Way Over Yonder @ Santa Monica Pier, CA 10/5/13 – Day 1

October 08. 2013 | By Samantha Saturday

It may be October but summer carried on this weekend at the Santa Monica Pier for the inaugural Way Over Yonder festival. Presented by the lovely people who put on the Newport Folk Festival, the pier was filled with some top notch folk jams accompanied by the ocean waves and sun overhead.

Local up and comers Eagle Rock Gospel Singers ushered in the festival in a big way. As their name suggests, they are a group of friends that have tasked themselves with reviving gospel music with blues undertones.

Eagle Rock Gospel Singers @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Eagle Rock Gospel Singers

Eagle Rock Gospel Singers @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Eagle Rock Gospel Singers

Duo Shovels & Rope from South Carolina had no problems keeping things going. Couple Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst faced off on guitar and drums, respectively. Trent and Hearst held down the stage with their gritty blues.

Shovels & Rope @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Shovels & Rope

Tucked away in the tiny windowed corner of the carousel building at the pier was a stage featuring smaller folk acts. First up on Saturday was Farmer Dave Scher. If you had been at FYF for Kurt Vile”s set a few weeks ago, Scher would have been a familiar face, as he sat in with the band for several songs.

Farmer Dave Scher @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Farmer Dave Scher

We quickly headed back to the main stage as Justin Townes Earle was taking the stage. Earle was quite the charmer, leading his band though a roaring set of bluegrass tinged rock.

Justin Townes Earle @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Justin Townes Earle

Back at the carousel stage in the tradition of great folk singer-songwriters, Jenny O. played an intimate set with just her guitar.

Jenny O. @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Jenny O.

Running a bit behind schedule, we waited with bated breath for Calexico to kick off their set at the main stage on the pier. Once they did, however, the band was welcomed with open arms and beaming faces.

Calexico @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Calexico

Calexico @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Calexico

From Northern California, Brett Dennen added a poppier set to the folk festival. With tunes like “She”s Mine” and “Darlin” Do Not Fear,” Dennen had most of the crowd singing along.

Brett Dennan @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Brett Dennen

To cap off the night red-headed indie-folk queen Neko Case took the stage, not taking herself too seriously with her quick wit. The singer joked around with her band continuously throughout the set, but when it came to her songs you could feel every melancholy chord penetrate straight through you.

Neko Case @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Neko Case

Neko Case @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Neko Case

Neko Case @ Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13Neko Case

Way Over Yonder, Santa Monica, CA 10/5/13

Miss the festival? Check out more shots from the pier HERE!

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