Nelsonville Music Festival is one of my favorite music festivals every year.  It’s lineup is a perfectly curated mixture acts.  NMF is like that guy or girl you know that always seems to know some amazing new or under the radar artist that will blow your mind.  It’s a music nut’s festival.  The kind of festival that you can walk up to any random person and ask them who’s on their list of must-sees and they will all have a quick answer, eager to turn someone on to one of their favorite lesser-known bands.  If you’re on SlyVinyl, then you’re probably a music nerd like the rest of us, so NMF is right up your alley.  Here’s a list of 8 reasons why you should be there on the first weekend of June.

Nelsonville Music Festival is June 2-5. Check out the full lineup and purchase tickets at

Adam Torres

Vunerable vocals and calculated arrangements make for some truly heart-wrenching moments.  Torres lived in Ohio, Texas, Switzerland, and Ecuador, while self-releasing an album of demos and eventually released ‘Nova Rostra’ on Misra Records in April 2015.  With a new album currently in the works, it’s a good bet that you’ll catch a new song or two in his Nelsonville set.

John Moreland

One of the most emotive singers I’ve heard in a long time, John Moreland is one of those singers who can make you feel the pain or joy of a song in just a few syllables.  Moreland’s raspy voice is reminiscent of Springsteen, but without the anthemic largeness of much of Bruce’s work.  Instead introspective lyrics and delicate fingerpicking tell a story so clear that if you close your eyes you’ll feel like you’re watching a movie.


The word Yoruban work ‘ibeyi’ translates to the word ‘twins’ in English.  Seems a fitting band name for French-Cuban twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz.  There’s nothing quite like listening to siblings harmonize.  The music brings images of gin-soaked jazz clubs combined with and the rhythmic cadence of their Afro-Cuban roots.  There aren’t many opportunities to see such unique fusions of styles, if you miss it, I promise you will regret it.

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

It’s no secret that we here at SlyVinyl are big fans of Dap-Tone Records and Charles Bradley in particular.  At 63, Bradley released his debut album.  Through a years of adversity, including a nearly fatal allergic reaction to penicillin, and the murder of his brother, Bradly has soldiered on. The soul singer was eventually discovered in the 1990s while performing as a James Brown impersonator under the name “Black Velvet.” You can’t write and sing like Charles Bradley with out living a hard life. His soulful rendition of the Black Sabbath original “Changes” is a testament to the human experience and a triumph of artful interpretation.

Courtney Barnett

She’s a Grammy Nominee and released one of our consensus favorite albums of 2015.  Courtney Barnett can turn a phrase as effortlessly as anyone in the business.  Her matter of fact observations of real life make her kind of like a songwriter version of Seinfeld, but infinitely more snarky and smart-ass. At home playing solo songs (like the one below) or playing crunchy guitar with a full band, Barnett is one of the best bets for a memorable show this year.

Mac Demarco

His dreamy, psychedelic sound is so organic sounding that it almost sounds liquid, like catchy waves lapping the shore, drenching the sand with irony and wit. Demarco is doing his best to challenge Josh Tillman of Father John Misty as one of the most charismatic performers in the festival circuit.  If you pay close attention and look past the jokester vibe, you’ll notice that he’s quietly written some incredibly thoughtful and personal songs.

Tallest Man On Earth

Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson, more commonly known as Tallest Man On Earth has set up shop nicely in the niche of folky indie rockers.  His music sounds as authentically American as even the rootsiest of folk rockers, often compared to Dylan in style and depth.

Gary Clark Jr.

Clark is the embodiment of the combination blues, soul, rock, and R&B.  He seamlessly bridges the gap between his influences like Dr. Dre, Shuggie Otis, Jimi Hendrix, and Curtis Mayfield into a rough and raw modern blues sound.  You know he’s the real deal when Eric Clapton hand selects him to play his Crossroads Music Festival. Check out his performance from the 2010 Crossroads fest below.