The grounds at Moondance Jammin Country located just outside of Walker Minn. came to life Thursday night as the first crowd gathered for the pre-jam party featuring some very well-known regional groups on the Saloon stage. Artists featured were SlamaBama, Shalo Lee Band and 32 Below. In spite of a very rain soaked day and evening, the festival was beginning to shape up nicely. People were excited to officially start summer with the arrival of the festival season, and this one actually feels a little more like one big family than most.
Festival organizers were a bit concerned with the forecast coming up, but yet they knew that the people would still come out, they just might exchange the sandals they were planning on wearing for the weekend for some rubber boots and an umbrella; and many of the cut offs might be replaced with blue jeans and t-shirts might be replaced with hoodies.
SlamaBama had this crowd going the second they walked out on that stage. Their energy and ability to engage the crowd was out of this world. The group composed of a husband and wife duo; Rosanna Juliano on lead vocals and Jasper Juliano on vocals and guitar from Birmingham Alabama, (thus the name), had the perfect mix of music for this already elated crowd. It was perfect way to prepare this crowd for a weekend of great country music. It may have been more fitting to have SlamaBama close out the night as the crowd was very familiar with the music they presented.
32 below on the other hand perform more original material, and it was quite noticeable how the atmosphere changed around the third song into their set. People weren’t familiar with the songs, and some seemed to lose interest. Granted most of them probably had more than a drink or two, so perhaps the background music really didn’t matter that much anyway, because they were having a good time.
Moondance Jammin Country tickets can still be purchased by calling 877 MOONJAM or visiting jammincountry.com. Moondance Jammin Country festival is slated to run June 20-21.