Mile Markers: Our top seven Mile of Music performances

Navigating the 50+ venues hosting 220 bands and solo artists at this year’s Mile of Music Festival required the kind of preparation and organization that tends to elude Molly B and Me.

Fortunately, for this year’s festival, we had Katherine Biskupic, who sent us pre-festival playlists at regular intervals in the weeks leading up to the festival and arrived with a highlighted spreadsheet in both printed (with spare copies) and digital format.

The object of some good-natured ribbing throughout the weekend, Katherine’s spreadsheet helped us make the most of an overwhelming menu of delicious choices and we wrapped up the four-day hand crafted music extravaganza perfectly exhausted and perpetually thrilled.

We welcomed back old friends like the Hillary Reynolds Band (we’re basically groupies), Swear and Shake (ditto),  Christopher Gold, Adriel Denae and Cory Chisel. We’d see these bands anytime, anywhere and, in fact, have caught a few of their concerts in unlikely places all over the country. We also really enjoyed Thursday night’s Tom Petty Tribute concert.

Still, the beauty of the Mile of Music Festival, which features only original artists, is that it introduces us to so many amazingly talented performers who we might otherwise never have known.

We did our best to see as many groups and solo artists as possible, and we would have pitched a tent on College Avenue in order to hear even more music if city ordinances would have allowed it.

We’ll look forward to a fresh spreadsheet with accompanying playlists as we prepare ourselves for next year’s Mile of Music Festival.

Until then, here are our top seven brand new discoveries. We’d love to hear your choices.

1) Ruby Amanfu. A beautiful woman with a powerful voice, literally and lyrically, Ruby took our breath away.

2) Boom Forest. Midway through their set, lead singer Jon Paul Roney said,”I sweat because I care so much,” which sums up the passion this group displays.

3) Matrimony. Ashlee Hardee Brown shares lead vocals with her Irish husband Jimmy Brown. Ashlee’s two brothers Jordan and CJ Hardee round out the band, whose energy and sheer talent brought us to our feet.

4) Jamie Kent. We planned to go off script and pass on Jamie, because the venue seemed too crowded. But, a couple of guys from Bascom Hill talked us into staying and we’re so glad we did. A charming performer, he revived us.

5) The Crane Wives. Katherine and I weren’t able to see this group, but Molly liked them best of all. She said they had amazing harmonies and their voices blended really well.

6) Raquel Rodriguez.  We planned to list our top six favorite new acts, but after we saw Raquel Rodriguez Sunday afternoon, we added a seventh. Raquel and her talented band had a packed crowd on its feet and dancing.

7) Ida Jo A young soloist Molly and her friends stumbled upon, Ida Jo impressed them with her ability to combine creative lyrics and talented violin instrumentals all on her own.

Including the Wednesday night kick-off concert, we spent more than 40 hours at the Mile of Music Festival, and we loved it all. Check back Wednesday for more about this super cool music festival.

Rae Blohm
I met Rae after I took this picture of her, which I think excellently captures the spirit of the Mile of Music Festival.
Bride and Groom
…and then this happened…a random brand spanking new bride and groom showed up. Nothing but joy here.
Molly, Jacie and Haley
Here are Molly and her friends Jacie and Haley after the Crane Wives set and just before Swear and Shake. This festival appeals to all ages as evidenced by…
Bus concert
…this bus concert; they happened all day. Great fun!
The Spreadsheet
For us, though, it was serious business. We had a lot of music to see and a tight schedule. Here is the infamous spreadsheet.
Consulting the spreadsheet
We consulted it often as we made our way through the festival.
Boom Forest
Katherine really did her home work and we all got to see some excellent bands, like Boom Forest…
…and the aptly named Matrimony, a marriage of beautiful harmonies.
Jamie Kent
Katherine checked the spreadsheet and then we checked out the charming Jamie Kent.
Langhorne SLim
Langhorne Slim made the spreadsheet and we really enjoyed him.
Swear and Shake
We caught our old friends Swear and Shake twice during the weekend.
Here is the beautiful Ruby Amanfu with Nikki Lane, Langhorne Slim, Adriel Denae, Cory Chisel, and more at the Lawrence Chapel.

Here’s a taste of Ruby Amanfu performing a song at the Lawrence Chapel that made at least one of us cry.


And here is Racquel Rodriguez performing Sunday afternoon at Anduzzis.

2 thoughts on “Mile Markers: Our top seven Mile of Music performances

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.