We weren’t supposed to be writing another “Overheard at…” post. This year we were not planning to spend the Leicestershire Americana festival shamelessly eavesdropping on our fellow music fans. Instead we were definitely, maybe going to do very serious interviews and also come up with a new, completely original blog idea, the likes of which had never before been self-published online. This genius (yet to be formed) idea was probably going to win all kinds of music journalism awards and quite possibly revolutionise the way music festivals were written about forever more.
But then on Saturday night – as Kip Moore wrapped up his crowd-thrilling set – a guy in dungarees (with nothing but frozen nipples beneath the bib) came over and asked;
“D’you wanna join our drinking game tomorrow night? It’s a shot for every time Josh Turner mentions God, Jesus or church…”
So we couldn’t resist jotting down that and a few more quotes. These soundbites from both on and off the stage helped sum up this year’s The Long Road for us.
“I thought you were having summer out here? You guys pulled a fast one on me.”
– Sam Outlaw, clearly prophesying about the Arctic camping conditions we would face later that night.
“It’s my first time here in the U.K. and I’m still trying to learn the language. I’ve been told I can’t talk about pants, but I’ve never worn a pair of trousers in my life.”
– CJ’s personal favourite Josh Turner, closing Sunday night on the Rhinestone stage with his unique mix of both gospel and make-out music.
“Tonight, I finally get to sleep with Josh Turner.”
– Lady at the merch stand trying on a t-shirt with a giant pic of Josh’s face.
“…now I’m unhappy and I hope you are too…”
– Ags Connolly singing this ‘I Hope You’re Unhappy’ lyric on the front porch stage was all the evidence we needed that we were definitely at a country music event.
Brit singer Ags Connolly looking at home on a Tennessee style front porch.
“That guy’s hat is making me crave lemon meringue pie.”
– Our pal Lisa and, while we think this guy looks great in his hat, we all knew exactly who she was talking about…
“People who talk in negative ways either have short memories or had a bad history class.”
– Rhiannon Giddens on the Interstate stage, a champion at addressing diversity in Americana music.
“Fellas, if you dance, you’ve got a chance.”
– 68 year old Asleep At The Wheel front man Ray Benson with some wisdom for the younger generation. (We wish more guys had taken his advice on board over the weekend!)
“Why do we need sad songs? I think they’re here to break your heart just right.”
– Eric Paslay, before singing his own sad song, She Don’t Love You, She’s Just Lonely.
Cam: “Grandma said sex is like a milkshake. Once you’ve had it, you’ll always want it.”
Girl to the right: “Then I must be lactose intolerant; I want it but can’t have it.”
“If you don’t know what a Walmart is, picture a Primark that lost their funding.”
– Rich Hall’s Hoedown on the Interstate stage. This comedy addition was one of our highlights of the weekend.
“At the end of the relay race you’ve got to down a pint of milk like a real, tough cowboy.” [Pause] “…We’ve also got oat milk or soy.”
– Host of the Cowboy Olympics; fun and games over in the showground.
“Who knows who’ll be at number 10 when we get out of this honky tonk.”
– Organiser Baylen Leonard temporarily snapping us back to reality when the number 10 was drawn during Country Bingo.
“It’s the 30th Anniversary of the first time I played in the UK. I’ve felt warm and fuzzy over here for 30 years.”
– Legend Suzy Bogguss on the warm welcome she always receives over here.
“This one’s called Polyamorous…”
– Sam outlaw proving there really is a country song for every occasion.
“Someone told me this festival is great because you get involved in a thing called ‘The Through’ which is you start drinking at 12:00 and you keep on going until 02:00.”
– Jessie Buckley during her electrifying set in the Honky Tonk.
‘Wild Rose’ film star, Jessie Buckley
We can’t include most of the things we overheard on the Sunday night shuttle bus (there may be children reading), but let’s just say Josh Turner’s bass notes connected with the audience on an intimate level… especially the lady on the top deck with the stars and stripes hat.
What summed up the long road for you? More blog posts are coming later this week including interviews and advice for The Long Road next year (limited super early bird tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. on Thursday 12th September). In the meantime, you can check out our favourite outfits from this year’s mammoth weekend. Maybe we snapped you…
CJ & Judi