The inaugural GAS Feed & Seed Festival, bringing over 30 musical acts to the Village of East Davenport, was held in February.
It was so much fun that festival founder Sean Moeller didn’t want to wait a full year to hold the next GAS fest.
So, the second installment of the multi-day music event is here early. It kicks off Thursday and runs through Saturday.
“I’m trying to make it a pillar of the community,” Moeller said. “I’m trying to make it something people can count on and discover their new favorite band.”
Moeller, who co-owns the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel and books concerts there, called this weekend’s collection of shows “my version of a little mini Quad-Cities South by Southwest,” referring to the mega week-long festival based in Austin, Texas.
Among the 30 acts on the lineup, you’ll find plenty of names you’ve likely never heard of alongside national touring acts familiar to the Quad-Cities, such as Cory Chisel and LOLO. Moeller purposefully tracked down bands he's "currently infatuated with" and "bands nobody has heard of.”
“I basically use this festival as a proving ground for the rest of my year,” Moeller said. “I bring some people I think I’m going to want to bring back a few more times — young bands or people I’ve already had a few times — and just see if I can grow them in the area.”
“That’s what GAS is,” he added. “It’s about nurturing these artists and seeing if we can ride through their career with them.”
The fest starts on Thursday with a family-style dinner open to artists and festival attendees with a VIP pass. The majority of shows will be held at Baked Beer & Bread Company and the Village Theatre and a few VIP shows will be at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel in downtown Davenport. A VIP pass costs $110, a three-day pass costs $60, a weekend pass costs $35 and a one-day pass costs $25. For tickets and more info, visit moellernights.com/tickets.
Read on for five acts to check out this weekend.
Writer's note: LOLO, one of the fest’s headliners is also a must-know artist on my list. Check out the separate story I wrote about her ahead of the festival.
1. Sarah Jaffe
When you Google Sarah Jaffe, the first song to pop up — her most popular — is a heartbreak ballad called “Clementine” released in 2011 and viewed over 29 million times on YouTube. The folk tones of that tune are much different from the Texas singer-songwriter’s latest offering, an album laced with a electronic pop sound called “Bad Baby.” Jaffe has a message for anyone curious about the shift: “It’s still me,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is or should have to be one thing. Art is about not having boundaries.” As she says, that song still draws crowds to her shows. And so does her new stuff, which has recently put her on stages with Cyndi Lauper and Cynthia Wilson, one of the founding members of the B-52s. If you’re intrigued, be sure to listen to a conversation with Sarah on my podcast called Worst Town in America. This weekend, Jaffe will make her Davenport debut. “I’ve loved her for a long time; I just haven’t been able to get her here for a show,” Moeller says. She’s set to perform at 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Village Theatre.
Recommended if you like: Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez, Tegan & Sara, Animal Collective
2. Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae
Partners Cory Chisel and Adriel Denae were last in town for the first-ever Alternating Currents festival in August. They played at the Raccoon Motel to a crowd of less than 100 people, which was one of the standout moments for the festival founders. The folk duo released their first duet album, called “Tell Me True” the same month. Like LOLO, Moeller says Chisel, who founded Mile of Music, a similarly modeled festival in Appleton, Wisconsin, is becoming a staple in the Quad-Cities. You have two chances to see them on Thursday: At 8:30 p.m. at the Village Theatre and 11:30 p.m. at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel (VIP show)
Recommended if you like: Mumford & Sons, Blind Boys of Alabama, Dawes, Iron & Wine
3. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, which is made up of Kansas City mother and son Madisen and Ruth Ward, are accustomed to playing at coffee shops around the Midwest. The bluesy duo have made a few exceptions, including a 2015 appearance on" The Late Show with David Letterman" and performing one of NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert." Also out of the norm is their show during GAS Feed & Seed Festival, slated for 9 p.m. Saturday at the Village Theatre.
Recommended if you like: Mavis Staples, The Supremes, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Shovels & Rope
4. Charley Crockett
If you’re a country music fan, check out the honky-tonk tunes of Charley Crockett. Described on his Facebook page as a “true descendant of Davy Crockett,” the Texas-based singer’s latest album called “Lil’ G.L.’s Honky Tonk Jubilee,” which he released in September, is a collection of 16 songs including several covers of tunes by artists such as Hank Williams Sr., Ernest Tubbs and Tanya Tucker. See him at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Raccoon Motel (VIP show).
Recommended if you like: Tyler Childers, Jonny P, Sam Cooke, Joe Pug
5. Lola Kirke
You might recognize Lola Kirke for more than musical reasons. In addition to being a singer, Kirke is an actress who has appeared in “Gone Girl,” “Mistress America” and the Amazon TV show “Mozart in the Jungle.” Kirke, who was born in London and is based in New York City, has roots in both music and TV. Her dad is Simon Kirke, the former drummer of rock bands Bad Company and Free and her mother supplied many of the outfits for the series, “Sex and the City,” according to her IMDb profile. Lola released her four-song E.P. last year and has toured intermittently since then. She certainly has some star-studded endorsements, though. Lola's sister Jemima Kirke, who starred in HBO's "Girls," appeared in the music video for her song, “Not Used.” The video premiered in July via Lenny Letter, the newsletter created by “Girls” creator Lena Dunham. In the newsletter, Dunham called Lola’s music, “surprising, soft-angry folk music.” See Lola Kirke at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Village Theatre.
Recommended if you like: Jenny Lewis, Margaret Glaspy, Molly Birch, Valley Queen