“Life isn’t perfect, this we all know. But what makes it worth it is reaching our goal. Keep striving.”
The lyrics of Ithaca soul band Stone Cold Miracle boomed through the swampy Infield on the second day of GrassRoots. Between front woman LaTrece Stevenson’s contagious smile and the sun’s newfound persistence, the fairgrounds came alive with positivity.
Friday provided a showcase of genres and sneak previews of new music. Folk favorites Richie & Rosie played their entire new album, No Where in Time, which features both Hank Roberts and Rosie’s mother Abby Newton on cello. Local hiphop group the Gunpoets played their ninth GrassRoots show to a packed and jumping crowd. Their new songs carry motifs of peace and fighting for change in a world unnecessarily divided.
Big Mean Sound Machine followed the Gunpoets on the infield, continuing the high energy build up of Friday night. Each time I see this band perform I’m pleasantly reminded how they live up to their name. With nine members commanding the stage, they provide listeners a chance to dance uncontrollably and revel in musical ability. As much fun as those artists have, they complete each movement and note with the upmost precision.
The winners of last year’s band competition, The Ladles, made their official GrassRoots debut in the Cabaret. The dreamy folk trio captivated passersby and quieted even the most restless kids in the audience. Their perfect blend and refreshing melodies have a timeless aura to them that resembles classics from Alison Kraus. Let’s hope this Boston based group returns in 2018 for another flawless performance.