Summer is music festival season in Minnesota. Few things in life are more enjoyable than sunshine, live music and weekends out with friends. Many will opine that while it’s far from the biggest, RRDB is the best of the bunch. I’m one who tends to agrees wholeheartedly. The 8th Annual rendition takes place in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood. Discounted advance tickets are available HERE
The problem with most summer festivals is a function of scale. Too small and the caliber of acts can’t knock your socks off. Too large, you find yourself watching a Jumbotron and waiting in endless beer lines. Those huge festivals also have to really cover the waterfront in terms variety so there’s often down time waiting for something you like. After all, when the bills are big you have to pander to any and all kinds of fans.
The folks from The Hook & Ladder, who organize and present RRDB, have found a real sweet spot. Multiple stages, easy access from place to place, a mellow neighborhood feel. Best of all, these guys really know how to curate a line up. If breezy pop, hip hop or EDM is your thing, skip it. If you want a strong dose of Americana, be it soul, gut bucket blues, torch style blues or straight down the middle rock and roll, this is the place to be. RRDB knows who they are and they stick to a formula that works.
Another unique aspect of this festival is that it takes place both in and out of doors. It’s mid July and the ability to mosey into some air conditioning to catch a great act is a nice option. It’s nice to return home after eight or ten hours of live music and not feel like you’ve been through a meat grinder.
Each year the focus is on the best regional bands of the aforementioned ilk. Premium acts are brought in to augment the mix. This year those acts include Left Lane Cruiser and Kent Burnside.
The rest of the line up goes deep and features local favorites ranging from Cornbread Harris to The Bad Man. Crankshaft and The Gear Grinders recently opened for ZZ Top and John Fogerty.
The Shackletons turned heads at Summerfest and Basilica Block Party. The Star Trib tabbed them as a must see band this summer. Davina and The Vagabonds have a loyal fan base and are home from world touring.
Allan Sparhawk of Duluth based Low and his alter ego band Black Eyed Snakes headline this year alongside the beloved Charlie Parr. These two shared prime billing and rave reviews a couple months back at Midwest Music Festival.
If you’re looking for a music festival that will make you clap your hands, stomp your feet and smile, Roots Rock & Deep Blues is the best festival of the season. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, it’s not too hot and it’s not too cool. All those guitars got strings and they’ll be smoking! Gather up your friends and bring them out for a day of great live music. When they see the price they’ll agree it’s the best deal in town.