Fare-Thee-Weather: Suwannee Roots Revival 2018 Review

Tapestries, tents and tarps are coming down after another outstanding edition of Suwannee Roots Revival. Below is our recap of the weekend:


There’s no place like home and I’d been clicking my heels all week waiting on the start of Suwannee Roots Revival. The smell of campfires, hay bales and live oaks welcomed me to Spirit of the Suwannee as I skipped like a child to the beat of fall.

Hurricane Michael set my schedule back a bit but I arrived right on time Friday night to catch Katie Skene & The Cosmic Kind on The Porch stage with Rev Jeff Mosier. Her new song “Wishing You the Best” spoke to me loud and clear. Always send best wishes and they will be returned.

I strolled the lake plotting out a camp spot for later. Pumpkins and Halloween lights swayed in the trees as a bliss washed over me – did I mention I love fall?

After enjoying the peaceful night walk, I made way back to the Amphitheater for Keller Williams’ Pettygrass featuring The Hillbenders opening with “She’s a Woman in Love.” They might have been talking about me because I was definitely feeling the love.

Over at the dance tent in the field, Contra Square Dance Instruction was in full swing as quite a few families were participating. I took a seat on a hay stack and typed a few notes. I figured it was best to save my awkwardly awesome dance moves for Jon Stickley Trio and Donna the Buffalo.

Back at the Amp, Keller Williams was doing Tom Petty’s “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.” I was catching all the good songs at just the right moments.

Donna the Buffalo was up next. DB is set to release their 8th studio album, Dance in the Street, on November 9th. The release will mark their first album in five years! And they came to SOSMP ready to celebrate with an explosive energy. They were in the groove and so was I. “Swing that Thing” is when I couldn’t contain my dance moves any longer.


The Corbitt Brothers were on fire with “Fire on the Mountain” as the sun began to heat up the park Saturday afternoon. Issaac Corbitt was letting his birthday mojo shine on “Lord Have Mercy” as The Brothers’ dueled instruments.


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Happy birthday @isaaccorbitt #thecorbittbrothers #suwanneerootsrevival #killingit @suwanneemusicpark

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In the Music Hall, The Grass is Dead played a slower tempo set as they shared campfire stories about their SOSMP shenanigans in between songs.

“The greatest camp story of all,” Billy Gilmore remembered, “Was we all met at this place…and it’s been a beautiful thing.”

The Music Hall also hosted The Synergy of Grateful Dead with Americana featuring a conversation and performance with Rev Jeff Mosier, David Gans, Jim Lauderdale, Joe Craven and Billy Gilmore. I sang along with “[I Will Walk Alone by the] Black Muddy River” and teared up a bit.

Afterwards I took a walk alone along the black Suwannee river.

The walk left me hungry enough for my traditional bowl of peanut noodles at Solar Cafe. I can’t leave a festival without my noodles fix. I enjoyed every bite while Jim Lauderdale played the background tunes on the Porch stage.

I ran into my friend Samantha selling jewelry at Culture-Cross. I did some tarot readings for the ladies to practice for my upcoming gig at Suwannee Hulaween. Come see me in VIP at Hula where I’ll be doing tarot and angel readings.

Speaking of spirituality, Rev Jeff Mosier took me to church again on The Porch stage. Every year I look forward to seeing him play and I got my fill at Roots 2018.

On the way to the country store I lucked up and caught a bit of the kids’ talent show. America’s Got Talent won’t know what hit ‘em when they meet the little girl who sang Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” She’s got it, and my heart.

Donna the Buffalo put on another audio fireworks display at The Amphitheater. You’d think by now they would be content with their routine but every performance outdoes the last. I’m not much of a follower in life, but you can shepard me right on into The Herd.

The night’s finale (Slopryland not included) featured midset Leftover Salmon on the Amp stage. By midset they were was pickin’ up a storm and have nearly everyone on their feet (giving their chairs a much-needed rest). It was a good night:


I was up late kicking up dirt with Leftover Salmon so I missed out on morning yoga with Rhonda Bell. If you ever have a chance to participate in one of her sessions you’ll love it. She also holds class at Lotus Yoga in Jacksonville, FL.

The beach was calling so I headed down there to find a bunch of folks had the same idea. I got my zen after all.

Back at the music, The Grass is Dead was playing with Rev Jeff Mosier in the Amphitheater. I walked up to hear one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs, “Sugaree.”

Rev told us about the time he use to have a radio show and got to interview his idol, John Hartford. He asked him about “Gentle on Mind”, which apparently the writer didn’t think was much of a song. Turns out, it was Grammy-winning material. Funny how that works. The guys proceeded to play a beautiful rendition of the classic. Rev dedicated it to anyone needing a love song. Who doesn’t?

Later I returned to the Amp for Leftover Salmon where the Rev joined in for “Working on a Building.” Top ten jams of the weekend for sure. “Building” went into “Sweet Home Margaritaville” and that’s when the crowd got to dancing.

Fashionably early is how I arrived for Donna the Buffalo’s finale set. I took my traditional closing-day spot on the rail, stepping along to every song. I’m really looking forward to the album!

Great job everyone. Thank you Suwannee Roots Revival! And thank you good-weather angels!


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Donna the Buffalo closing out Roots Revival with all the energy! Thank you!! ???????????? #donnathebuffalo #danceparty

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