Friday, August 28, 2009

newgrass festival....day 2

The second day of the festival started with a young band that I hadn't heard of, Act of Congress. They are from the state of Alabama, and feature a very progressive acoustic style and sound...they reminded me alot of Nickel Creek. They have one cd out, entitled "Declaration"..and I'm liking it! I do appreciate a band who writes all their own material....

A small sample of Act of Congress....

video



Next up was the IIIrd Tyme Out, a traditional kick-ass bluegrass band that I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing/hearing for too many years...for some strange reason we haven't crossed paths lately. Great pickin', great vocals, and great songs add up to a tasty set...



The next three bands featured the three Newgrass Revival boys and their own bands; starting with the Curtis Burch Band. Both Lynn and I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with Curtis, who is both a fine musician and a fine man. He spends part of his time teaching music at a Kentucky college that offers a course in traditional music.

Dr. Dobro...

video



Then came Johnny C.! I have been amazed at the man's voice since I first heard it at the ol' Mole Lake Bluegrass Festival, near my home here in Wisconsin. I've been really diggin' his band of the last few years, which includes Shad Cobb, brother of Jesse and of course a former member of the Cobb Brothers. (many years ago...>g< I saw this family back when all the boys were barely teenagers back in the early 90s; they are natives of Wisconsin.)

The man can still wail...!



He added a mandolin picker...!



And then of course it was time for the closing set! Sammy stepped up to the plate, as they say in his baseball world, and knocked it out of the park.... I have never been disappointed with a Sam Bush show and really never expect to. The Man was on fire as usual...plus the fact that this festival was all about him, which I'm sure added a bit of spark. He had a great time on stage, going through some new songs that will be on his upcoming cd, lots of regular "Sammy" songs, some straight bluegrass, and a few old NGR songs when his buddy John joined him on stage. I liked it...>g<

Gettin' down...



Sam and Byron...



Spider John is my name, friends...



So---Day 2 finished with a bang! After Sam's set Lynn and I got to visit him and Lynn a bit; he always had lots of friends, fans, and family around who wanted his attention, and he did his best to accomodate. We went back to our campsite in a joyful mood and actually listened to a little campground jammin' before crashing in our tent. Sure was a full, magnificent day of music!

Peace, David

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the newgrass festival...part 2

Curtis Burch and Kenny Lee put together a fabulous lineup! I knew this was going to be good long before it happened....and it was even better than I thought. >g<
Day 1 opened with Larry Keel & Natural Bridge. I have seen/heard Larry many times over the years at various festivals, and dig his music. He has a wonderfully rough voice and a unique guitar style and he always has a great band put together.

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge leading off the festival....



Larry and his wife Jenny...



The Infamous Stringdusters followed Larry, and they are one of my favorite young bands...I am a big fan. I was hoping to visit a bit with Jesse Cobb, who I knew back when he was a teenager with his family band, but apparently they split the festival soon after playing; I'm sure to another gig somewhere. A very inventive, superb band....

The Infamous Stringdusters....



Jesse Cobb and Travis Book...



The Infamous Stringdusters and the Friday afternoon audience....

video

The Grascals were next on Friday, and they are one hot bluegrass band! I was enjoying their show when I noticed Mr. Bush making his way to the backstage, where he soon picked up his mandolin, indicating to me that the festival was about to get hotter!

The Grascals and Sam....



Sam and his buddy Danny Roberts having some mandolin fun...

video

Cadillac Sky followed the Grascals, and unfortunately I have no videos or photos of their performance. This was the first time hearing them for me, and while I didn't take to them at all at first, once I moved back farther and wasn't blasted by the music that in my mind was presented way too loud, I could see that if I gave them more time I may become more of a fan.

The Greencards closed Friday night and I am a big fan of theirs! Another one of those young hot bands that is always a pleasure to see and hear. And guess what? Sam also joined them for a few tunes and they made sure that everyone knew what a priviledge is it for them to have Sam join them. Again, unfortunately, I have no photos of them and Sammy...I was really having some camera/batteries issues goin' on at that time! I did manage to take a couple of decent photos of them before Sam joined them...



I'll work on the second day of the festival later....

Peace, David

1st annual Newgrass Festival!

Back in March I regrettably came to the conclusion that I had to drop a couple of festivals from my schedule, as they were just not good for my business. (I have no clue why those two haven't been successful....and all the others have been.) It wasn't long after this decision that I received an email from a friend/patron, telling me of a new festival that I probably would be interested in....and she was right! I have since worked and become friends with Kenny Lee (Smith), the producer of the International Newgrass Festival...and it has been a hoot! When he told me in our first phone conversation that the festival is "all about Sam" (Bush), I knew that this was a festival for me! Kenny Lee is a longtime friend and bandmate of Sam's...I found out during the festival that actually Kenny Lee started the band Duckbutter back in the early 80s; more on them later.

Kenny Lee



And if this festival was "all about Sam", I should start with his contribution! He showed up on Friday, after telling Kenny Lee on Thursday night that he wanted to do some pickin' with friends....I was elated to hear this! On Friday afternoon he joined the Grascals on stage and tore it up Sammy-style, with a traditional-bluegrass taste. During his first solo the tears of joy were streaming down my cheeks....


Sammy tearin' it up, traditional-bluegrass style...

video

Sam and the Grascals....



Sam giggin' with his buddy; the John Cowan Band



Sam receiving accolades and proclamations from the county judge....Sam agreed to agree about anything the judge said. >g<



Sam and Byron during the Saturday night closer...



The Man was havin' a good time...



The encore...

video

Jammin' with Duckbutter...

video

Sam, John, and Kenny Lee....



Sam and Duckbutter drummer Jeff Jones....



Sam is The Man.....and it is fitting to hold a festival that is "all about Sam"! Thanks, Sammy, for your music and your attitude and your friendship.

Part 2 will be on the way later...

Peace, David