All eyes were on the South this weekend as musicians and music lovers descended on Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the 4th annual Hangout Music Festival.
With one of the most eclectic lineups of summer, Hangout had acts to suit every kind of musical taste. Crowd favorites included Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Roots, Bassnectar, Stevie Wonder, and Ellie Goulding. But it was the Southern bands that really caught our attention. Here are the up-and-coming groups that rocked Hangout.
1. Delta Rae
Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, this 6-piece band blends country, soul, pop, and folk in a way that is cohesive and energetic. Different members take lead vocals depending on the song, but MVP has to go to Brittany Holljes; her powerful wails during “Bottom of the River” (recently featured in the new True Blood trailer) sent chills down the spine.
Listen To: “Bottom of the River”
2. Shovels and Rope
You can’t find onstage chemistry better than this husband and wife duo from Charleston, South Carolina. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent’s debut album, O’ Be Joyful, released last summer is getting all the right kinds of of attention (they lead nominations for the 2013 Americana Awards) thanks to their homegrown harmonies and engaging performances.
Listen To: “Birmingham”
3 The Kingston Springs
For anyone who was fading by Saturday afternoon, The Kingston Springs provided the perfect wake-up call. The Tennessee band delivers a style that ranges from blues to folk to rock. They kept the crowd entertained right up to when vocalist/bass player Alex Geddes stripped down to a speedo for the final number.
Listen To: “Weight of the World”
4. Wild Cub
Prior to Hangout, this Nashville, Tennessee, band performed at New York Fashion Week Fall 2013, SxSW, and opened for fellow fest performer, Ellie Goulding—not bad for a group that dropped their first LP, Youth less than a year ago. Their fluid electronic-pop sound wasn’t what you’ve come to expect from Nashville, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it.
Listen To: “Thunder Clatter”
5. Luella and the Sun
If you didn’t get down to Gulf Shores early enough on Friday afternoon to see this buzzy Nashville, Tennessee, band, you definitely missed out. Draped in a costume of soda can fasteners, lead singer Melissa Mathes led the 4-piece ensemble in a powerful set with her hypnotic and raw vocals.
Listen To: “Fly So Free”
Tell us, who were your favorite performers at the Hangout?