The Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival will kick off its eighth four day season on June 26, 2008 at the Weston Recreation Area a mile or two north of the picturesque village of Weston, VT off Greendale Road. This delightful, small festival will feature the strongest lineup in its history. National bands are led by The Dan Tyminski Band and include The Gibson Brothers, Dan Paisley & Southern Grass, and David Parmley & Continental Divide. Supplementing these bands will be local and regional bands, many familiar favorites at this annual get together. Although the park offers no hookups, camping spaces will be a premium. The gates open first thing Thursday morning, and wise campers will arrive early.
Jenny Brook always offers plenty of local and regional talent. The friendly voice of Smokey Greene will be heard again this year. Now well into his seventies and engaged on a long farewell tour, Smokey sings old country songs with the emphasis on Ernest Tubb and humorous songs of his own composition. Fans request favorites like “I Don’t Look Good Naked Any More” and “Waltz around Texas with You.” Smokey has a very pleasant baritone voice accompanied by his own playing on the guitar. Family and Friends is a band composed of members of the Rolf family who usually sing on Thursday evening. They also own and operate the Danby Four Corners Store selling quality acoustic instruments. They sing old time country and Linda’s compositions. The Seth Sawyer Band performs several times during the festival. They’re very solid. Seth’s song for Candi “Green Mountain Girl” vies for recognition as the quintessential New England bluegrass song. The Sawyer Family Band, featuring Candi and the Sawyer’s two sons Adam and Mathew will also perform.
Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters leads the regional bands coming to Jenny Brook. Gallatin’s pleasing voice and spritely appearance on the stage coupled with Roger Williams’ very fine Dobro playing and Ben Pearce on mandolin provide an enjoyable mix of bluegrass, country, and western songs. A transplant from the west, Gallatin is based in Connecticut. Her band has not previously appeared at Jenny Brook. Attendees will receive a very pleasant surprise. We haven’t heard White Mountain Bluegrass, The Old Time Bluegrass Singers, or Acoustic Blue yet. The first two are veteran bluegrass bands who play festivals in New England during the summer. White Mountain Bluegrass also has a regular weekend gig at Applecrest Orchard Farms during apple harvest time in the fall. The Old Time Bluegrass Singers claim musical descent from Joe Val. They play New England venues. Acoustic Blue is a younger band whose web site and MySpace page suggest they play their own material as well as covers. Jenny Brook is very good about showcasing bands many people may not previously have heard. It’s always good to get to hear new bands, and sometimes one really sticks out as a surprise. Those are bands worth highlighting and supporting.