Musical fiesta on Martha’s Vineyard

Rob Myers and TaraRose Macuch put Best Fest together, to the delight of more than 200 local music fans — File photo by Ralph Stewart

From a quiet, bucolic setting at Featherstone to the rollicking late-night madness of Circuit Avenue, Best Fest provided local music fans with a smorgasbord of sound on Saturday, September 11.

A benefit for WVVY 93.7 FM, Island Community Radio, the event was conceived and produced by Rob Myers, a founding member of Kahoots, and TaraRose Macuch, co-founder of Bombshell Sound Agents and WVVY’s director of development.

From 3 to 8 pm, a crowd of some 250 sprawled out at Featherstone to enjoy a fine lineup of local music, including Goodnight Louise, Erich Luening, Swamp Angels, Colin Ruel, Pierre, Nina Violet, and Kahoots. An exclamation performance point was provided when the 15-member Extraordinary Rendition Band, a street band of horns, reeds, and percussion from Providence, emerged from the woods to merge their disparate parts into a joyous, raucous sound that roused the crowd into spontaneous applause and motion.

Finally, Martina, a flame dancer from the Czech Republic worked her wonders of light and movement as the dark came down in earnest.

But wait… Best Fest wasn’t done yet. Off the troupe moved to downtown Oak Bluffs, where a little after 9 pm, the Extraordinary Rendition Band marched up Circuit Avenue, through the post office pedestrian mall and back down Kennebec Avenue to the circle in front of the Flying Horses, practicing what they preach in their mission statement: “We play free, guerrilla style and in the streets whenever possible and try to uplift everyone within earshot.”

Revelers then jammed the Dive Bar to capacity for a dance party. Master Exploder, Dukes County Love Affair, Apple Betty, and Drawing Guts provided the live sound, and DJ Cousin Andrew kept the tunes coming while the bands changed over.

The festivities didn’t end until well after midnight, and when they did, all agreed that it had been a fabulous day/night of entertainment and just plain fun.