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Friday, January 17, 2014

Lonnie Holley, Low, Earth, and more added to Big Ears

In addition to an already diverse, already incredibly adventurous lineup, the Big Ears festival, yesterday, announced another round of artists joining March's weekend-long musical extravaganza, including some exciting names in experimental, folk, and drone music. Body/Head, the guitars/vocals duo of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace, will now grace the festival with their psychological test of wits. At times, Body/Head's music manages to venture into the darkest recesses of Gordon's former band, Sonic Youth, at their mid-late '80s best. Fans of their experimental work should take pleasure in the fact that solo sets from Keiji Haino and Sunn0)))'s Stephen O' Malley have also been added.

Another noteworthy act supplementing the festival line-up is Seattle-based Americana drone trio, Earth, making a rare, highly-anticipated appearance. In a similar vein, another trio who has been producing throbbing post-grunge for a few decades, Low, will make their Big Ears debut.

One standout addition is Hailu Mergia and Low Mentality. Mergia was a popular Ethiopian keyboardist, accordionist, and singer in the '70s and '80s who was recently rediscovered driving a cab in the Washington, D.C. area. Mergia is now playing with younger American musicians, but judging from recent music clips, their set should be a festival highlight.

Finally, 2013 was a great year for spacefolk artist Lonnie Holley, and it's great to see him joining Big Ears. His Just Before Music CD, recently released on Atlanta's Dust-to-Digital label, must be heard before making the trek to Knoxville. Actually listen to it while you're making the trek!

Big Ears takes place March 28-30 in Knoxville, TN.

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