When Joseph Pope, Nathaniel Rateliff’s touring guitarist, got offstage after a recent show
at the Mill, he said he thought his set went well—well, he qualified, for a non-barn show.
Pope had just come off a week of performing in 19th-century barns throughout rural Iowa,
Illinois, and Wisconsin, as part of Daytrotter’s latest Barnstormer tour. Since July 2009,
the taste-making music blog / recording studio has hosted three such tours, to the great
acclaim of bands and music fans alike. For Pope, it was one of the best experiences of his
musical life. “Now,” he said wistfully, “I’ve got to get used to playing bars again.”
Inside of the Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa, Iowa, during
Free Energy’s Barnstormer set, 5/2/2010.
If you missed Barnstormer III in May, don’t despair: the folks behind Daytrotter have
plenty more barn ruckus in store. On July 4th, Daytrotter will host “Barn on the Fourth,” a
musical celebration of our nation’s heritage: beer, hotdogs, and explosives. The concert,
which begins at 5 PM, will be held at the Codfish Hollow Barn in Maquoketa, Iowa, a
picturesque complex of farm structures nestled into the rolling hills. Only 90 minutes
from Iowa City, it’s a little slice of pastoral paradise.
You’ll park your car in a huge meadow, then take a hayride to the barn. You can bring
your own beer and food. Between sets, musicians, families, and music fans alike will
relax on the hillside, or mingle in the great whale belly of the barn. And the music, as
always where Daytrotter’s concerned, should be excellent.
DFA rockers Free Energy hang out with little kids during Barnstormer III.
The show is headlined by Northern California folk-rockers Dawes and rustic songsmith
Justin Towns Earle (son of agit-country icon Steve). Other guests include These
United States, whose forthcoming What Lasts should be one of the year’s top records,
Nashville troubadour Johnny Corndawg, and Young Man, a Chicago tunester making
a name for himself with delicious acoustic melancholia. Daytrotter founder Sean
Moeller recently told this reviewer that an additional, high-profile surprise act will
close out the night. Think: somebody really mind-blowing, widely regarded as one of
the best bands in the country. Somebody so great, they can’t even tell you in advance.
at dusk for the fireworks in Cedar Rapids? I attended Barnstormer III’s West
Liberty and Maquoketa shows (4/27 and 5/2/10 respectively). Check ‘em out: they’ll
give you a sense of what you’d miss by staying home. Both barns will surely be sites for
Barnstormers to come; check Daytrotter for future dates.
Tickets are available for $20 each on Daytrotter.com, as are free MP3 recordings for each
Nathaniel Rateliff and Joseph Pope at Barnstormer III: Maquoketa