SoundLand Music Festival 2011 Part
Two: Folkin’ Around

Ok, can I be completely honest with you all? I’ve been wanting to use that title for so long now and never had the chance to until this moment.

Yep, for part two of my three-part SoundLand coverage I’m dedicating an entire post to the third day of the festival where folk music rang supreme. So with that being said, let’s delve into the highlights and start folkin’ around already.

First up on the list of highlights for the third day of the festival is a local Nashville act called Humming House. I had heard of the band previous to seeing them play at the Station Inn in downtown Nashville Thursday night, but I was really impressed with the live performance.

Humming House is everything you could want in a Folk band. They blend the right instruments with beautiful melodies and harmonies to create a sound that takes you to a place wishing you had a jug of whiskey and a pipe in hand. There’s something so simple and innocent about their music that gives it a timeless feel. The fact that they played in the Station Inn really added to the overall classic mid-twentieth century feel of the performance. Humming House was a definite highlight of the entire festival, and personally one of my new favorite acts. Look for them in the future, because I have a feeling they are going places soon.

Another highlight from day three of SoundLand comes from the country side of folk music. This spot belongs to Robert Ellis. I’m not one much for country music related anything, but the Texas-hailing Robert Ellis was a pleasant surprise to stumble upon in the midst of SoundLand artists. He doesn’t have that obnoxious twang that makes country music so unbearable at times, but he has just enough of the southern touch in him that gives the country music influence a nice topping to his otherwise folk and bluegrass appeal.

Being the crowd pleaser that he is, Robert managed to go 20 minutes over his allowed set time closing out with a Paul Simon cover before the higher authorities of Cannery Ballroom sound techs cut him off. Nobody had even noticed the time. Everyone was in a daze of swaying back and forth to the soothing stories of Ellis’ narratives in melodious ballads and acoustic guitar solos. I highly recommend checking him out if you missed him at SoundLand.

The third and final highlight in my book from day three of SoundLand comes from another local Nashville act: Action! Action! is comprised of the married duo Robyn Conrad Burns and Dan Burns.

Unlike the rest of the other acts, I had come across Action! before back in November of 2010 and completely fell in love with their sound. For those of you who have yet to experience the wonder of the band, close your eyes and picture yourself in a field of wheat listening to the sounds of birds singing and the wind blowing throughout the golden grains. That’s pretty much exactly what Action! does. The music is so beautiful and simplistic, yet energetic and full of complex subtleties that are stimulating to the ear. They closed out their SoundLand set with one of my favorite songs, “Sandpiper,” and left my night in a blissful state of contentment thereafter.

Keep a look out for part three’s review of the final night of SoundLand 2011 out tomorrow. It’s 100% rock and roll, and there’s even a dragon. No, I’m joking.

*All photo credit belongs to Caitrin Collins

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