Even if there weren’t going to be a lot of very good bluegrass music played at Denton Farmpark next week, a trip to this venue would be worth the effort. The addition of a bunch of good regional and national bands makes this festival a “must” in the Fall bluegrass season. The Denton Farmpark Bluegrass Festival runs from September 25 – 27th outside Denton and convenient to most of the major population centers of North Carolina. The major headliners will be Blue Highway, nominated for six IBMA awards, Grasstowne (4 nominations), Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper with two nominations, and the Steep Canyon Rangers, also with two nominations. Other major bands include James King, the Circuit Riders, and Lost & Found.
The Denton Farmpark alone is worth the price of admission. Open only three days a year for events including two bluegrass festivals and the Threshers Reunion, Denton Farmpark contains a very interesting of late 19th century and early 20th century rural farm and town buildings as well as a vast and interesting collection of farm vehicles and implements. Oh, there’s a train, too. The main stage is a large tin roofed building with a strong rake allowing very good sight lines. The wooden benches are hard, so it well-behooves attendees to bring cushions along.
Bands new to us at this year’s fall Farmpark Festival include Movin’ on Bluegrass, which won this year’s RenoFest band championship, Buck & Company, hailing from Parkersburg, WV, and A Touch of Blue. Al Batten & the Bluegrass Reunion is a regional favorite that can be counted on for driving traditional bluegrass and solid entertainment. Carolina Sonshine, based in southeastern North Carolina and Loris, South Carolina, has extended its reach and continues to develop its combination of Gospel bluegrass, traditional covers, especially of the Country Gentlemen because of Danny Stanley’s fine baritone voice, and amusing skit comedy harkening back to the early days of bluegrass music. The Circuit Riders have also developed as a high level band with widening national attention. Composed of members of the last band that traveled with Charlie Waller, this band was highly visible at Merlefest in April and has a recording contract with Pinecastle. They’re worth keeping a close eye on as they extend their reach.
Here’s a selection of pictures from past appearances of some of these performers:
The Denton Farmpark is a very large facility and there will be plenty of camping spaces available. Tickets at the gate cost $75.00 for the three day weekend. Please be sure to look me up while we're there.