Higher Ground’ at Smilefest
Over the weekend, Lake Toxaway, NC hosted the twelfth annual Smilefest, with performances that included: Michael Franti and Spearhead, Keller Williams and Larry Keel, New Monsoon, Yonder Mountain String Band and Sam Bush. As he discusses in his recent site interview, Jimmy Herring performed with Jeff Sipe and Bobby Lee Rodgers while Col. Bruce Hampton continues to recover. As in years past, the festival dipped its toes into both bluegrass and rock, finding a comfortable middle-ground somewhere in-between. Drawing perhaps the weekend’s biggest buzz, longstanding King Crimson member Adrian Belew joined the Everyone Orchestra, for a set that included both Belews ‘Lone Rhinoceros’ and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground.’ In addition the all-star lineup included band leader Matt Butler, Herring, Sipe, Darol Anger, Jeff Coffin, Tanya Shylock (Mountain of Venus), Dave McCracken (Donna the Buffalo) and Rajiv Parikh (New Monsoon).