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3,000 Attendees Celebrate Music on Washington Street in Downtown Carbondale on September 30 & October 1

Carbondale Rocks Revival hosted their 6th Annual music festival in downtown Carbondale, Illinois on September 30 & October 1. The city of Carbondale and members from the Carbondale Music Coalition help put together this event.

Caylan Hill, event organizer, noted that over 3,000 guests attended the two day event featuring: G. Love and the Special Sauce, Houndmouth, The Woodbox Gang, Split Lip Rayfield, Aaron Kamm and the One Drops, as well as several local, regional and national acts.

Luke Oliver taking a photo of the Davinci Stage at Carbondale Rocks Revival 2016 in downtown Carbondale, Illinois. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Luke Oliver taking a photo of the Davinci Stage at Carbondale Rocks Revival 2016 in downtown Carbondale, Illinois. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

On Friday, September 30 the music kicked off close to 6 p.m. with mild rain. I was driving into Carbondale at 6 p.m. and noticed some rain, but no lightening. After I parked, the rain started to clear, and for the remaining part of the evening conditions were mainly dry.

The Swamp Tigers, a Carbondale-based act, were performing when I entered the event grounds on Washington Street. It was interesting to see The Swamp Tigers switch it up with a saxophone player for this performance. I caught the last song, and found the saxophone addition to layer well with their rockabilly sound.

Split Lip Rayfield picked up the heat on the Davinci Stage around 6:45 p.m. Their aggressive, acoustic rock brought out the energy from the crowd.

The Ben Miller Band, based out of Joplin, Missouri, recently toured in Europe, and were one of the best acts of the weekend. After talking with some of the crowd about some of the most impressive acts, the Ben Miller Band was spoke about often.

The BMB performed right after dusk as nightfall casted over downtown. The weather was muggy, but warm for it being in the 60s after some rain.

Following BMB, Aaron Kamm and the One Drops hit the stage with their uptempo form of reggae from St. Louis. The crowd was at their rowdiest for Aaron Kamm.

Carbondale is known for being a college town, and despite some of the setbacks the city has faced recently, Carbondale Rocks Revival continues to be a ray of light in Southern Illinois.

During the event, I spoke with local law enforcement about any arrests or disruption that may have taken place during the two days. The officer I spoke to on duty, and Caylan Hill did not know of any major problems. In the past I have heard that Carbondale is unsafe at night, but with this event having no problems in six years, it makes me appreciate the time and effort it takes for the city of Carbondale to work together with the event organizers. The city should probably work more with CMC.

A fellow editor at Crescent Vale, Jason Ross, wanted to check out the Asheville-based band known as Southern Culture on the Skids. They played an unorthodox style of rockabilly mixed with BBQ soaked lyrics. Once their set wrapped, I went to check out G. Love and the Special Sauce on the Davinci Stage.

G. Love and the Special Sauce. Photo taken in downtown Carbondale, Illinois on September 30, 2016. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
G. Love and the Special Sauce. Photo taken in downtown Carbondale, Illinois on September 30, 2016. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

G. Love had been scheduled to perform in Carbondale recently, and was unable to perform. To make up for this show, the entertainment buyers from the pervious show connected with Carbondale Rocks Revival to provide ticket holders an opportunity to catch G. Love’s performance.

The first time I saw G. Love perform was at 2003 in South Florida. Since then, I’ve seen his show several times, and continue to listen to live sets from his 20 year career.

G. Love and the Special Sauce performed extended versions of their songs, jammed out in spots, and was my favorite act of the weekend.

Late night music continued with Tres Hombres, The Hangar 9, and many other venues across Carbondale.

Saturday’s entertainment kicked off with clearer skies a little after 1 p.m. with The Deep Hollow. The St. Louis-based act, Funky Butt Brass Band brought the Mardi Gras spirit.

One of my close friends with an ear of music informed me that Cornmeal has started using a new fiddle player. He mentioned that the fiddle player is male, and brings a lot heat to the table.

One band that pushed the boundaries of experimental rock was NIL8. They had a set later in the day, with a decent size audience, but their lack of focus was clearly seen on stage. The had moments of heavy rock and punk, but overall I found it hard to get into.

The Woodbox Gang. Photo taken in Carbondale, Illinois on Saturday, October 1. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
The Woodbox Gang. Photo taken in Carbondale, Illinois on Saturday, October 1. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

On a positive note, The Woodbox Gang performed in grand fashion on the Lagunita’s Stage. At one moment before the show, I was walking down route 13, behind the Lagunita’s Stage area. It was adorable to see the wild backstage antics of The Woodbox Gang. After producing some of the rowdiest moments in Carbondale music history, their backstage area was filled with their children running around and playing together.

Buzzzard, a local band from Carbondale, performed grunge, garage rock to a indie rock hunger audience. The energy of punk music layered well with the band’s alternative rock sound.

Houndmouth closed down music on Saturday. They are based out of New Albany, Indiana, and continue to expand within the indie rock scene.

Watch over the Carbondale Rocks Revival YouTube Playlist below. Stay connected for updates on upcoming events.