A Stopover first-time visitor shares her festival picks

This is a guest post by Macon-based Molly McWilliams Wilkins. Be sure and check out her publication Southern Bon Vivant.

Savannah Stopover is one of those events I’ve been meaning to attend but just wasn’t quite able to, I would have work or personal conflicts each time. However this year I found out about one particular artist and made sure to clear out my calendar ahead of time. More on him later, but for now I’ll give y’all my schedule for Stopover as an out-of-towner heading in for my first visit to this event.

Thursday
I’m heading in after work Friday evening, which is kind of a bummer cause I bought VIP tickets and the band poster event sounds cool. Plus there’s some badass bands playing Thursday. IF I were in town, here’s who I would be sure to check out:

Kishi Bashi
The man can put on a show, and he even let a writer for my website basically manhandle him backstage a couple of years ago. If you’re into classical music fusion with modern sounds, this is your guy.

*repeat repeat
Alright, I’m legit pissed I’m going to miss this one cause they’re also playing in my Macon the next night. Which means I not only missed them during Bragg Jam in Macon last year, I’ll miss them during this event. And I’ve actually met them before. Not only do they have this amazing surfer rock meets Nashville sound, they’re legit good people. This is one you’ll want to catch before they’re selling out big arenas.

Major and the Monbacks
I’m not familiar with this group, but a YouTube video gives me some insight and their instant loud and fun sound has me drawn in. I’m a fan of music I can dance like a fool to, and they seem to do it.

Friday
I’m guessing after leaving Macon around 4:00 p.m. and checking into my Airbnb, I’ll be ready to hit the venues around 7:30 p.m. if I’m lucky. It appears my first band I can really catch will be around 8:30 p.m., which is fine cause it’ll give me time to rest and fuel up beforehand. If there’s nothing I’ve learned from other festivals, it’s honestly to hydrate and make sure I’ve eaten beforehand — cause I’m likely going to get super caught up in everything that’s happening and burn through all of my energy.

Alanna Royale
This is one I severely regretting missing at Bragg Jam cause all of my friends were bragging about her afterwards. I’m a huge fan of classic female soul voices like Etta James, Nina Simone, and Mavis Staples. If this sounds like anything you can identify with, then don’t be like last-year-me and miss Alanna Royale.

Lee Fields and the Expressions
Yet another one I missed when they came to my town (noticing a trend here?) and heard all of my friends talking about it. A little backstory as well, my dad was a big music dude and we grew up with him blaring music all the time and holding little dance parties. Dad played a lot of soul and R&B music, so I naturally have gravitated towards that. This is the kind of music that makes me want to slow dance with my guy in that sultry kind of way.

However, I’ll likely have to leave early cause … FLOCO TORRES.

Floco Torres
I’m getting in line early for this one, and he’s the reason I bought my VIP passes. I’m going to confess full bias here and tell y’all this is my friend, my homie, and he’s going to really be something very soon. Not because he’s a cool dude, although he is, but because he’s legit one of the most talented people I know. This is a guy who, with another friend DJ Shawty Slim, put together a history of hip hop remix with the Macon Pops symphony orchestra. Along with making some of my all time favorite songs.

Macon Pops!

Posted by Molly McWilliams Wilkins on Friday, February 19, 2016

He brought down the house the past two years straight at Bragg Jam in Macon, filling up one of our largest venues last year.

His producer is the amazing DJ Shawty Slim, y’all might have heard of an artist that he’s the tour DJ for… one B.o.B.

Guys, I’m telling y’all, you do not want to miss this. I can compare him to Childish Gambino and people like that, and I’m not a music professional, I’m at best a Southern culture writer who has this passion for good music. And I’m totally biased here but this is my number one pick of the whole damn thing.

I’d like to say I’ll see more that night, but I know me and I’ll be turning into a pumpkin soon enough so Floco’s show will be my last of that night. But that’s OK cause there’s also the next day.

Saturday
It wouldn’t be Saturday without getting up early for mimosas and… checking out of my Airbnb and doing an early checkin into my next hotel cause I goofed up and didn’t book rooms soon enough and am staying in two places. As someone who travels quite a bit, feel free to make fun of me. I didn’t plan ahead enough for this weekend cause it just got by me.

Stopover in the Yard with Kelsey Waldon
However, I’m going to somehow squeeze it all together in time to catch Kelsey Waldon. Once upon a time I worked for an online magazine that purported itself to be a website that wanted to promote Southern culture (lies). However they did this really cool interview with Kelsey Waldon and shortly thereafter I got to meet her at Wildwood Festival in Athens. She’s got an amazing voice and if you crave country how it’s meant to be played then you will love her.

Cicada Rhythm
I first caught this duo in Athens at Wildwood, and then again in Macon for one of the beer festivals (forgive me I cannot remember which one) and again at Bragg Jam. They’ve got this fun Americana thing going on without being trite and overdone.

River Whyless
Yes, another Americana band — but I really do like them quite a bit and I can’t remember the first time I heard them. I have yet to catch them in person, so I’m looking forward to this. Besides I’m really intrigued to see how performing in a church will go, as they will be in Trinity United Methodist Church. I think that’s incredibly cool and I’m excited to see this one for all of those reasons.

Rude Dude and the Creek Freaks
It’s right about now that I realized… I haven’t listed *any* local bands. Whoops. I looked this one up and their description as a “a three piece psychedelic garage rock outfit based in Savannah, Ga” from the Stopover site sounds intriguing. I’m going to give it a go.

And at this point, I stop- because I’d love to hear some suggestions from y’all! I’ve left some gaps in my schedule on purpose. I hope to see y’all there.

Love to all y’all,
Molly

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