When it comes to the most original Nashville festivals, sometimes you need to explore the neighboring small towns of middle Tennessee. That’s exactly what we did over the weekend as we set out to cover the Muddy Roots Festival. Located about an hour away from Nashville in a small town named Cookeville, Muddy Roots was like nothing we’ve ever seen! With a blend of punk rock, blues, and outlaw country, this festival has generated its own culture of denim-clad drifters and Americana punks.
Thanks to a good ol’ fashioned Tennessee tropical storm (sarcasm included), the festival stayed true to its name with plenty of mud. However, that didn’t stop the good times. In fact, it didn’t even come close, as musicians and fans alike made their way from stage to stage. Rain or shine, the beer was flowing and the music was echoing through those Tennessee hills.
What made this such an incredible event was the blending of southern music genres and the welcoming attitude of those who frequented the festival. Bands like the folk/punk rock Everymen (a great group of guys) blended blast beats with an upright bass and a mandolin player that sported a head tattoo. Come to think of it, head tattoos were quite a common occurrence. We actually were able to witness a special moment for these Florida guys, as a band member proposed to his long-time girlfriend. Go figure, he met the lucky lady at a previous Muddy Roots!
Other sets, such as Left Lane Cruiser, incorporated southern blues with heavy distortions that had my head banging for an hour. There was so much variety within this culture of musicians who shared fans. Sprinkle in some old school southern rock with beautiful chords, and my muddy ass was in hillbilly heaven.
Though we usually find ourselves at events in the city, the culture of Nashville festivals is spread wide. As a long-time fan of punk and blues rock, this festival was a pleasant surprise for me. It was almost like a southern Burning Man, complete with wild outfits and free-spirited vibes. Finally, we have found a weird (the good kind) festival to kick off our coverage. If you’re a fan of tattoos, beards and the idea of jamming to the punk rock versions of Mumford and Sons, this is your festival!
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