Trey Cardi | Nov. 9, 2023
This past weekend, I found myself immersed in the inaugural Dreamy Draw Music Festival, nestled in the unexpectedly formal setting of the Scottsdale Civic Center. As I stepped onto the festival grounds, my expectations were stomped into the dirt by the lively atmosphere that awaited me.
The first thing that caught my eye was the picturesque scene of the Scottsdale Civic Center; as I had exited the museum-like security/ticket-pickup room, the setting transformed into a peaceful, grassy haven adorned with trees. Eclectic tents, each boasting a range of bright colors, were spread throughout, each housing a different product. The juxtaposition of the formal name of the venue and the laid-back vibe of the festival set the tone for a truly unforgettable weekend.
My initial instinct upon entering was to explore, and that’s exactly what I did. The air was filled with an array of sounds, from the soulful blues to the energetic beats of country rock. It didn't take long for me to stumble upon tents generously offering complimentary Yerba Mate and Monster Energy drinks, respectively. This would become my sustenance for the remainder of the festival, fueling my body with copious amounts of caffeine. It’s a testament to the festival’s layout and timeline that my anxiety didn’t get the best of me while the caffeinated beverages surged.
As I wandered through the festival grounds, one artist that stood out among the rest was Nat Myers. His bluesy tunes transported me straight to the early 20th century, evoking a sense
of nostalgia and appreciation for the roots of American music. I heard R.L. Burnside,
Mississippi John Hurt, Charles Caldwell, and other bluesmen channeled through his tunes. What struck me even more was the chance to exchange a few words with Myers himself, revealing a down-to-earth personality that added an extra layer to my admiration. I left Day 1 with a sense of connection and a genuine wish for Myers’ continued success.
Day 2 of the festival seemed to pulse with even more energy. The anticipation for the headliner, Lord Huron, undoubtedly played a role in the heightened atmosphere. As the lights dimmed and Lord Huron took the stage at the end of the day, the crowd erupted into a bustling roar that encapsulated the energy of the entire festival. It was a moment that solidified the community spirit and a shared experience that would linger in the memories of everyone present. My good fortune continued as I enjoyed VIP privileges throughout the festival, indulging in the subtle perks that elevated my experience. Grateful for the access, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to delve into modern country music, a genre that had previously been on the periphery of my musical tastes.
Drawing from my extensive background in classic country and folk acts like Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury, Leonard Cohen, and John Fahey, I found a newfound appreciation for the modern echoes and iterations of the genre. The performances I witnessed were a testament to the genre's evolution, blending traditional roots with contemporary stylings. The festival became a bridge connecting my musical past with the present day.
The Dreamy Draw Music Festival not only eradicated my already jumbled expectations, but also offered a harmonious blend of genres, experiences, and a vibrant community spirit. I left with a heart full of melodies, a mind buzzing with memories, and a deep appreciation for the humble nature of country music.