Eclectic Nashville-based Ernest Keith Smith, known by his stage name Ernest K, made his Bonnaroo debut in front of an energetic crowd at the That Tent Thursday afternoon.
Smith performed an array of music genres , from R&B, to rap to hip-hop to what could be described as alternative acoustic. According to Smith’s label Big Loud Records, “He’s always bent the rules and eschewed the predictable,” a claim supported by the artist’s ability at Bonnaroo to switch from rapping with DJ ED to performing intimate acoustic songs and covers.
Included in the set was a cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” and an original called “Locals Only” accompanied by Smith on acoustic guitar.
Along with his acoustic set, Smith performed his most popular songs including: “Cuss, Fight, F*ck,” “Blacked Out,” “Twisted,” “Bad Boy,””Dope Man,” and “I Love My City.”
Personifying a hometown booster, Smith’s “I Love My City” included shout-outs to Nashville’s minor league baseball team the Sounds as well as a locals attending the festival in general.
Smith ended his set by urging the crowd to chant “615” for his instagram followers — the area code for Nashville, don’t you know.