Loud As Folk: Spotlight shines on Reno songwriters

Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage

Spkie McGuire is the founder of the Loud As Folk festival in Reno, which continues through Sunday.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tony Contini

Spike McGuire is a Reno treasure. He’s the frontman of Six Mile Station and creator of Loud As Folk, a showcase of local songwriters and food trucks. This year, he celebrates the event’s seventh anniversary with four nights of shows. The first night on Thursday featured Gina Rose, Bryan Daines, Outlaw Kindred and Cowboy Indian.

LAF went down at Pignic, a house turned bar turned music venue that’s age range always stands out to me. It’s the kind of venue where an artist’s 70-year-old father will show up and support.

Spike played a few tunes to start and between set changes.

Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage

Gina Rose took the stage in a flowery red dress. Her soft voice was embellished by slow guitar strumming. Her sound was beautiful melancholia reminiscent of Jessica Lea Mayfield or Big Thief.

She also “freaking loves The Dixie Chicks.”

Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage

Bryan Daines continued the relaxed vibes. He has an unexpectedly good falsetto. His voice sounded relaxed even when reaching for high notes. He used the time between songs to practice his storytelling.

Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage

Outlaw Kindred was the first duo of the night. Josiah Knight on guitar and Olaf Vali Duna on banjo are some bearded, dreadlocked dudes. I know 8-piece bands with less hair.

Their set started with casual noodling, but became more complex and moving with each song. Some songs were enchanting, others ignited a hoedown. Toward the end, they requested stomping to complement their barn burning.

Fun fact – Josiah’s first show in Reno was at a Loud As Folk concert.

I caught Spike and Josiah with their arms around each other, smiling solemnly while glancing around the crowded venue. It was like watching the best man congratulate the father of the bride.

Tony Contini / Tahoe Onstage

The night ended with Cowboy Indian, a four-piece that combines Lucas Young and The Wilderness’ voice with The Saddle Tramps’ low end.

Guitarist/vocalist Lucas Paul has one of those voices. It’s rich and completely entrancing. I’ve had some of his songs stuck in my head for years.

They had the crowd rolling when they needed to restart a song that’s intro is an cappella three-part harmony. Drummer/vocalist Jimi Revolver (of Reno’s My Acoustic Heart) shouted out for a redo. He asked for the first chord, Lucas played it, then he and the crowd messed around matching notes to it.”

That one chord was all the band needed. Their voices blended beautifully thereafter.

If you love Reno music or you want to, Loud As Folk is where it’s at. They will be combining the city’s best artists and grub until Sunday.

– Tony Contini

Related story: Reno supergroups featured on second night.

Cowboy Indian

About Tony Contini

Photographer and journalist Tony Contini graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in art photography. He loves working with bands and telling stories. Photography portfolio: https://www.TonyContini.com

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