‘Tis the Season: Let’s Get Festive with Dogwood Tales

Artwork credit: Stephen Omark

Festival season is here and it’s one of my favorite times of the year for a number of reasons. As a musician, it provides several opportunities to perform in front of and be heard by larger audiences. It also presents an opportunity to network with those audiences. As a music lover, it’s a chance to discover new music. For me, the latter is as appealing as the former and I rarely, if ever, walk away disappointed.

So, I kicked off festival season this year in Harrisonburg, VA at Macrock XXII. From the acoustic showcase, to a helping of heavy metal and everything in between, there was something for people of every musical taste spread over two days across six different venues.

If there is a drawback to a festival like this, it’s the fact that it was spread across so many different locations, many of which had acts performing at the same time as others throughout the festival. Because of this, it was nearly impossible to catch every act, which caused me to pick and choose enjoying certain acts over others. With that being said, I was quite pleased with what I did take in when I made it to the festival for Night 2.

I’m not going to review every artist from that evening in one post. Rather, I will highlight one at a time, in a series of posts still to come. I am going to start with Dogwood Tales. The Harrisonburg, VA locals brought their significant local following with them to Macrock, a popular local band from Harrisonburg with a very large local following. Their laid-back alt-country style was highlighted by the glowing vocal harmonies of Kyle Grim and Ben Ryan. Getting the vocals right in the studio, with an unlimited number of takes and production magic at your disposal, is one thing. Vocalists have one shot to get it right when performing live, and Kyle and Ben nailed it that night.

With that being said, they nailed it just as well on their 2018 debut album, “Too Hard to Tell.” The album isn’t just about vocals; “Too Hard to Tell” is a well-crafted collection of stories about life, death, and small-town America, brought to life by a versatile band of musicians adding accents with pedal steel, Wurlitzer, grand piano, saxophone and more.

To learn more about Dogwood Tales and see their upcoming tour schedule, visit their website. Meanwhile, stream “Too Hard to Tell” below.

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