It’s not all about triathletes and rock climbers, or four-wheel sidewalk surfing and running mountain bikes into a parked car, y’know.
The third annual Mountain Sports Festival (Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 8, 2003) has 14 slots scheduled for live music, though at press time, only six acts had signed contracts (several other local big-name acts have unofficially committed).
Here’s what’s official right now:
• Bio Ritmo
Spice is nice! Spry salsa, from feisty fiesta fare to sweet baladas de amor. This nine-piece Richmond, Va.-based group has made a career tweaking traditional Latin sounds with modern flair (a little jazz and classical; even a touch of heavy metal). But the new self-titled album, the band’s first recording in five years, is more salsified than ever, with all lyrics sung in Spanish. So wear comfy shoes and plan to baile, baby, baile! Scheduled to play Friday, June 6 at 5:30 p.m.
• Delta Moon
The Atlanta-based five-piece won this year’s Blues Foundation International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. Vocalist Gina Leigh‘s alto somewhat recalls that of Bonnie Raitt. “And like Raitt,” an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviewer notes, [Leigh] makes you completely forget that you’re listening to a middle-class white chick singing the blues.” Friday, June 5; 9 p.m.
• Red Mango
Veterans of last year’s festival, this local combo includes flute, guitar, bongos and bass. Date, showtime to be announced.
• Southern Lights
This local group, also returning from last year, used to be very world-beat, but with a Southern feel, notes James Nichols, Mountain Sports music director. This year, things may get a bit jazzier — the band has added a couple of horn players. Date, showtime TBA.
• The Patrick Boland Brew
The Asheville-based Boland “is a fantastic pianist,” gushes Nichols. Boland, originally from Austin, Texas, will lean toward the jazzy end of his playing for the festival, Nichols reports. Peggy Ratusz will handle vocals. TBA.
• County Farm
A big old-time good time, this local fiddle-crazed bluegrass combo mixes obscure mountain gems with better-known standards. They put the grin back in the pickin’, and pick like speed-crazed country fools. TBA.
All music is free to festivalgoers.
— Frank Rabey