This weekend a chance to saturate yourself in bluegrass
If you love bluegrass, four days of it, along with family fun, camping, workshops, jamming and children’s program, should sound pretty good.
The music is nonstop throughout this Father’s Day weekend. Seven bands are scheduled to play – Cherryholmes, Country Current, Dale Ann Bradley Band, Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass, Del McCoury Band, The Greencards and John Reischman and the Jaybirds – and informal jamming goes well into the wee hours. after all,, bluegrass is, as one wag put it, more than just a music genre – it’s a spectator sport!
All day, each day, fans of all ages are saturated with bluegrass. The stage shows last most of each day, from late morning until well after sundown. Then the fairground undergoes an special transformation. Groups of pickers in the campground, huddled around lantern light, play guitars, banjos and fiddles and harmonize. It’s sweet. Many of them are friends who only see each other this special weekend every year. Camaraderie and geniality prevail.
This musical tradition runs deep, generations deep; many of the festival attendees with children first attended this festival as children themselves.
“The California Bluegrass Association,” says one of its own, Bruce Campbell, “encourages this multigenerational involvement and sponsors several program specifically designed to bring young players into the Bluegrass world, such as Kids on Bluegrass.”
Some things you might not know about The Greencards, one of the premier bands playing at the festival:
• The band released its first album, “Movin’ On,” in 2003, claiming Texas’ favorite son Robert Earl Keen as one of its biggest fans while it established itself in Americana music circles, opened for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson shortly thereafter, and last fall earned the Best New/Emerging Artist title from the Americana Music Awards – mere weeks after appearing on the Tahoe World’s July 19 cover. Coincidence? Perhaps, but as Eamon McLoughlin says, “The Tahoe World has its finger on the pulse of American music.”
• Showing by the numbers:
1: The spot reached by “Viridian,” The Greencards’ latest album, on Billboard Magazine’s bluegrass chart – the first time ever an international act has been number one.
6: The number of consecutive weeks “Viridian” stayed in the top five on the Americana charts.
2: Number of Australians in the band – Kym Warner on mandolin and bouzouki and Carol Young on bass, vocals.
1: The lone fiddle-playing Englishman in the band, Eamon McLoughlin.
Want to know more about the band? Go to http://www.thegreencards.com.
(Complied by Keith Sheffield, editor of the Tahoe World in Tahoe City. See his interview with Greencards from June 14 Prospector online at theunion.com)
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Annual California Bluegrass Association’s Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival
WHEN: June 14-17, from 7 a.m. to after 10 p.m.
WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley
ADMISSION: Ticket prices range from $13 to $105. Prices vary depending on how many days, which days, whether the attendee is a California Bluegrass Association member and or a child, teen or adult. Prices are available at the gate or on the CBA Web site (www.cbaontheweb.org).
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