First of all, let me start out by apologizing that I totally meant to write this post up sooner but this past week was spent recuperating from the awesomeness that took place this last weekend because…. Eric Paslay. Touched. My. Hand. He also gave me his guitar pick. -insert squeals of excitement here-
But basically it was a long weekend and after doing the grocery shopping on Sunday I was definitely not going to be handling the heat well Sunday night so I kinda skimped out on it. But I did go Friday and Saturday night, and let me tell you it beat out last year’s line-up and I honestly didn’t even go see Phil Vassar last year.
June 24, 2016 – Night One
So Friday night we got there just in time after doing some running around town to hear the last bit of the Kerry Gilbert Band’s set before Donica Knight came on stage. She wasn’t so bad but I would have preferred more KGB to her. A lot of her songs were covers and I can only remember her doing one or two original songs. My friend, Sarah, and I got up to go walk and check out the vendors that usually come every year. We could still hear the concert going so we were back in plenty of time to get to settled for Paul Thorn.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical about hearing him play despite my cousin’s love of him. But Paul Thorn and his band were extremely impressive. Most of their songs were original content but of course he wouldn’t be a good old Mississippi boy if he didn’t cover some of the songs that he had enjoyed over the years. He even surprised us with Donnie Frisk who joined Thorn on stage to perform a song he wrote entitled “Memphis Women & Fried Chicken”. I was greatly impressed
June 25, 2016 – Night Two
Now the second night is always the main attraction for Helen Keller Festival and this year’s just happened to be up and coming Eric Paslay. Yes, you read that right. I paid FIVE BUCKS to see that man dance and sing on stage but I’m jumping ahead of myself here. We got there just in time to catch the end of Holli Mosley’s set. She’s actually been recording down at Fame Studios – which I featured in part two of my road trip posts – if I’m not mistaken and her first radio single should drop soon. She was actually a refreshing changer to the game.
Joseph Baldwin and his self titled band played next. I had the opportunity to go see them a year or so ago and didn’t get to as they played at the local bar in my college town. To say that he was good is an understatement. Of course he covered some of his favorite songs, but who wouldn’t if they could? He also did some original content, which I’m kinda regretting not having bought a CD now…. But maybe next time I catch him I will. Definitely take a chance to see him if he comes near you because they were good!
And of course the best part of the night was the man himself, Eric Paslay. I’m going to be honest, I have been attending country music concerts since I was like eleven. My first concert was not just any country music band. It was Alabama. During their farewell tour! So that should totally date how old I am for those of you who know the band. I’ve seen more country music artists in concert than I have any other genre. Eric has definitely brought country back to country music. It has a smidge of outlaw to it, but a lot of his songs bring back what has been missing from country music since Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean stepped on the scene. I thoroughly enjoyed not only his songs but also his dancing. I haven’t had that much fun taking photographs of someone since… Like I literally don’t remember! It was honestly a fabulous night made even better when I got his last guitar pick for the night. He legit put it in my hand! And apologies for the fangirling, but I easily get star struck when I get up close like that.
In closing, Helen Keller Festival 2016 was a success in my book. And if you are reading this, Eric Paslay, thank you for the guitar pick and one of my favorite photography experiences ever! I would love to do it again!