Here we are, looking at you from the other side of Hopscotch… The PoB/WXYC Day Party was a grand success, fulfilling our Live at Pompeii dreams in ways we never could have imagined. The beautiful, sun-dappled and green Raleigh Little Theatre’s Stephenson Amphitheatre proved the ideal setting, providing an escape from the madding crowds and darker interior spaces of the rest of the (excellent) festival. We’ll post many more photos and recordings–courtesy of NYCTaper, photographer Constance Mensh, and ahem, you (send us documentation!)–in the near future, but for now, enjoy these brief foretastes of a memorable day. Many thanks to all who performed, assisted, and attended!

Also, here’s an amazing video of our new friend, the brilliant Lonnie Holley, showing a day party attendee Happy Muley while Chris Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band play onstage:

Photo by Constance Mensh.

Photo by Constance Mensh.

In the mad rush of Hopscotch preparations, we neglected to share a few very important pieces of press. First, we were incredibly excited to check out this NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Steve Gunn. We’re unable to embed NPR’s stream, but click the link to watch the entire video and hear this remarkable session in close quarters. Thanks very much to Lars Gotrich and his colleagues at NPR for setting this one up; here’s what Lars has to say about Steve:

“His work mostly stems from a bushy, overgrown definition of what we often call “Americana,” with a healthy understanding of the La Monte Young drone. Grateful Dead and J.J. Cale certainly reside in the rubber-band bounce of “Old Strange,” a song that keeps the groove mellow, but will suddenly pop with water-drop elasticity. “The Lurker” comes from a much longer solo guitar version that originally sounded like one of Roy Harper’s acoustic epics, but with Gunn’s trio, it becomes a back-porch barn-burner. Both songs appear on Gunn’s latest album, Time Off — a perfect record for goofing off, taking it easy, or whatever lazy tendencies summer tends to inspire. Mostly, though, it just inspires you to take time and listen.

– Lars Gotrich, NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

Young Chance with Johnny Cash

Steven Hyden visited Nashville to spend some time with Chance this summer, and the result is “Chance, this is your cue: A day in Nashville with country radio host, Johnny Cash pal, cue-card man extraordinaire, and secret musical genius Chance Martin,” a wonderful feature-length profile in the week before Cowboy Jack Clement passed.

“Say Kris Kristofferson, Sly Stone, the ghost of Captain Beefheart, and a small mountain of peyote formed a supergroup in order to create the druggiest disco-rock record in history. This (theoretical) album would be the only workable reference point for In Search… Tempos speed up and slow down unexpectedly, disparate genres collide violently and collapse in piles of busted-up wreckage, and Chance’s vocals veer wildly between a Baptist preacher’s bark and a lounge-lizard purr. The songs sound loose, extemporaneous, and piss-drunk on purpose, and only after endless fine-tuning.”

– Steven Hyden, Grantland

The essay includes this terrific quote from Peter Cooper too:

It stands with Porter Wagoner’s ‘The Rubber Room’ and Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan’s ‘Tennessee Birdwalk’ as one of the strangest pieces of music to emerge from Nashville, a city that is home to many wild-eyed howlers but that has often produced polished, careful recordings. The album is a testament to the joy of music-making, though it makes me have bizarre, psychedelic dreams if I listen to it too close to bedtime.”

– Peter Cooper, The Tennessean