Brew York Music Festival expanding to two stages

Drivin N Cryin is scheduled to perform at 7:35 p.m. Saturday at the Brew York Music Festival at Maggie’s on the River. From left to right we have Tim Nielsen (bassist, founding member), Laur Joamets (guitar), Dave Johnson (drums), Kevn Kinney (guitar, vocals, founding member).

WATERTOWN — To accommodate a growing lineup of music acts, two stages will be set up for this year’s Brew York Music Festival on Saturday.

“We doubled the amount of bands this year and will introduce the second stage featuring many local acts,” said Patrick G. Robbins, co-owner of Brew York Entertainment.

The festival is at Maggie’s on the River at a closed-off Newell Street.

The festival’s main stage is the Black River Stage. The new Hole Brothers Stage will feature the local acts.

The main acts for the Black River Stage are, at 7:35 p.m., Drivin N Cryin and at 8:45 p.m., Eve 6.

Other main stage highlights include the return of Harrison B, who will perform at the festival for the third time.

Working the fan baseDrivin N Cryin, a name selected to represent the two directions of their music, is based in Atlanta and is celebrating 33 years together. It has a gold record, 10 full-length albums and a handful of EPs to their credit. In 2015, the band was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The band consists of founders Tim Nielsen and Kevin Kinney along with Dave V. Johnson and Laur Joamets.

Mr. Nielsen was asked about the factors that account for the band’s longevity.

“For the last 10 years or so, we’ve just been really focused on enjoying making music, not really worrying about trying to get discovered or make it or whatever,” Mr. Nielsen said in a phone interview on June 26 as the band was traveling through Nashville on the way to Milwaukee and that city’s Summerfest 2018. “We’re working our fan base.”

Some reviewers of their music say that among its sounds, Drivin N Cryin can resemble country and heavy metal at times. Those types of descriptions are not entirely accurate, Mr. Nielsen said.

“We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band,” he said. “We appreciate country banjos, fiddles, mandolins and stuff like that. “Is Cheap Trick heavy metal? I think we’re more like a band like Cheap Trick, a pop band with loud guitars that appreciates folk and Americana and singer/songwriter kind of stuff.”

The newest member of the band is Estonian-born guitar player Mr. Joamets, who joined last year.

“He’s an amazing slide player and an amazing rock guitar player,” Mr. Nielsen said. “He’s a joy to have in the band; a musical genius. He just blows us away with the stuff he comes up with, his interpretations of our old songs and he’s involved in writing on the new record, which is refreshing.”

Mr. Nielsen said the band is about 90 percent done with its new album. They likely won’t be done mixing it until the end of summer with an expected release date early next year.

“It’s just really cool song craftmanship,” Mr. Nielsen said. “We put a lot of time and thought into it. It’s hard to explain. It doesn’t sound like anything we’ve ever done but it sounds like everything we’ve done.”

They perform some songs from the project on their current tour. But Mr. Nielsen stressed Drivin N Cryin never uses a set list.

“We play off the vibe of the crowd and whatever mood we’re in,” he said. “We cover all the bases — old and new and in between.”


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