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Today we look back at last month’s FloydFest, with text by Nancy Dunham and images by Jeffery Dupuis
It wasn’t much past noon on Saturday but anyone listening to the high-powered whoops flung at Yarn from an all-ages audience as they made their way onto the main stage at the 11th Annual FloydFest in Floyd, Va., late last month, would be forgiven for thinking it was a hot weekend night. You can credit the die hard “Yarnys” for much of the excitement. Still, with multiple stages of music, plus healing arts, vendors, sports and a cavalcade of other activities, it’s a fair bet that many in the audience were hearing the roots band for the first time.
“This was our third time at Floyd and it’s the best reception ever. Just great,” said Yarn leader Blake Christiana after the set. “The whole set felt really good. I was a little skeptical about the crowd because, well, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, people are just getting up. So the crowd really surprised me!”
Even though Yarn opened its Saturday set with a new song that isn’t even titled yet, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd was chanting, cheering and calling out requests to the band. So you can imagine the enthusiasm that erupted when the band launched into tried-and-true numbers such as “All Shines Through” on which a member of Brandi Carlile’s band jumped on stage to play tom toms.
The festival marks another high point in a year full of wins for Yarn that includes critical recognition for the band’s just-released album “Almost Home,” and songwriting collaboration between Christiana and John Oates. The two met at a Music City Roots event in Nashville. That’s when Oates heard the band perform and the two developed a creative friendship that has resulted in two songs with more likely to follow.
“He’s awesome,” said Christiana of Oates. “I’m super psyched to work with him.
FloydFest is clearly not as intimate setting as some Music City Roots events. Still, the vibe was so comfortable that it undoubtedly incubated more than a few creative friendships.
Photos below. Review continues on page 2