Ernie Evans and Pat Tillman
Picker’s Paradise Park in Ochlocknee, GA (a few miles north of the lovely town of Thomasville) provides a good base to develop into a first rate music park. Located on a flat, large piece of land beside a picturesque pond, the park has a tin roof shed with plenty of space underneath and good site lines from the side. The stage is well-sized. The back of the shed contains an adequate kitchen which offered a limited but tasty menu of hamburgers, and barbecued pork or chicken. An excellent hot dog vendor was there for part of the festival as well as a well-supplied instrument vendor. Porta- johns were adequate and were kept very clean. The 125 water and electric sites at Picker’s Paradise Park are adequate for a small festival, but will need to be upgraded should Pat Tillman wish to attract a larger crowd. He expressed a desire to build both a shower/flush toilet facility and a dump station. These provisions would make his park more attractive to both RVers and tent campers. Pat and his staff were extremely pleasant and eager to please. On the whole, this park shows great promise to develop into a venue for medium sized, quality bluegrass festival. The grounds are certainly large enough to allow significant growth.
Brian Gandy (Gandy Brothers)
Brendan Andrews (Andrews Family)
Michael Andrews (Andrews Family)
Pure and Simple Bluegrass
Pure and Simple Bluegrass (MySpace) stands out as the surprise band for this festival. (Parenthetical question: would readers prefer that I link to a band’s web site or its MySpace page when I have a choice? Leave a comment or e-mail me.) This six piece band offers both high quality work on traditional bluegrass; some interesting grass takes on songs from other genres (Lynard Skynard, Alabama, Grateful Dead, Steve Goodman, and the Eagles). Add to this some delightful on-stage banter, a bunch of corny jokes at each other’s expense, and genuine delight in each other’s company, and you have a band worth watching and listening to. Dobro player Travis Perry promotes a festival in their home town of Dothan, Alabama which looks like a sure winner. Check out the Great American Bluegrass Festival. Pure and Simple’s trio is tight and sounds good. Their picking is enjoyable, and their enthusiasm infectious. They were a real presence at The Great Southern Bluegrass Festival and a delight to meet and be around.
Travis Perry (Pure and Simple)