Carbondale rocks revival ignites musical resurgence

The event coordinator for the Carbondale Rocks Revival Music Festival said the event not only became more coordinated in it second year, but it also offered bigger names at more venues.

Event creators Nick Shurman, manager of Hangar 9, and Matt Longueville, former manager of Tres Hombres, said they wanted a way to bring music into multiple venues in town such as PK’s, Hangar 9, Pinch Penny and The Elks Lodge and showcase the vast amount of talented local and traveling musicians.

The Revival hosted more than 60 bands Whistle Pigs, Mud Sill, Hobo Knife, Hugh Deneal, Swamp Tigers and Soul Glo at about 15 venues.

Curtis Conley, event coordinator, said occasions such as this often tend to become more successful as they grow older. Despite harsh weather and power outages, the revival was no exception, he said.

Guitarist Jesse Payne of Another Dead Cover Band, or AD/CB, plays Saturday night at Tres Hombres in Carbondale. AD/CB played as part of the Carbondale Rocks Revival Music Festival, which lasted from Thursday to Sunday. The second-annual festival was hosted at several local venues and featured more than 40 bands. –Sarah Gardner | Daily Egyptian

Conley said Lynn Drury didn’t hesitate to get up close and personal with the crowd while the coordinators at the Varsity Center adapted to the power loss Friday during musician her play time.

“Without missing a beat she just went and sat down on the other stage, and everyone huddled around her and she played, and Mike (Dillon) brought his acoustic drumset out and played with her,” Conley said. “It was really intimate and really cool.”

The revival also brought in many national acts including Elizabeth Cook, who has played on David Letterman several times before, Conley said,

He said an event such as this helps bring the music community together and show people just how many talented musicians the town has to offer.

Jesse Payne, guitarist for the local band “Another Dead Cover Band,”  said he moved to Carbondale from Decatur in 2005 to pursue a music career because of the strong reputation Carbondale had in the performing arts.

Payne said the scene had dwindled so much two years ago that he considered moving away to pursue the career in a different town. When the Carbondale Rocks Revival Music Festival started last year, the music scene was reignited with fresh bands and new possibilities, he said.

“Especially since (the festival) was here last year, people came out and started to say ‘you know, Carbondale’s is actually just as good as it used to be,’ and (the bands) have just been in the woodworks and were waiting for the right opportunity to come out play all at the same time,” Payne said.

Tim Whiteford, lead guitarist in Bosco and Whiteford, said he has not only gotten the chance to play in the revival again, but he was also able to play four times with three different bands and experience some music he has not been exposed to.

Whiteford said he has been active in the Carbondale music scene for more than 10 years. Although it saw a decline a few years back, he said, the yearly event has made an impact.

“I think nowadays it seems like its starting to get a little spark back in the town,” Whiteford said. “I think for a while it seemed like things weren’t going smoothly for the scene as far as being an artistic community but … it seems to be coming back.”

Kristen Whiteford, upright bass player and singer for Bosco and Whiteford, said she agreed with the lead guitarist.

“It was very intense and fun and crazy, and it sort of hit its peak and then went down,” Kristen Whiteford said. “But it does seem to be on the rise again, I hope, because there are some very talented musicians around here. In fact, for the small area it’s almost absurd how many talented musicians there are.”

Payne said the performing arts are still a very powerful force within the town despite the last few years, and the Carbondale Rocks Revival Music Festival is a prime example of its comeback.

“The town isn’t dead, that’s for sure,” Payne said. “I don’t care what anybody says.”

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About Austin Flynn

Austin Flynn can be reached at or 536-3311 ext.252.

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