Day two of the Big Barrel Country Music Festival could be described with one word: Wet.
The rain fell hard. Just about all day. With thunderstorms in the forecast, many felt that the entire day would be cancelled much like the previous week’s Firefly Festival. The country fans who bravely showed up, still got to see some great music and those who stuck around for the entire day got to see Gary Allan and Miranda Lambert on the main stage. Sadly, this reviewer didn’t stick around for them, BUT, there was plenty to see in the enclosed Wildwood stage.
In fact, the Wildwood stage proved to be the epicenter of the future and the past of women in country music as Caitlin Rose, Nikki Lane and the legendary Loretta Lynn took the stage for a rapt audience.
Caitlin Rose, the daughter Liz Rose (frequent Taylor Swift collaborator and co-writer of “Girl Crush”) dazzled fans with her brand of alt country meets Loretta Lynn. Rose’s voice wailed on songs like “Shanghai Cigarettes.” “Waitin’” was sinister and sweet as was the not-so-romantic “Pink Champagne.” “Only a Clown” was country jangle bliss.
Much like Rose, Nikki Lane is a Yallternative “it girl.” Lane is an old soul who simply oozes classic country. Whether it be the grooving “Sleep with a Stranger” or the smoldering “All or Nothing” Lane had the crowd wrapped around her little finger. Her cover of Buddy Miller’s “Gasoline and Matches” was smoking, as was her cool as all hell single “Right Time.”
With all due respect to Eric Paslay (who was playing on the main stage in the rain) even if the weather was perfect, the Wildwood Stage would have been packed for headliner Loretta Lynn. Eighty-three year’s young, the Coal Miner’s Daughter was one of the festivals most anticipated artists to see. Despite having significant problems with her ear monitor, Lynn carried on like the vet she is, but she was clearly agitated by the technical issues. No one seemed to mind about the technical issues even when she stopped singing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (with a fantastic save from her daughter Peggy who finished the song to close the show). Lynn played everything from “They Don’t Make ‘em Like My Daddy Anymore” “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” to “The Pill,” and so much more. While technically, it wasn’t the best performance of the weekend, having the opportunity to see one of country music’s most legendary figures was certainly a thrill.