by Paul Bowers
In case you're looking for an excuse for a Greenville roadtrip this autumn (other than Falls Park, that is — have you been to Falls Park? Go see Falls Park), the city just announced the music lineup for its free downtown festival, Fall for Greenville, and it's a smorgasbord of Americana, funk, and soul. The festival is scheduled for Oct. 10-12, and big-name bands on the list include Johns Island-based sloppytonk duo Shovels & Rope, Dallas alt-rockers Old 97's, and Birmingham blue-eyed soul group St. Paul & The Broken Bones.
But the artist we're most excited to hear is Sturgill Simpson, a Kentucky-born country songwriter who has been garnering a lot of attention both within and outside of the country music world. He combines a strong streak of outlaw country (and its attendant themes of drugs and hard living) with a penchant for restless experimentation and a heavy dose of Buddhist philosophizing. Check out this free stream of his latest album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, and while you're at it read this interview he did with American Songwriter. Our favorite line: "I'm about to have a baby, so it's kind of like my last chance at one good existentialist dilemma to commit to tape."
In addition to Shovels & Rope, several Charleston-area bands are on the roster, including Brave Baby, Jordan Igoe, Susto, Dead 27s, the Dunder Chiefs, and Volcanoes in the Kitchen. A few of the bands on the Fall for Greenville lineup will also appear in Charleston the same weekend for Zac Brown's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival.
Fall for Greenville is free, but you'll need to buy tickets if you want to purchase food from the local vendors that will be lining the streets. Click here to visit the festival website. The organizers have put together a Spotify playlist for the festival, and you can stream it below: