No Country’s Guide to Pilgrimage Fest 2015 | Sunday Preview Pt. 1

PilgrimageFest2015-620

We first told you about the inaugural Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival back in April, and have kept you filled in as the lineup expanded in subsequent months, quickly becoming Middle Tennessee’s can’t-miss fall event. Currently underway Sept. 26 & 27 at the Park at Harlinsdale in Franklin, TN, Pilgrimage is exactly the type of fest we’ve been hoping to attract in the Nashville area for years, and we couldn’t be more excited for this weekend’s bill! Yesterday, Cage The Elephant, Weezer, Wilco, and more blew us away, and we’re looking forward to another exciting lineup for the fest’s second and final day! In addition to music, Pilgrimage showcases the best of the region with local food, drink, and art, and is committed to creating a family friendly environment, complete with early start and ending times, a kid’s stage, and more.

Single day passes are still available here. To help you prepare to make the first Pilgrimage, we put together a guide to Saturday’s lineup in two parts, with more information and song previews of every single act, ordered by performance time, and we’re doing the same for Sunday. Below, check out part one of our rundown of Sunday’s lineup!

THAD COCKRELL & FRIENDS

HQ: Nashville, TN

Leagues_Bumper

Sunday | Hard Rock Harpeth River | 10:30am

With his 2009 release, To Be Loved, Thad Cockrell stablished himself as a singer-songwriter set apart. He, along with producer Jason Lehning (Alison Krauss, Mat Kearney, Roman Candle), created an album that has been praised as “one of those rare albums that contains music that inspires from the kick off” and “the kind of record that puts things in perspective”. The beautiful lyrics on Loved are equally matched by Thad’s voice making this a sincere album that wreaks of heart-wrenching, soul-stirring passion. In his own words, “They are the songs that I couldn’t get away from.”

After winning the hearts of many pure country listeners with his work on previous albums including Warmth and Beauty and the critic’s darling, Begonias, with duet partner Caitlin Cary, Cockrell and Lehning wanted to ensure his next project was diverting from the country genre, but not diluting its sensibilities. The divergence and recreation of Thad’s sound thematically and melodically has sent a wave of fans clamoring to tell their friends and family about their recent discovery of To Be Loved and the voice behind it named Thad Cockrell.

Thad is also a go-to featured vocalist for many big name artists including Jars of Clay, indie fave Roman Candle and Dave Barnes. His songs have been recorded by a who’s who of artists consisting of the multi-platinum band MercyMe, multi-Grammy winner Vince Gill, Donovan Frankenreiter, The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams, Matt Wertz, Jason Gray, Courtney Jaye, Jesse Baylin, Mindy Smith and the list goes on.

With the success of To Be Loved, Thad Cockrell finds himself ever-more sonically adventurous. Since 2011, he’s also been a part of Nashville rock group Leagues. The music is different from his previous offerings, but as always, “brilliant”. [via]

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

_

THE GRAND SOUTHERN

HQ: Los Angeles, CA

TheGrandSouthern-620

Sunday | Fender Premium Audio Gold Record Road | 10:50am

Hailing from Los Angeles, The Grand Southern have found critical acclaim (and numerous high-profile television placements) for their eclectic, accessible sound, which bends elements of rock, pop, and soul with some folky and psychedelic sensibilities.

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

_

NAWAS

HQ: Nashville, TN

Nawas-620

Sunday | Pilgrimage Midnight Sun | 11:15am

Originally from New Orleans and now based in Nashville (much like some of the Pilgrimage upper brass), Nawas are relatively new to the scene, and, while we don’t yet know much about them, the handful of tracks we’ve heard floating around all seem to indicate “next big thing.” Centered around soulful vocalist Jake Nawas, the group appear to be a duo (perhaps that’s MCD, the other name credited on all of the tracks), and recently wowed us supporting Waka Flocka Flame at Marathon Music Works. Combining dense, electronic, lush, and layered production, which sets the backbone for Jake’s unbelievable, powerhouse vocal delivery, Nawas walks the line between mainstream pop prowess and experimental, electronic artistry; think Justin Timberlake meets Sam Smith meets The Weeknd, but with more indie bite. A definite artist to watch, smart money is on Nawas exploding out of the Music City scene in no time; catch them at Pilgrimage so you can tell stories about how you were there first.

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | Twitter | Soundcloud

_

BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION

HQ: New Orleans, LA

BigSamsFunkyNation-620

Sunday | Hard Rock Harpeth River | 11:35am

Big Sam’s Funky Nation has boldly established their presence at the forefront of the vibrant New Orleans music scene. Trombone powerhouse and band leader “Big Sam” Williams has been celebrated as “the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz” by the San Francisco Chronicle and the band has been consistently touted for “bringing a straight raw party” by Jambase. 2010 has already been a busy year for The Nation, beginning with an East Coast tour, ten days touring Greece, a recurring role in the new HBO original series Treme, various appearances, including an official showcase, in Austin during South By Southwest, a very busy New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and an eventful LEAF: Lake Eden Arts Festival. Big Sam’s Funky Nation was branded the “Hardest Working Band At Bonnaroo 2010” by the festival’s own publication, The Bonnaroo Beacon.

The members of the Funky Nation, a group of well trained and experienced musicians with impressive credentials of their own meet the challenge of their band leader. The energy level is high voltage when BSFN takes the stage. [via]

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

_

LUCIUS

HQ: Brooklyn, NY

Lucius-620

Sunday | Fender Premium Audio Gold Record Road | 12pm

Lucius is a triple-threat of vocal harmonies, infectious hooks, and dance-inducing percussion. Pair those traits with the band’s irresistible live show and it’s easy to see why NPR Music calls Lucius “a fabulous band playing such infectious pop songs” and Paste hails the group as “blissful.” Charismatic co-founders and lead vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig sing in unison – two voices as one – uniquely delivering songs with stories told from the same perspective. Multi-instrumentalists Andrew Burri, Peter Lalish, and Dan Molad round out the stylish, Brooklyn-based quintet. [via]

LISTEN 

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | FacebookTwitter | Spotify

_

CHARLES BRADLEY & HIS EXTRAORDINARIES

HQ: Brooklyn, NY

CharlesBradley-620

Sunday | Pilgrimage Midnight Sun | 12:25pm

Most artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. “I want them to know how much they have helped me grow,” notes Bradley when discussing Victim of Lovethe follow up to his widely praised debut album No Time For Dreaming.

By now, Bradley’s remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented – how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs – most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone’s Gabe Roth. The year following the release of No Time For Dreaming was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, SPIN, GQ, Paste and more.

Victim of Love is a continuation of that story, moving past the ‘heartache and pain’ and closer to the promise of hope. Where the last record opened with the apocalyptic “The World (is Going Up in Flames), Victim begins with the “Strictly Reserved for You,” a track where Bradley grabs his girl, jumps in a car and hits the highway for a romantic getaway. “You Put The Flame on It” sees Bradley backed by a horn chart that sounds like it was lifted from a lost Four Tops single. And on “Victim of Love,” the track that lent the album its name, Bradley sings over a gentle acoustic guitar, “I woke up this morning, I felt your love beside me.”

The new album also brings a broader musical scope. Where Dreaming hewed close to the rough-and-ready R&B sound Daptone has become known for, Victim is stylistically more restless, edging closer into the kind of psychedelic soul The Temptations explored in the early ’70s. “People are not going to expect this. There’s a lot of psych influences on this record, a lot of fuzz guitar,” notes Thomas Brenneck of Menahan Street Band, Bradley’s producer, bandleader and co-writer. “Confusion” most exemplifies the new direction of the album, opening with an echo-drenched vocal and charging rhythmic cadence.

The album’s closing track “Through the Storm” best summarizes Victim’s message. Over a deep gospel groove, Bradley expresses his gratitude – to his fans, his friends and to God – for their support, their dedication and their devotion. “When the world gives you love,” he sings, “It frees your soul.”

This is the new message of Charles Bradley, the Bradley who has emerged from the heartache stronger and more confident, overflowing with love to share. This is Charles Bradley, victim of love — gratefully returning the joy that has been given to him. [via]

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | FacebookTwitterSpotify

_

JOHN & JACOB

HQ: Nashville, TN

JohnAndJacob2014-620

Sunday | Hard Rock Harpeth River | 1:05pm

John & Jacob, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama found their roots in the sounds of back-porch pickers and harmonies of gospel singers.

After ten years of playing together, a stripped-down style emerged, leading the boys back to the basics with feel good melodies and lyrics. They started making trips to Nashville where they soon landed a publishing deal with Major Bob Music. Within two years, they wrote their first Billboard #1 song, were nominated for an MTV O-Music Award, tapped for Red Bull’s Sound Select and chosen by CMT Edge as their first unsigned “Listen Up” artist.

Splitting time between writing and touring, the boys released their full-length, self-titled album in 2014. [via]

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT |  Site | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

_

CHRIS STAPLETON

HQ: Nashville, TN

ChrisStapleton-620

Sunday | Fender Premium Audio Gold Record Road | 1:25pm

A skilled singer and performer, as well as a firmly established Nashville songwriter responsible for penning number one hits for the likes of George Strait, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, and Kenny Chesney, Kentucky-raised, Tennessee-based country crooner Chris Stapleton was the lead singer and guitar player for Grammy Award-winning bluegrass outfit the SteelDrivers, and delivered over 150 songs to others before releasing his first solo recording, the Mercury Nashville-issued “What Are You Listening To?” Stapleton’s full-length debut album Traveller appeared in May 2015. [via]

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

_

THE LONE BELLOW

HQ: Brooklyn, NY

lone-bellow

Sunday | Pilgrimage Midnight Sun | 1:50pm

Playing what they call “Brooklyn country music,” the Lone Bellow (lead singer and songwriter Zach Williams, singer and mandolin player Kanene Doheney Pipkin, and singer/guitarist Brian Elmquist) are a group of transplanted Southerners who deliver a passionate, soulful, acoustic-based alternative rock Americana. The band began after Williams’ wife was involved in a serious accident that left her temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. While hoping and waiting for her recovery (she did recover), Williams began writing a set of haunting songs that dealt with tragedy, hope, and redemption. Following her recovery, the couple moved to Brooklyn. In 2010, Williams, who had been working as a solo act, began jamming with Elmquist, an old friend, and when Pipkin joined in, the trio knew it had a band. Building on Williams’ songs, and now working and writing together, they built up an impressive early catalog of songs. Initially the band was known as Zach Williams & the Lone Bellow, but by the time the group’s accomplished and powerful self-titled debut album from Descendant Records appeared early in 2013, Williams had dropped his name from the billing, and the band had grown to include Ben Mars on bass, Brian Murphy on keyboards, Matt Knapp on lap steel and electric guitar, Jason Pipkin on banjo and mandolin, and Brian Griffin on drums. The band leaked tracks of a new album late in the year to NPR and Stereogum. The subsequent follow-up album, Then Came the Morning, was produced by the National’s Aaron Dessner and Peter Katis and released in late January of 2015. [via]

LISTEN

WATCH

CONNECT | Site | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

_

More from Pilgrimage | Tickets | Lineup | Site | Facebook | Twitter

Have your say