For those who were looking forward to Roxodus or hoping the return of Way Home may come this year, don’t be disappointed. The Second Annual Borderland Music and Arts Festival, taking place at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora, NY, just 2 hours from Toronto, on September 21st and 22nd features more than 20 bands on three stages over the two days celebrating the Western New York region with Americana and roots music.
Where is the Borderland? The Buffalo Niagara region has a unique identity, surrounded and influenced by the Great White North, the Great Lakes, and its great industrious spirit. These influences combine to create a strong foundation for our music, our food, our drink, and our arts.
Saturday’s headlining acts include Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule, The Wood Brothers, the Grammy award-winning The Infamous Stringdusters and The Sheepdogs from Canada. Sunday’s line-up features Greensky Bluegrass, Shakey Graves, Keller William’s Grateful Grass featuring Dead and Company’s, Oteil Burbridge, and the rock n’ roll hall of fame legend, Mavis Staples.
The Wood Brothers have been touring for the summer and took time to chat music festivals, inspiration and their musical roots.
TheSceneInTo: You grew up in a very musical household. Did that impact your writing and music style or did you self-discover your roots in blues?
TheWoodBrothers: Our dad playing guitar and singing around the house was our first “live” music experience. Our mom was a published poet. Both of them influenced our interests. But as far as our personal style, that came from many years of listening to and seeing all kinds of music. It came from playing with all kinds of great musicians. It came from teachers and mentors. It came from reading books. It came from years of trial and error, but ultimately it came from following our hearts.
TheSceneInTo: Looking back over your career, are there any songs that still stand out today given your current life situations and changes?
TheWoodBrothers: We always know we’re the Luckiest Man. We’re always glad to have some Chocolate On My Tongue. We never read Postcards From Hell. We try to let Atlas do his job. It’s a never-ending search for One Drop of Truth.
TheSceneInTo: Do you have the time to reflect back and re-evaluate or do you just keep moving forward?
TheWoodBrothers: Looking back can inspire the directions we take going forward. But, ultimately, there’s only forward.
TheSceneInTo: Some bands rethink their live show with each new album, is this something that concerns you as well, or have you found a certain style of performance you stick to?
TheWoodBrothers: We’re always searching for new ways to play old songs and folding new songs into the set. There’s a lot of musical talent in this band and it’s fun for us to create arrangements that feature that as well as the song.
TheSceneInTo: I imagine given the different size venues that would change the performance?
TheWoodBrothers: The space affects the music. It can even affect the way we arrange the songs we write.
TheSceneInTo: What was the draw to join this festival?
TheWoodBrothers: To be perfectly honest, we are playing the Borderland Festival because they asked us. Of course, we accepted the invitation to play an amazing festival in a beautiful location with other bands that we respect and want to see.
TheSceneInTo: What makes this festival standout?
TheWoodBrothers: It’s a beautiful location.
TheSceneInTo: Have you previously performed with any of the other bands before? Any bands you’re excited about performing alongside with?
TheWoodBrothers: I first knew about the Felice Brothers when I lived in the Catskills. We have toured with Rayland Baxter who, like us, lives in Nashville. We’ve shared the stage with the Infamous Stringdusters. We’ve known Warren Haynes for some time and have recorded and played with Gov’t Mule. We are always excited to see our friends and acquaintances on festivals like this.
3-Day VIP and 2-Day VIP tickets are sold out for the festival. 2-Day General Admission tickets are vailable for $125 and a limited number of single days tickets are available starting at $75 for Saturday and $70 for Sunday. Ticket prices, both 2-Day General Admission and single days will increase as the festival date approaches. For the full line-up and to purchase tickets, visit www.borderlandfestival.com
Cover photo: Alysse Gafkjen