Instead of a long recap as I’ve done in the past, I opted to do a list this year.
FAVORITE SET: Sean McConnell. I wasn’t sure how he would translate to the rowdy landscape of the LJT mainstage or if the crowd would know many of his tunes. He alleviated both concerns by the second song. By the time he busted out “Reckless Love”, the entire sea of humanity was singing louder than the PA. The cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” was just a bonus. Other standout sets of note that I saw: Whiskey Myers, Dolly Shine, Roger Creager, Randy Rogers Band, William Clark Green, 1100 Springs, Tejas Brothers, Reckless Kelly, Jason Boland and the Stragglers.
FAVORITE NEW ACT: Dolly Shine. I’ve known about these guys for a while and we’ve had a song of theirs on The Drop. But, they graduated in front of everyone’s eyes at LJT this year. Played a blisteringly electric set on the Allsup’s stage and prowled the campfires jamming with all comers. They’re filling the void left by the absence of 6MB.
FAVORITE MOMENT: Roger Creager’s set. There’s something special about the Creager set at LJT. It’s a little different than when you catch him at your local Wild West. It’s controlled chaos as Creager leads a party of 50K through song. The crowd followed him through every twist and turn. Slow or fast. Original or cover. Piano or guitar. During the can tossing crescendo of “Love”, more than one person remarked how it resembled the dancing water fountains of the Bellagio in Vegas.
FAVORITE DISCOVERY: Hearing Cami Maki at the campfires. I first came across this talented young lady on radio row belting out tunes in front of Brady Black and others. The next night I caught her at the TXRDR/GW jam. She has “it” and deserves to find the audience to match.
What was your favorite part of LJT 2014?