Life in KC

The Big Show: Westport Roots Festival

Sarah Gayle Meech, a Nashville-based singer, is one of the headliners of the Westport Roots Festival.
Sarah Gayle Meech, a Nashville-based singer, is one of the headliners of the Westport Roots Festival. From the artist

The Westport Saloon can seem like a bastion of gritty integrity amid a sea of slick artifice. The proprietors of the establishment will expand that unique sensibility at the Westport Roots Festival on Saturday.

Sixty rockabilly, bluegrass, folk and country ensembles will appear on six stages at five venues during the third incarnation of the ambitious hoedown. In addition to the humble stage of The Westport Saloon, performances will take place at Buzzard Beach, Ernie Biggs, Firefly and the indoor and outdoor stages of The Riot Room.

Sarah Gayle Meech is among the main attractions. The Nashville-based singer resembles a young Loretta Lynn. Teen prodigy Julian Davis, a current contestant on the TV competition “America’s Got Talent,” will also please traditionalists.

Revelers who prefer more aggressive sounds have plenty of options. The burly Michigan group The Goddamn Gallows headline the Riot Room’s outdoor stage. The Hobosexuals, a band of ruffians from St. Louis that plays offbeat country songs with titles like “You Didn’t Have to Beat My Dog,” top the bill at Ernie Biggs.

Two groups that achieved national renown in the 1980s — the Detroit psychobilly band Elvis Hitler and the demented Austin cowpunk band The Hickoids — will delight older revelers.

Nostalgia will also be indulged at Firefly. The resurrection of the strapping Kansas City roots-rock band Pendergast is one of a handful of notable reunions taking place on Saturday.

In spite of the multiple opportunities to reminisce, the Westport Roots Festival will demonstrate the remarkable durability of handcrafted music.

Tickets are $25 in advance at westportroots.com.

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