Bands on Thursday from outside the region include Remington Ryde from Pennsylvania and David Davis and the Warrior River Boys from Alabama. Davis’ band is known for its hard driving Monroe style picking and Davis’ soulful voice. Davis version of “Chancellorsville” is a heart rending telling of Stonewall Jackson’s death from friendly fire. Owen Saunders is a standout on fiddle. Remington Ryde plays mostly in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, so this event will give them broader exposure. The cuts on their web site suggest solid and traditional bluegrass. The Anita Fisher Band, featuring Ray Deaton, which hails from Georgia, will also be featured. This band is receiving wider play in recent months as folks become accustomed to Ray’s no longer being a member of IIrd Tyme Out, the band he founded. Deeper Shade of Blue plays a solid mix of gospel and traditional bluegrass. Each of the bands above will be playing two sets on Friday.
In addition, Blue ‘No’ More, Boys from Carolina, Grass Street, and Carolina Junction will each play a full set. The ever popular Al Batten & the Bluegrass Reunion will be playing a set on both Friday and Saturday. We’ve seen Batten in Florida as well as North Carolina. He’s a popular mainstay in his home state. Fiddler Johnny Ridge is a particular standout. These five bands are all from North Carolina and have strong regional backing and experience. They are seasoned bands who will delight fans of traditional bluegrass. Carolina Junction is a young band which aspires to a wider audience. Playing a somewhat more eclectic mix of music, they deserve watching. I highlighted them in my blog after their appearance at White Oak Shores last October. I could find no information on-line about Blue ‘No’ More. It’s truly important these days for bands to have at least a MySpace presence to help fans and festival organizers become familiar with them.
The Ramada Inn is conveniently located at 2703 Ramada Road, Burlington, NC 27215 and can be reached by phone at (336) 227-5541. There will be plenty of room provided for workshops and jamming. Promoters wishing to see regional bands from North Carolina and surrounding states as well as fans tired of the long winter, will welcome this homecoming festival jam-packed with fine bands.
Owen Saunders and David Davis