Saturday, July 26, 2008

MACC Friday - And Better

Friday at MACC (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer) opened quietly with the air warm and the sky a little overcast. After two days of wonderful music, the crowd gathered slowly and built through the day as the sky turned blue, a warm breeze kept people cooled off, and the music just kept on comin'. This festival features some of the very best bands preserving the sound and style of traditional bluegrass while offering more contemporary country and bluegrass bands a forum, too.

Steep Canyon Rangers

The Steep Canyon Rangers have a traditional sound and look while featuring content that's as contemporary as yesterday. They limped into the park tired and road weary, their van having blown a transmission on the way in. They proceeded to lay down a truly steller set of their very fine sound.
Mike Guggino

Nicky Sanders

Charles Humphrey

Graham Sharp
Woody Platt

Mark Newton Band

Mark Newton hit the stage with energy and commitment and played a lively set that was well received by the crowd. This veteran entertainer offers pleasant and enjoyable music, deserving more attention than he gets.

Mark Newton

Tony Wray

Beth Lawrence

John Wheat

Dave Denman

Don Rigsby and Midnight Call

Don Rigsby runs a program in traditional music at Moorehead State University in Kentucky. His band reflects his commitment to conserving and spreading traditional bluegrass in the authenticity of their sound and their emphasis on playing material from the first generation of bluegrass music. Rigsby and his band mates present are entertaining and solid.

Don Rigsby
Dale Vanderpool

Robert Maynard

Clyde Marshall

Gerald Evans

Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers

Joe Mullins played banjo with the original Longview and promotes traditional bluegrass in Ohio. His band, fitted out in the loudest sports shirts in bluegrass, offers straight out traditional bluegrass with flair and enthusiasm.

Joe Mullins

Adam McIntosh

Mike Terri

Tim Kidd

Evan MacGregor

Bill Emerson and The Sweet Dixie Band

Bill Emerson is one of the banjo greats from the second generation of bluegrass music. His new band features Wayne C. Taylor, recently retired from the Navy and its famed bluegrass band Country Current. The vocal mix and song selection is eclectic and very enjoyable. The musicianship is superb.
Bill Emerson

Wayne C. Taylor

Wayne Lanham

Teri Chism

Con Burch

Blue Highway

Now in its fourteenth year, Blue Highway has forged a record of excellence and innovation in bluegrass music while never straying from its roots. Their writing and the relevance of their music challenges and enriches the music in every way.

Jason Burleson

Wayne Taylor

Tim Stafford

Shawn Lane

Rob Ickes

Ernie Thacker & Rt. 23
Bluegrass fans are familiar with Ernie Thacker's automobile accident and his long recovery from it. Confined to a wheel chair and missing a leg, Thacker is still a musical treat along with his family and the rest of his band. They sing a combination of traditional bluegrass leavened with rock laced southern country that's a delight to hear. Steve Thomas filled in on fiddle without missing a beat.
Ernie Thacker

Dede Thacker

Matthew Thacker

Brandon Shupey

Dick Roach
Steve Thomas

The Grascals

Winners of two successive IBMA Entertainers of the Year awards, The Grascals can be counted on to present a high energy, take no prisoners performance every time out. For the MACC crowd they were at the top of their form musically as well as personally. Their show, even when seen fairly often stays fresh. People who haven't had the pleasure should consider going out of their way to see this band.
Danny Roberts

Jeremy Abshire

Jamie Johnson

Aaron "Boo" McDaris

Terry Eldredge

Terry Smith

J.D Crowe & The New South

For more than thirty years J.D. Crowe has been an innovator and a huge creative force in bluegrasss music in general and the banjo in particular. His elegant picking, complemented by a very strong band, continues at the very top. Dwight McCall on mandolin and Rickey Wasson singing lead bring real strength.

J.D. Crowe

Steve Thomas

Rickey Wasson

Dwight McCall

John Bowman

The MACC Opry

One of the notable features of the MACC is Darel Adkins ability to put new and different combinations of musicians on the stage to perform together. Friday night's version featured exciting and stirring music culiminating in Wayne Taylor's stirring rendition of "Proud to Be an American." There were so many highlights they can't all be covered. But here's a sample:

Bill Emerson and J.D. Crowe

Valerie Story and Carl Jackson