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    Forecastle Festival announced its first wave of artists, which in total was 47 acts. Last year’s festival had 59 acts so we can expect about a dozen of so more when the next wave of bands comes out. Until then, Forecastle has filled a lineup with some very interesting possibilities.

    The Headliners

    My Morning Jacket—They can obviously put on a good show regardless of what they play, but their headlining set will weigh heavily on their new material that will be on a record they said will be released this year. That will differentiate it from their last headlining slot in 2012.

    Sam Smith—It’s definitely an interesting choice. I’ve never been a fan of headliners with only one album. Some will argue it’s too radio friendly for Forecastle but if he blows people away, no one will care about where people have heard his music.

    Widespread Panic—This makes sense if it was 2010 (which was the last time they performed). I like jam bands and I know how awesome their shows are, but I thought Forecastle was bigger than having one of them headline.

    The Rarities

    Modest Mouse—They are back and are gracing the waterfront. It’s only the second date they have announced to play songs from their first new album in eight years. Think of all the other lineups announced without Modest Mouse on them…

    Desaparecidos—Conor Oberst’s punk rock band is also returning to the stage. It’s been 13 years since they last dropped an album.

    The Locals

    Let’s be honest, we’re all proud of My Morning Jacket and Houndmouth who were once ours, but they are now for everyone else too so let’s talk more about the bands still making a living of mostly playing Louisville shows that made the lineup.

    White Reaper—I’m not exaggerating when I say this could be the unheralded best set of the festival. These guys have unbounding energy and with the right set time and stage, they could draw a big crowd.

    Twin Limb—Forecastle made a good pick with this group. While they haven’t played any set close to the magnitude of Forecastle’s yet, an upcoming tour with Houndmouth should fine-tune that and they will surprise a lot of people come July.

    And a special shout out to Forecastle artist Sturgill Simpson of Jackson, KY who is also playing a sold out show at Mercury Ballroom this week.

    My Biggest Critique

    If I’m crazy, stop me, but the demographic that should be disappointed with this lineup is Louisville festival goers. Louisville is not Forecastle’s main focus anymore because the festival is huge now but the Louisville connection is a bit too strong in a different way this year. By the time Forecastle 2015 comes around, 21 of 47 announced acts will have played Louisville since January 1, 2014.  Bands from Houndmouth to Knox Hamilton will be familiar to Louisville because Louisville has already seen them or chosen not to. I don’t book the festival nor understand their logistics, but the festival would look a bit fresher had we not seen these bands on Headliners or Zanzabar bills recently.

    Most Looking Forward To

    1. Cage The Elephant
    2. White Reaper
    3. Cherub
    4. Sturgill Simpson
    5. My Morning Jacket

    Photo courtesy of Nashville Guru. 

    Will Ford's picture

    About Will Ford

    Covering Louisville music like it's the 6 o' clock news. I've covered Forecastle, Louder Than Life, Moontower, Starry Nights, and Louisville music news for 3 years. Follow me @parasiticnoise

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