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July 20, 2013

New blood happy for Forecastle opportunity



Another band that played the Forecastle Festival is just starting to refine its voice.

Wild Feathers, an Austin, Texas, band, with its roots in Nashville is an amalgam of rock, country, with a pop sensibility and a blues influence.

Ricky Young, one of the frontmen in a band that shares the duties, put it more simply.

“We get asked that all the time in gas stations and elevators [what genre we are] we just say that we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band,” he said.

Forecastle is only the third or fourth festival at which the band has played, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have experience on a big stage.

Wild Feathers have been out on tour with some more-than-notable names, including Bob Dylan, Ryan Bingham and are about to enter another leg of a tour opening for Willie Nelson.

“At first it freaked us out … then, we were thinking, they don’t know who the hell we are, let’s go out and prove [ourselves],” Young said.

The band’s drummer Ben Jarvis, who has been with the group since October, said they have learned a lot opening for such household names.

“Especially when you’re an opening act, you better come out and be … good because the crowd, they don’t know us, so you’ve got to win them over,” he said. “Every night it was an uphill battle.”

And at a festival the group sees the goal laid out in front of them, a road traveled by this year’s Forecastle Festival headliners The Black Keys and The Avett Brothers.

“It’s been great, we love the festival environment,” Young said. “The culture of it, we’re all such big music fans, obviously, we like being a part of it where we’re actually performing.”

Jarvis added the goal for the band is to be playing later in the day and on a bigger stage the next time they hit the festival circuit.

At Forecastle, the band opened Sunday’s musical showcase on the Port Stage. While it was a smaller venue, the group attracted an energetic early crowd that seemed to walk away from their set wanting more than the half-an-hour worth of music the band played.

“I think we can do it in good time,” Young said of making the jump to the main stage. “If we didn’t believe that, I don’t know why we’re here in the first place. I guarantee if you asked The Black Keys how they felt back then, they were like, ‘we want to be playing on the … main stage.’”

It helps that Wild Feathers is appealing to a broad audience. They’ll get a chance to continue to impress and gain a new group of fans when their self-titled debut album comes out and they open their tour with Willie Nelson, which happens to be the same day.

“We’ll be in Las Vegas opening up for Willie Nelson August 13, the day our record comes out,” Jarvis said.

“If we make it to Aug. 14, we might have a pretty good year,” Young said with a laugh.

Both said they hope the record is well received and the crowds will continue to grow.

Hopefully, people will enjoy it enough to where they want to listen to it and then come see us play again,” Jarvis said.

Maybe next time, it will be on the main stage.


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