Glynn Zeigler has a way of making everything sound like it happened on accident. Let him tell you about how the original Skunk Fest was just a group of friends camping on his farm who just happened to have some musicians join them. It was never supposed to grow into a three day, 1,000-plus person annual event featuring talent from all over the world but that is where things ended up.
And that party, which was eventually named the Albino Skunk Music Festival, was just supposed to be a single annual event but, somehow, Spring Skunk was added. That one was just supposed to be a smaller version of the big festival but, looking at the bands he books and the crowds that attend, Spring Skunk is hardly anybody’s little brother.
This brings me to the 2019 Winter Skunk, now in its third year and growing beyond what Zig claims to have ever planned. He says he toyed with and dismissed the notion of making this a two day event but, lo and behold, Skunk alumni and rising star Caleb Caudle reached out to him about playing Friday evening. Caudle was recently listed as a top ten artist to watch by Rolling Stone so when someone on that list wants to play your show, you should probably listen.
Plans for a one night show were scrapped when Zig scheduled Caudle for Friday night and added Sugarcane Jane and Edward David Anderson to round out the evening. Sugarcane Jane is the duo of Anthony Crawford (who played with Neil Young for years, Zig notes) and his wife Savana. Edward David Anderson is a critically acclaimed singer songwriter and the combination of all three acts would have been a suitable Winter Skunk lineup all by themselves.
On the intentional side of things, Saturday sees seven bands share the stage for roughly ten hours of music. The lineup includes local favorites like Brother Oliver, Matt Fassas, and the Grateful Brothers bringing a bit more rock & roll than traditional Skunk Fest lineups are accustomed to. Internationally touring superstars Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters will headline the evening and The Maggie Valley Band, Sawyer, and South Hill Banks will all get in on the fun as well.
Just to keep the chance encounters rolling, Zig notes that he just happened upon South Hill Banks performing at Sierra Nevada (or “Malt Disney World” as he puts it). He describes them as sounding like a traditional bluegrass band was “joined by a guy with an electric guitar and then they wouldn’t let him leave”. The result is a high energy twist on the classic bluegrass sound that I really don’t want to miss.
All of this is going down at The Spinning Jenny at the historic Greer Station which Zig compares to Greenville’s version of West Asheville or Black Mountain in terms of size and relative distance to town. The revitalization of Downtown Greer has been tremendous and it is hard to argue that it is the perfect home to a venue like The Spinning Jenny. There will be food trucks both days, Paradox Coffee on Saturday, and a steady flow of local craft beer on tap the whole time.
I cannot help but be forever curious about what Glynn Zeigler and his festival might trip and fall into next, but I am quite certain we will all be better off for it when he does. In the meantime, get your butts out to the Winter version of The Greatest Show on Dirt, temporarily held indoors for two nights only.