This weekend I’ll be in Atlanta for Shaky Knees Festival. It may not be a hometown show, but in my opinion, Shaky Knees has put together one of the best lineups of any American festival.  The headliners there wouldn’t really headline a Bonnaroo, but The National, Modest Mouse and Alabama Shakes have all proven themselves as bands and all are really deserving of headlining.  Today, I’ll look at the lineup and pick out five non-headlining bands I highly suggest checking out if you are making the trip down to Atlanta, or just want some great new music to listen to. This weekend, you can follow my Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr to keep up with my Shaky Knees experience.  Interested? Check out the Shaky Knees website at

Gregory Alan Isakov

Saturday 2:15-3:00 Ponce De Leon Stage

I wrote about Gregory Alan Isakov and his incredibly beautiful album The Weatherman last year.  He also made our list for the best albums of 2013.  I was talking to someone about Isakov, and I came up with the word “beautifolk” to describe his music.  I saw him in a packed and captivated Bowery Ballroom last year and can’t pass up an opportunity to see Isakov live.

Blood Red Shoes

Friday 1:30-2:15 Peachtree Stage

One must see band that kinda strays from the general indie-folk vibe of the festival is Blood Red Shoes.  Following in the footsteps of The Joy Formidable who played last year’s festival, they’re bringing some amazing heavy rock and roll to Shaky Knees.  Check out what I wrote about their latest self-titled album, here.

Wild Belle

Friday 2:15-3:00 Piedmont Stage

Indie rockers Wild Belle released the outstanding Isles in 2013.  Bringing a blend of indie, reggae, ska, and electronic music together. A very varied record, and should make for a compelling live performance at Shaky Knees.

Mutual Benefit

Friday 12:45-1:30 Piedmont Stage

Mutual Benefit released the fantastic Love’s Crushing Diamond last year, and was met with almost universal acclaim,  Drawing comparisons to Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes along the way.  It’s not easy being the first band on at a festival, but Mutual Benefit will be worth showing up early for.

Deer Tick

Sunday 3:00-3:45 Peachtree Stage; Friday 11:30PM After Party at Masquerade

Deer Tick is one of the finest live bands out there.  Raucous crowds and onstage antics of frontman John McCauley always make a Deer Tick show a fun experience.  You never really know what might happen, they’ll pull songs from their great catalog of music, and they may throw in a cover or 5.  They’re playing twice this weekend, Sunday afternoon at the festival, and late night Friday at an afterparty at the Hell stage at Masquerade.  Deer Tick afterparties have become a highlight of Newport Folk Festival in recent years, and if you’re not heading to Newport this year, this will be a great chance to experience one.

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