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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass - Best of Sunday

We’re crossing our fingers for gorgeous weather so we can happily bask in the sun while listening to our favorite picks for our last day at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. The wide range of cross-genres on Sunday makes for easy selections throughout the entire day.

Neko Case, Star Stage, 5:20pm: Most famously known for her work in The New Pornographers, Neko Case has been taking the indie scene by storm with her fiery solo work most resembling indie country, if there ever was such a genre. This is probably the only time you’ll ever be able to see this hilarious, but inspiring folk queen live for no charge. Get here.

Amadou & Mariam, Star Stage, 6:50pm: You won’t really know what to expect when an eccentric, blind couple from Mali pops on stage, but as soon as they open their mouths, any preconceived notions and judgments will immediately disappear. Their bizarre guitar arrangements blended with Mariam’s very distinct voice will have you moving, shaking and doing whatever else even to your own surprise. They’ll blow you away, we swear by it.

Booker T. & the Drive-By Truckers, Arrow Stage, 12:15pm: We saw this combo at Bonnaroo this year and the entire crowd literally swayed with energy during their performance. One of our absolute favorite live Southern rock groups (DBTs) mixed with soul legend, Booker T. It’s like a match made in heaven.

Allen Toussaint, Towers of Gold Stage, 2:05pm: Originally a composer and a producer, Allen Toussaint finally took to the stage to be in the limelight, and he’s met complete success ever since. He’s one of those heard-about legends that may not be around for much longer, so while he’s still kicking, we’ll still be watching.

Earl Scruggs, Banjo Stage, 2:45pm: While you’re at the self-proclaimed Bluegrass festival, you have to see the man who defines it. Earl Scruggs and his banjo practically invented the genre with his unique string techniques. The man is 85 years old and rocks it harder than anyone we know. For that alone, he deserves your presence and respect.