Live Review: Sleepy Creek HarFest @ Sleepy Creek [Berkeley Springs, WV] — 10/4-10/6/19

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Dangermuffin performs at Sleepy Creek HarFest 2019. (Photos by Chester Simpson; Words by Michael Tucker)

Sleepy Creek HarFest: The Place Where We Belong

Each time I go to Sleepy Creek, it feels like coming home. Although I attend a few bigger festivals each year featuring the bleeps, bloops, and synth-knob twiddling of Jamtronica I love so much, Sleepy Creek owns my heart. It’s like that favorite worn in pair of jeans that fit just right or a pair of super comfy pajama pants perfect for lounging at home. Just as importantly, the truly wonderful people who run, staff, and attend Sleepy Creek Presents events create the perfect environment for family, fun, creativity, connection, enjoyment of musical artistry as diverse as the American landscape, and, perhaps most importantly, Sleepy Creek gives festival attendees a place where they can be themselves.

During my weekend adventure at HarFest 2019 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Oct. 4-6, I saw a bumper sticker on an RV that sums up my experience; it read: “There is no alternative to being yourself” — and Sleepy Creek is exactly that: a place where we can be ourselves, a place where we belong.

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Live Review: Jesse Malin @ The Birchmere — 10/2/19

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Jesse Malin (Photo by Olivia Jaffe)

New York City rocker Jesse Malin opened up for Justin Townes Earle at The Birchmere recently with a dynamic set. Jesse kicked off his set with both himself and his sideman, Derek Cruz, playing acoustic guitar on “Revelations,” which he recorded for his recently released album, Sunset Kids.

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Live Review: Justin Townes Earle @ The Birchmere — 10/2/19

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Justin Townes Earle (Photo by Joshua Black Wilkins)

“How the fuck y’all doin’?” the inimitable Justin Townes Earle boisterously addressed the audience at The Birchmere at the beginning of his set recently. A fan shouted, “You look better!” at Justin, who sported a goatee and a new, shorter haircut. Sassily, Justin replied, “I know that, baby.”

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Live Review: John Moreland @ The Birchmere — 10/1/19

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John Moreland, right, performs at The Birchmere on Oct. 1, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)

With talented sideman and fellow Tulsa resident John Calvin Abney accompanying him, Oklahoma singer-songwriter John Moreland delivered his trademark Americana ballads at The Birchmere recently. Opener Darrin Bradbury remarked that the previous night in Baltimore, he’d seen a grown man on the edge of tears during John’s set. “I’ve got to write me some of those,” he joked.

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