While Nelsonville Music Festival boasts an impressive lineup with all the hype surrounding headliners the Flaming Lips, Grammy-winner St. Vincent, and country music legend Merle Haggard, there will be plenty of time throughout the weekend to visit the smaller acts on the bill.
NMF always features a slew of local musicians, and this year a whopping 18 local acts are represented. The mission of NMF is using singer-songwriters to support the local arts, and what better way to support the local arts than to support the live music that's homegrown.
Here are some local artists you may want to add to your agenda:
• Dead Hand of Man is a compilation of Athens natives and music veterans who just released a full-length record in April. They have an old-time rock and roll sound with punk leanings but it's all very clean and well-constructed. It's high energy and something to jump and jive to, and should you need more reason to get in early on Thursday this band is it. They play on the Porch Stage at 6:45 p.m.
• Scott Hedrick, the lead guitarist for Athens-based (and internationally renowned) metal band Skeletonwitch, will play solo in the No-Fi Cabin at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. As a metal fan, I'm excited about this opportunity to see the driving force behind Skeletonwitch showcase his talent on the guitar. If you're not typically into the brand of metal that his band plays, you need to open your mind to the opportunity to witness the musicianship behind it. It'll be intriguing to see what Scott brings to the table because the cloud of mystery at what he will be playing should be enticing enough to check it out.
• If you're looking for an all-round crowd-pleasing band for the whole family to enjoy, the Wild Honeybees are a safe bet. They are perfect for the festival setting because you can kick off your shoes and dance like there's no tomorrow. Their New Orleans style jazz and R&B is intoxicating and will get you in the party spirit, and since they play cover songs, you'll even get to sing along. Get rejuvenated Sunday morning at 11:30 on the Porch Stage to catch the Wild Honeybees.