Stagecoach Roundup: Sunday Funday

May 2, 2016


It seemed like folks were dragging a bit early Sunday afternoon at the Indio, California Empire Polo grounds for the final day of Stagecoach, but that wasn’t slowing down any of the artists.

A handful of ladies just so happened to be slotted in the earliest set times, and they were a delight.

Such as singer/violinist/guitarist Amanda Shires, who has worked frequently with her husband, the critically-acclaimed Americana artist Jason Isbell. She’s got amazing talent in her own right, showcasing a terrific voice and her fiddle chops during “Look Like a Bird.”

Meanwhile, over on the Mane stage, Nashville based artist Lucie Silvas was enjoying her first-ever American festival, saying that it was “a wee bit overwhelming actually.”

Born in the U.K. and raised in New Zealand by her Kiwi dad and Scottish mother, Silvas has an interesting background. She grew up listening to the likes of Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, James Taylor and Roberta Flack and started writing songs at age 10. She got her first real taste of the music industry when she went out on the road at 17 as a backing singer for British singer/songwriter Judie Tzuke and hasn’t looked back.

Alternating between mandolin, percussion or keys, Silvas entertained the crowd with highlight tracks such as “Unbreakable Us,” “Smoke (Somebody Stop Me)” and a song she wrote just a few weeks ago called “When It Comes Down To It.”

Iowa folk roots troubadour William Elliot Whitmore held court at the Mustang stage during the 3 o’clock hour, with just his banjo, acoustic guitar and snare drum.  Whitmore joked that he drove all the way from Lee County, Iowa, for 3 ½ beers, and then launched into a humorous tune about the town drunk called “Old Bill Jones.”

It was an endearing set showcasing his extensive catalog or originals, as well as a cover of the beloved country song You Don’t Have To Call Me Darlin’.”