Hillbilly yodelling, four-part harmonies, acoustic country gospel, blues around the camp fire; our ears were overloaded with an unprecedentedly diverse range of Country and Americana music during new three-day festival The Long Road. But, we also heard plenty between the songs – both on and off stage – to keep us amused.
1. “Wow, can you hear it?!!”
– Little girl in her pushchair as the festival opened and we picked up the first strains of music on the way in.
2. “The Honky Tonk stage is just like Lower Broadway… only with less puke.”
– Charlie Worsham on the incredibly realistic stage modelled after a downtown bar.
3. “I don’t care what you do, I’m not missing Wandering Hearts!”
– Mates on the brink of a scheduling row.
4. “How do y’all feel about real country music? This is the test right here.”
– Lee Ann Womack on the Interstate Stage to a jam-packed crowd between singing two of her classic hits; Does my Ring Burn Your Finger and Never Again, Again.
5. “I’m thinking for two, and sometimes I don’t get a turn.”
– Pregnant Angaleena as she momentarily forgot the words and told us she had cheat sheets with the lyrics written down to combat ‘baby brain’.
6. “What’s moonshine?” “I think it’s like redneck beer.”
– Conversation between two teenagers near the front porch stage.
7. “In England you’re such a listening crowd. We love it but it freaks us out a bit.”
– Brent Cobb
8. “Not everyone will understand the struggle of trying not to let your guitar strap flatten your afro.”
– Yola Carter
9. “We ask that you all keep Carrie Underwood in your prayers. I’m your backup girl tonight!”
– Aaron Watson, stepping spectacularly into the headline spot after Carrie Underwood had to cancel for health reasons.
10. “Sometimes Josh lets me bring out my big harmonica.”
– Andrew Alli, before producing a massive harmonica from a sock.
11. “Charles Kelley is about 6ft 9” and can down 10 whiskeys… I was totally afraid of him.”
– Andy Brown on getting to meet the Lady Antebellum singer.
12. “That don’t impress me much!”
– Guy with the glitter beard shouted out without missing a beat when the The Shires mentioned they’re about to tour with Shania Twain.
13. “Just as well I’m wearing trousers or my pants would be on the floor listening to him.”
– Lady in brown suede cowboy hat audience listening to…actually, we wont say who she was listening to.
14. “What’s the difference between a banjo player and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of five.”
– Ashley Campbell, banjo player.
15. “I wrote a song about wearing Daisy Dukes and tailgating and took it to my producer. He said ‘have you ever done and of those things?’ I said no and so I had to rewrite all the lyrics.”
– Megan O’Neill on authenticity at the Saturday morning Songwriters Round.
16. “I’ve got some bad news, we brought a lot of moonshine but it’s gone missing somewhere on site.”
– Alex from O’Donnell moonshine, showing up empty handed to run the moonshine tasting session (they later found it and sorted us all out).
17. “Actually, I bet Aaron Watson would do a great version of Before He Cheats.”
– Carrie Underwood fans during the Saturday night show.
18. “That has to be most British chant ever.”
– Ben Earle [The Shires] after the audience began chanting G&T to get Crissie to down her drink.
19. “Crumbs… I said crumbs on stage!”
– Tim from The Wandering Hearts reminding us that despite the Americana sound, there are a VERY British band.
20. “I don’t think putting the moonshine into the cider was a good idea…”
– Us. Always us.
Music or anything else; what was the best thing you heard at The Long Road?
CJ & Judi
Find us on social media: @britsinboots