Morrisville, Pa — As the name suggests, The Stir Fry Music Revival served up a heaping portion of good times and music with “a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” Whether it was some bluegrass and funky folk or rock mixed with reggae and roots, the bands were cooking.
A festival can offer a unique opportunity. For a regular show, the band comes in, does their thing, packs and goes home; however, a festival allows bands to interact with each other. There were many of these amazing interchanges at Stir Fry. One of them occurred as soon as the first band finished their set. DotMan was on the main stage MC-ing between bands. Tin Bird Choir was setting up for their set on the second stage. DotMan started singing what appeared to be an impromptu song, “The Stir Fry Blues”. The lead singer from Tin Bird Choir turned her soundcheck into a harmonizing session with DotMan. Not only were two great musicians having a cosmic collision, it was also made available for an audience to experience.
Another example of what can be found in a Stir Fry mix is “Josh The Bassist”.
Q: How often does a musician get to play three sets with three different bands for the same audience?
A; Only at an event like Stir Fry.
For the Friday evening crowd, Josh played bass with Tin Bird Choir, Manatawny Creek Ramblers and Frog Holler. When he was finished, I caught up with him to shake his hand, “That must be tough. Most people can not make it through one show. You did it with not just one or two, but you did it with three different bands. And, with Manatawny Creek Ramblers, you played a stand-up bass!” Josh replied, “Thank you. I suppose that is unusual to be able to play that long with diverse bands. And, yes, you are right. The hardest part was carrying the stand-up bass through the parking lot.”
There are so many simultaneous things going on at a festival. It is difficult to take them all in, yet that special Stir Fry ingredient could be found throughout. If you were performing and looked out, you could see your idols in the audience. J.R., keyboardist for Wide Eyed Mother Brothers was performing when he spotted someone in the audience. He stopped and pointed out to the crowd, “Do you see this guy? This guy right here? He taught me everything I know about playing keyboards.”
These kinds of cosmic collisions happened all weekend long. You might have witnessed Si Senorita in the audience being “wowed” by DotMan’s harmonica playing, spotted Steal The Breeze in the audience dancing to Si Senorita or heard the Dirty White Boys playing unplugged in the campground at Bob’s Country Bunker. It did not matter exactly where at the festival you were. You were bound to enjoy an experience like these. All that mattered — you were there.
It is too bad every day can not be stir-fried, at least we can look forward to next year.