Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 - Year in Review for BDL

Right before our main stage set at Floyd Fest. 
Hello all you Big Bus Lovin' Daddios!

What a year huh?!

Our transition of gaining Scott Moss and Scotty Lewis is definitely the biggest story for us, and what a ride it has been.   I can't tell you how many conversations we've all had with long time fans who told us they were at first "skeptical," but after hearing the new line-up were amazingly surprised at how good the music sounds, and, of course, that is what drives us the most.  So to everyone that came up and told us this, we want to give a huge "Thank You!"  

Here's the initial announcement that introduced everyone to Scott Moss.

A month later we were joined by the dreadlocked powerhouse of a drummer, Mr. Scotty Lewis, from Richmond, VA, and we immediately took off to Colorado for an amazing tour.   I had to write about one of the nights deep in the mountains of CO, and looking back I think it was my favorite night of the whole year.   We are currently making plans to go back to CO in late February and hook back up with Jack Ten High, our  friends from this story.  

Scotty in his "happy place"
When we returned in June, we got to open up for a true musical legend, Mr. Willie Nelson! I tried to describe the experience here.  

A huge part of our summer for the last few years has been the incredible FloydFest.  Unfortunately we won't be there this year (I believe we might be back in CO during that month), but we can't wait to come back.  Here are some of our favorite pictures of this year.   It was here we learned that L Shape Lot were truly our "brothers from other mothers."  We had so much fun sharing sets and talking smack about each other from the stage.

Our view!

Our great friends L Shape Lot!

BDL at Floyd Fest with Andrew Hendryx of Yarn

A great shot by our friend Roger Gupta at the Pink Floyd Stage

Another memorable festival was The Big What? hosted by our friends Big Something and Jeremy Bell in Prospect Holler, NC.   We debuted our cover of the great song "Rift" by Phish at this festival.  I wrote about the process of learning such a complicated song in this travel blog post.   

This video starts at the last part of "Let it Grow" continues through "20 Acre Farm," and "Rebecca" -->"Up To You," and finally ends about halfway through "Circle Around the Sun."

We also had a blast at our Alice in Wonderland themed charity show at High Rock Outfitters in Lexington NC.   In case you're wondering, Scott decided to be "Alice COOPER in Wonderland!"  Pretty good twist on things.  
Love Bus in Wonderland

And then we get to our November Ziggy's show!  This was probably our favorite show of the year, along with the Willie show, of course.  The Heritage and Big Something absolutely killed it during their sets, and we ended up getting some fantastic video and audio recordings that we are working to release this spring as a DVD.  The video will feature some neat footage caught by a Go-Pro Camera that was attached to the headstock of the banjo and electric guitar for some up-close shots of furiously fast flying fingers.  We can't wait to get this live album/DVD out.  

With our friends from Big Something and The Heritage. 

The saturation of music festivals through the summer months only means one thing...we need some killer wintertime festivals to look forward to.  Our favorite venue owners, Chris Phelps and Brittany Wilson, have stepped up and started the NC Music and Arts Festival in a beautiful downtown theater in Lexington, NC.  We had so much fun here.

NC Music and Arts Fest

We'd like to take a second and list our favorite albums of the year.  We've been talking about doing this for some time now since we hear a lot of new music in our travels and some of it just really blows us away.  Two bands that aren't listed but have to be mentioned are Possum Jenkins and Folk Soul Revival.   We listen to their albums a lot while we are traveling.

Scott Moss -  Shovels and Rope "O, Be Joyful"
Ashley Sutton - Lucas Nelson and Promise of the Real "Wasted"
Brian Swenk - Aaron Burdett "Breathing Underwater"
Joey Recchio - The Kevin Maines Band "American Hustle" 
Scotty Lewis - Taylor Swift "Red"

In 2012 we started venturing up north, to places we've never been before such as Chicago, Burlington, VT, Massachusetts, New York, and surprisingly one of our favorite new states is Pennsylvania!  Our manager, Tom Baggott, had been telling us that the hills and mountains of PA are very similar to where we were raised and the people there will  really connect with our "Appalachian Rock."  He was absolutely right.  We also met another band that we were able to connect with, Miz.  A great group of guys.  

Through all the big festivals and shows we've experienced this year and were lucky enough to have documented by great photographers like Jenny Viars, Roger Gupta, and Milo Farineau, there were so many smaller shows that were just as much fun because the people there had amazing energy and loved the music.   One in particular that will always stand out to us was playing the staff after-party in a large covered gazebo for the Camp Barefoot Music Festival.  Everyone was exhausted and had just worked their butts off, but it was just one of those nights where the music got going and everyone caught a second wind and started boogying down.  We had so much fun at that party, which shows that the big stages and lights and sound systems are nice, but what really matters is just playing music for people who love it.   

So like I said before, "What a year, huh?"  So much change along with so many amazing experiences that we never imagined would be possible.   We'll be slam packed this coming year, going out west and up north more than ever before.  So we hope to see you soon, and thanks for everything you've done for us.  We couldn't do any of this without y'all!

Brian, Scott, Joey, Scotty, and Ashley