Wood Brothers perform at Orange Blossom Revue
Lexi Wharem

The Wood Brothers, Allison Russell + More Dazzle at Florida's Orange Blossom Revue

Big festivals are nice, but the truly magical events are often the smaller ones taking place and keeping proceeds within their respective local communities. Such was the case at this past weekend's Orange Blossom Revue in Central Florida. 

Co-curated this year by The Wood Brothers and Midwood Entertainment, the revue gathered music fans from around the Sunshine State and beyond for an enchanting pre-holiday celebration of song with the likes of Allison Russell, Langhorne Slim, Son Little and Cat Ridgeway.

Amid a backdrop of live oak, palmetto trees and the glimmering Lake Wales, the event acted as a refuge for attendees, especially those migrating southward from the north (like myself), not only with its 80 degree temperatures, but with its scorching musical performances as well.

Below we reminisce on the weekend that was with a run down of our top moments from the Orange Blossom Revue's triumphant eighth iteration.

Langhorne Slim

Langhorne Slim at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Jenn Ross

During a weekend stuffed with stellar showings, Langhorne Slim's riveting hour-long set stood out amongst the rest. The artist, with help from his backing band The Law, tore through hits like "Changes," "The Way We Move," "Put It Together," "Spirit Moves" and more with Slim literally bringing his music to the people on multiple occasions as he hopped from the stage and began parading through the crowd of jubilant fans, stopping to dance and sing-a-long with several along the way. The set also featured an abbreviated solo excursion that saw Slim sing "Song For Sid," a heartfelt tune penned for his late grandfather who was an instrumental influence in the artist's formative years that has since turned into a fan favorite.

Margo Price

Margo Price at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Lexi Wharem

Mixing older hits with soon to be ones from her forthcoming album Strays, Margo Price lit up the Orange Blossom Revue stage with a fiery Friday night headlining set that showcased her modern day outlaw mentality. Tunes like "Tennessee Song" and "Twinkle Twinkle'' eventually gave way to new songs like "Been To The Mountain," "Change Of Heart" and "Radio" — the latter coming equipped with an analog-infused backbeat — along with a couple of classic covers. After proclaiming that "Country radio won't play my ass so we'll just play like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers" Price and her all-star band ripped into Petty's "Ways To Be Wicked" and Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up," with the artist even moving over to drums for a spell for good measure.

Laney Jones

Laney Jones at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Jenn Ross

Former Floridian and current Nashville based songwriter Laney Jones wove together country, rock and soul during an eye-opening show to kick off day two of the Orange Blossom Revue in style. With a happy-go-lucky charisma similar to Friday performer Katie Pruitt and a vibrato emulating a young Brandi Carlile she tackled songs like "Not Alone" and "Stories Up High" (from her latest album of the same name) along with a cover of "Cold, Cold Heart," a song recorded by Hank Williams that's also a part of the Great American Songbook. She could also be seen throughout the afternoon chatting with fans and dancing around in the crowd to the other acts, clearly living on cloud nine along with everyone else in attendance.

Cat Ridgeway

Cat Ridgeway at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Jenn Ross

One of my favorite things to do at festivals is discover new artists, and this past weekend Orlando's Cat Ridgeway came away as my favorite newly unearthed artist. Named by her fellow Orlandoans as one of the city's best singer-songwriters, rock and soul acts, Ridgeway's full arsenal was on display during her early afternoon set under the blistering sun as she ran through originals like "Keep It Slow," "Give Me Love" and "Sweet Like Candy." However, the highlight of her set came during a trio of covers that included a tribute to Christine McVie with Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain," Wolfmother's "Woman" and Queens Of The Stone Age's "No One Knows," the last of which saw her and drummer brother Mitch switch places, much like Margo Price from the night before.

John R. Miller

John R. Miller at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Jenn Ross

Despite being a long way from his home state of West Virginia, John R. Miller managed to bring a heavy dose of Appalachian storytelling to his Orange Blossom Revue showing. Rich imagery of the state's Shenandoah River Valley shined through on songs like the new "Seeds & Stems" and "Shenandoah Shakedown" along with highlighting the plights of a broke down touring musician on "Faustina" and "Red Eyes." Part of the Tyler Childers school of songwriting, Miller's unassuming demeanor and blue collar chops struck a chord with the crowd, many of whom were witnessing the songsmith for the first time, but certainly not the last.

Son Little

Son Little at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Jenn Ross

Building off of the upbeat and funkified soul sounds of Neal Francis the night prior, Son Little provided a stark contrast in sound from most everyone else on the weekend's bill. Despite this, he had the crowd's undivided attention all the same on songs like the R&B heavy "bbbaby," soulful "neve give up" and the Durand Jones-esque "what's good." Performing as a trio, his band displayed an incredibly tight groove and fully fleshed out sound with guitar, drums, keys and the occasional beat behind Little's cosmic vocal riffs done in a similar vein to fellow Philadelphian and 2021 Orange Blossom Revue artist Devon Gilfillian.

Allison Russell

Allison Russell at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Jenn Ross

With members of her Rainbow Coalition lining the rail, multi-Grammy award nominated artist Allison Russell lifted up those hurt and in distress during an inspiring set. Beginning with her hit song "Persephone," Russell and company ran through a bevy of songs from her critically acclaimed album Outside Child like "Poison Arrow," "You're Not Alone" and "Nightflyer" along with teasing new material from a new project coming in the new year. While her originals left many awestruck, it was a surprise cover of the Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty mash-up "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," featuring Oliver Wood in the role of Petty, that really brought the house down.

The Wood Brothers

Putting a wrap on the Orange Blossom Revue, and performing the event for the second time in as many years, was host band The Wood Brothers. The trio of Oliver Wood, Chris Wood and Jano Rix had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands on songs like "Alabaster," "Postcards From Hell," "Atlas" and "Luckiest Man." That being said, none of the band's originals hit quite like "River Takes The Town," a song originally written in the wake of the destruction left in Southern Texas by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 that the band dedicated on Saturday night to those in Florida still recovering and building back from Hurricane Ian in late September. 

The Wood Brothers and Allison Russell at Orange Blossom Revue 2022

Lexi Wharem

Returning the favor from Allison Russell earlier in the evening, the group later welcomed her back to the stage to join them huddled around one microphone for a rendition of "Sing About It" from 2013's The Muse that sent the crowd into a frenzy. The partnership was a joyous undertaking and one long in the making after Russell's other band, Our Native Daughters, was on the road in support of The Wood Brothers in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit.

READ MORE: Rebels & Renegades Brings Hippies and Cowboys together in California's Monterey Bay