The first big act of this year’s Cali Roots, playing on the festival’s spacious Bowl stage, was Trevor Hall. The singer/songwriter best known for his acoustical repertoire kicked off the festivities with a rather early set that started at noon on Friday.
A dread-less and beard-less Trevor Hall complimented his clean appearance with an equally composed hour of music. Hall’s new look, the result from a recent staph infection, is in stark contrast to the Bohemian Buddhist Hall has come to resemble in recent years.
Accompanied by his bassist Brian Lang, percussionist Doug Smith, and his acoustic guitar, Hall played some stripped down songs off of his latest album Chapter of the Forest a long with his March 26th EP of Upack Your Memories. Much to the crowd’s delight, Hall mixed in some of his older songs and advised the crowd to “Make your parents proud.”
In typical Cali Roots fashion, the show had surprise appearances by some of Hall’s friend and musician Nahko Bear. Following an energetic rendition of Rudd’s song “Culture Bleeding,” Rudd and fellow artist Dustin Thomas joined the audience for some tribal dancing. Trevor was also featured during Nahko’s set for the song “Warrior People”.
Touring as an artist since before he even graduated high school, Hall confessed to being burnt out from performing a couple years back. Well known for his spirituality, the South Carolina native visited a series of isolated places in search of meditation and inspiration.
“For the first time I told myself I needed to stop. I didn’t know how long it was going to be or when I was coming back. I just kind of went up into the woods and focused on being silent. I learned a lot from just letting the mind unravel” Hall said.
Chapter of the Forest is a reflection of that, incorporating sacred chanting and memories of his trips to Nepal and India to create a new spin on Hall’s mellow sound. Not to say Chapter of the Forest is an obvious deviation from his previous work, it just seems to be coming from a different place of inspiration.
“You do get a lot of pressure from the mainstream or the radio to make a song that fits a style. Now that I am older, I just try to do what I love and if it gets on the radio cool and if it doesn’t I don’t care.”
This year’s California Roots is the 6th installment of the festival and promises to be the most highly attended. The successful festival takes place near the end of May in Monterey County every year and with Hall leading the early wave of this year’s artist, Cali Roots 2015 promises to be another good one.
Below you’ll find additional links with tour dates and information regarding Trevor Hall…
More of Trevor Hall @ Cali-Roots…