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Friday, July 25, 2008
MACC Thursday - It Keeps On Gettin' Better
Thursday at MACC (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer) continued to show the generosity of bluegrass musicians and their commitment to supporting a worthy cause. They came to perform and stayed to visit and join their friends on stage and back stage. The spirit the pervades these grounds is electric as they combine to help support the efforts of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It's impossible to escape the sense that there's something much larger than a bluegrass festival going on here. Meanwhile, today was a musical feast for lovers of traditional bluegrass music.
Rehersal of MACC Children's Band
The Buses Keep on Rolling In
Pine Mountain Railroad
This traditional band opened with a very solid set and then continued when, sadly, one of the bands was unable to appear. The performed with energy and enthusiasm and were well received by the growing early afternoon crowd. The opening act position is always difficult for a band.
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
The appeal of this band goes way beyond a blind musician who has overcome his handicap. Mike
Cleveland is flat out a great fiddler. Supported by a strong band, Mike's grin of pure joy reaches out to everyone who's near him, and the music is universal.
The Larry Stephenson Band
Larry has one of the purest, cleanest tenor voices in bluegrass. His band straight through is very strong, complementing his voice perfectly. Kristen Scott Benson, especially, provides wonderfully blended harmonies as well as first rate banjo.
Kristen Scott Benson
Dailey & Vincent
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent, after notable careers with other big time bands havequickly established themselves as a first-rate band in their own right. Featuring a blend of lively bluegrass mixed with heart felt gospel music, they delight their fans and attract new ones at every event.
Joe Dean, Jr.
Larry Sparks represents the second generation of bluegrass greats with his mellow and melodious baritone voice and high quality picking. His band is well designed to support his singing as he reprises familiar songs from his long and distinguished career.
Larry D. Sparks
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
This exceptional and now historic band made a second day's appearance to huge response from the audience. There isn't a lead singer in bluegrass with a finer voice than Russell Moore nor a band working together with greater cooperation and affection than this one. The addition of Doug Driscoll singing bass on the quartets as well as his "Sixteen Tons" has filled a needed spot and added a legend to their story as bus driver becomes a valued voice in a band.
The Original Longview Reunion
Longview came together as a recording event and performs only rarely. Darrel Adkins has brought this band together and their appearance was more than worth the effort. Longview maintains the finest elements of traditional bluegrass with a level of excitement that beyond the reach of most bands. Each person in the band has or does front his own band or bands and has an established individual reputation. Without doubt, this is one of the ground breaking bluegrass band, perhaps equal in talent and reach to the fabled Bluegrass Album Band.
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
Rhonda Vincent had the unenviable position of closing a long night of great music. She kept the crowd in place with a fine performance and then, as is her usual practice, signed well into the night.
Hunter Berry (backstage)
National Anthem and Tribute
In mid-evening Darrel Addkins stopped the proceedings as the superb sound crew played the recording of Kim Fox singing the National Anthem from the "Celebration of Life" CD, bringing the crowd to its feet. Then Dailey & Vincent then took the stage to sing "More Than a Name on the Wall" with great emotional effect.