The Cavendish Beach Music Festival started off in a big way on Friday!
Hitting the Main Stage first was Halifax-based group, Port Cities consisting of Dylan Guthro, Breagh MacKinnon, and Carleton Stone. The trio, all successful as solo artists in their own right were brought together by superstar singer/songwriter Gordie Sampson. With their amazing blending of three-part harmonies entwined with their roots-pop sound, the group opened the festival and entertained the crowd with songs from their self-titled debut album. Fan favorite, “Back to the Bottom” was a big hit with the early crowd of the day.
Some great notable acts throughout the day include, the following act The Good Brothers, consisting of brothers Bruce and Brian Good of Richmond Hill, Ontario and James Ackroyd of Winnipeg, Manitoba. For 40+ years they have been in the business working with the likes of Ian + Sylvia, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Starship and now they have taken their talents to the Main Stage here at the festival to a fantastic response from fans new and old excited to see them play live.
Brandy Clark was next on the Main Stage. Clark huge success as a songwriter for the likes of Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves, she’s brought her talents to Cavendish to shine her own light in singing songs from her latest effort, “Big Day in a Small Town, and she did not disappoint. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand as they danced and sang along throughout her entire set.
Gord Bamford graced the Main Stage next! A veteran of the festival he brought with him songs like, “My Father’s Daughter”, “Is It Friday Yet” (How fitting!!) along with his latest smash hit, “Livin’ On Summertime” the fans piled the pit area and sang along to every word. Other notable songs included “Leaning on a Lonesome Song” which Gord wrote when he lost his beloved brother-in-law. His songs most definitely resonate with with fans and it showed in Cavendish last night without a shadow of a doubt.
High Valley exploded onto the Main Stage next. **CBMF FUN FACT** High Valley holds the record for the longest line of fans at the CBMF Merchandise Tent from their 2015 visit. You better believe that record quadrupled last night in Cavendish after their incredible performance. Brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel of Blumenort, Alberta have since their beginnings implemented and maintained a credo of “Faith, Family and Farming.” This credo has brought with them hit after hit of upbeat, and electrifying songs such as “County Line”,”She’s With Me”, “I Be U Be” and “Make You Mine,” (THE MASSIVE FAN FAVORITE SONG OF THE NIGHT).
The final act of day one to grace the Main Stage was the headliner and incredible vocal group, Little Big Town. Consisting of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook have indeed grace the CBMF Main Stage in the past, but never as the main act of the day, so fans were elated to see them grace the stage again on Friday evening. The group, accompanied by their amazing powerhouse vocals and harmonies that could leave you with chills, performed some of their greatest hits including “Pontoon” and “Day Drinkin'” as well as songs from their latest album, “The Breaker” such as “Better Man” (written by Taylor Swift) as well as “Happy People” and of course their latest single, “When Someone Stops Loving You.
Throughout the day I also got to catch some amazing artists on the Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage. The first being that of Endless Summer consisting of brothers Bob and Clint Moffatt (If you were a teenager in Canada about 15 years ago you might otherwise know the brother as members of “The Moffatts”, along with brothers Scott and Dave.) Their performance on the Farms stage yesterday was entirely theirs. Writing in Nashville for several years, last year they released their self-titled EP just last year to huge fan success with their single, “Amen For Women” exploding on Spotify.
Another group I was lucky enough to catch on the Farms stage was Atlantic Canadian Celtic Rock powerhouse Rawlin’s Cross. This group is a staple in these parts so they were a welcomed addition to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival Lineup. In the midst of a massive comeback after years on hiatus, the group consisting of Joey Kitson, Dave Panting, Jeff Panting, Ian McKinnon, Brian Bourne, and Howie Southwood rocked the Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage with hits like, “Reel N’ Roll”, “Colleen”, and “Long Night”.
Sykamore was another amazing artist I was able to see grace the Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage on Friday afternoon. With this being her first visit to the festival all the way from Alberta, and on the heels of the success of her latest single, “Better Half” she showcased her amazing and raw vocals powered with her beautifully written songs. She is an incredible artist on the rise and one I would definitely recommend keeping an eye out for the next time she comes through Atlantic Canada.
In addition to GREAT performances, I was also lucky enough to catch up with some of the great aforementioned artists such as Port Cities, Endless Summer, Sykamore, High Valley and Gord Bamford. So stay tuned for those great interview as well as a full recap of today’s great festivities as day two rolls on here at Cavendish Beach Music Festival!
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