An absolute highlight of the MusicNow weekend was a collaboration between Megafaun, Fight The Big Bull, Bon Iver and Sharon Van Etten called Sounds Of The South, an evening of re-imaginings of the songs recorded by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax in his early travels.
Here, Justin Vernon and Sharon Van Etten duet in a performance of "Trials, Troubles, Tribulations" that could only have come from the collaborative spirit of this wonderful festival.
From Sara Padgett-Heathcott of Hometapes:
"Ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax’s 1961 release of southern field recordings, Sounds of the South, is an eight-disc extravaganza of delta blues, gospel and southern folk music entrenched in a rich cultural history. Now, almost 50 years after its initial release on Atlantic Records, Sounds of the South has found new life in the hands of Durham trio Megafaun. Joined by the stunning Richmond jazz collective Fight the Big Bull, as well as friends and world-renown talents Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Sharon Van Etten on featured vocals, Megafaun built a team and fostered a collaborative and loving reinterpretation of the sound, structure, lyrics, and spirit of Lomax's classic recordings. The result, originally performed as part of a Duke-commissioned three-night performance at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham last Fall, is a resurrection to behold."
Special thanks to Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Meredith Melragon, Sharon Van Etten, Justin Vernon, the brothers Cook, Joltin' Joe Westerlund and all the amazing players.