weekend, either way you will have a blast. 

Well that’s it for this month. SOOO much going on please look through the paper and plan your month. So many events coming up as we head into August and September.  If you’re reading this and feel the urge to advertise please call me, I’m just a short phone call or email away.  One move can change your life, no moves changes nothing! Call 717-636-4203 or email joshnoll@pamusician.net