Best Music Festival (2008)


There are two kinds of people in this world: greasers, and those who like to silently laugh at them. This annual summertime festival caters to both types. It's hard to be an American and not appreciate (at least in some ways) the music and iconography of the Hootenanny scene. Since 1995, the festival has combined the greatest acts in roots, Americana, rocka/punka/psychobilly, country and western swing with some of the most beautiful classic cars anyone ever pin-striped, plunking them all down in a field under the baking July sun and adding plenty of beer, pomade and cherry prints, shaking it up until no one can tell exactly what decade it is anymore. Buck Owens played the Hoot. So have X, the Cramps, Social Distortion (many times), Wanda Jackson, the Reverend Horton Heat, Link Wray, the Blasters, Little Richard, James Intveld, Big Sandy, the Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis . . . virtually anyone familiar with the Sun Records back catalog. Some musical trends come and go, but Hootenanny never dies. And even if you don't care for the music, there's usually the occasional dust-up to keep you entertained. It wouldn't be a rockabilly festival without somebody getting hurt.


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