Forecastle Festival returns to the Louisville waterfront this weekend and we have compiled a list of our must-see sets. Obviously, lists like these are subjective and with a well rounded lineup like Forecastle, there’s bound to be someone who deserves to be on this list that we missed, but these are the acts we’re most looking forward to this weekend.

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT

Jason Isbell’s name is well known amongst alt country fans for his stint in The Drive-By Truckers, but his 2013 album Southeastern showed his songwriting chops as he wove stories of alcoholism, perseverance, love, and loss with such emotional depth that he has been recognized as one of the preeminent songwriters of this generation. His output since Southeastern has continued to show his knack for putting everyday thoughts and experiences in to lyrics that help to capture feelings we couldn’t find the words to express on our own. His most recent album, The Nashville Sound tackles current hot-button issues like race relations and political divisiveness with tact and grace. That’s Jason’s gift – the ability to transport the listener into the world of a song, to enable us to empathize with the protagonist and see the world through their eyes. He’s truly at the top of his game.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Whiskeytown, Justin Townes Earle, James McMurtry
SET TIME: Sunday, July 15 at 7:15pm on the Mast Stage

THE WAR ON DRUGS

The War On Drugs have been a favorite of the SlyVinyl writers since 2014’s Lost In The Dream took the number one spot on our Top 25 Albums Of 2014. Adam Granduciel is the man behind The War On Drugs and his Dylan-esque vocals and spacey, soaring guitar are made for hopping in the car, rolling down the windows, turning up the radio all the way and seeing where the road takes you.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Luna, Bob Dylan, Strand Of Oaks
SET TIME: Saturday, July 14 at 9:15pm on the Boom Stage

FATHER JOHN MISTY

Father John Misty seems to be equally loved and reviled for his cynical and eccentric personality. Here at SlyVinyl, we can’t get enough of his wry wit, brutal honesty and often dark glimpses into his mind. Under the nom de guerre of Father John Misty, Josh Tillman has amassed four astounding albums that have nary a bad track. Couple that with his unpredictable stage presence that ranges from vulnerable and introspective to full of piss and vinegar and you have one of the most captivating artists to see live.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Harry Nilsson, Foxygen, Kurt Vile
SET TIME: Friday, July 13 at 8:00pm on the Mast Stage

COURTNEY BARNETT

Courtney Barnett’s flat delivery is as much spoken word as it is singing, but on her newest album Tell Me How You Really Feel she opens up her singing and dabbles in a bit of  70’s Brit punk a la X-Ray Specs and a sprinkle of late 90’s Sleater-Kinney angst. We’ve enjoyed hearing the growth on Tell Me How… and can’t wait to see it live!

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Kevin Morby, Waxahatchee, Angel Olsen
SET TIME: Sunday, July 15 at 8:30pm on the Boom Stage

MARGO PRICE

Country music has taken a beating for decades as least-common-denomenator, watered-down songs of tight jeans and pickup trucks have ruled the genre. However, there have always been those who have carried the torch of traditional country like Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, and a new generation including Colter Wall, Tyler Childers, Nikki Lane and one of our favorites, Margo Price. Soaked with pedal steel, fiddle and deft storytelling, Price keeps the sounds of 70s country alive.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Nikki Lane
SET TIME: Saturday, July 14 at 5:30pm on the Boom Stage

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER

Hiss Golden Messenger is the vehicle for the considerable songwriting talents of MC Taylor and his breathy, vibrato-laden baritone. I was first introduced to Hiss Golden Messenger a few years back when the song “Brother Do You Know The Road” came up on a playlist on Spotify a few years back and I was immediately struck by the soulful voice and loose, lazily paced, sparse instrumentation and began my current infatuation with his brand of soulful, southern blues-folk

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Dave Rawlings, The Barr Brothers, 70’s Bob Dylan
SET TIME: Saturday, July 14 at 4:00pm on the Boom Stage

RON GALLO

Ron Gallo is awkward, strange, hilarious and all rock and roll. His stage shows are a frenzy of energy and frizzy hair. His self-deprecating humor and noisy garage rock make for a lighthearted, raucous, sweaty and fun time. We predict that he will be climbing higher and higher on festival lineups in the next few years.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Black Angels, Ty Segall, King Tuff
SET TIME: Sunday, July 15 at 1:45pm on the Boom Stage

KHRUANGBIN

Khruangbin is an artist that is easier listened to than described. Influenced by 60s and 70s Thai funk cassettes, their sound is a window into sounds that are both familiar and alien. Take a listen and then join us for their dreamy, psych-ey goodness.

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: El Michaels Affair, Inner Wave, Khun Narin
SET TIME: Sunday, July 15 at 4:30pm on the Ocean Stage

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