In many ways the Carolina Road Homecoming Bluegrass Festival functions as a family reunion as much as it does a musical event. Promoter Lorraine Jordan brings together a pretty large number of local and regional bluegrass bands for what functions as a showcase for the many promoters from the region who show up for this event. Lorraine’s loyalty to her many friends can be seen in the bands she invites, the active participation of her fan club as volunteers, the social climate of the festival, and the generally high quality of the music. Both today’s and tomorrow’s reports will include more pictures than words, but if festival means having a great time (festive) with old and new friends while engaging in a pastime enjoyed by all who decided to attend, then we had a festival. As the weekend wore on, perhaps more people could be found in the hallways and meeting rooms than in the audience at times, but they were sharing together in the fellowship of a bluegrass community coming off a winter of relative quiet and moving into a spring and summer of making and hearing fine music together. Who could ask for more?
Chris Jobe & Jordan
Jerry Butler, lead singer for Carolina Road joined by band mates John Wade and Josh Goforth along with other pickers who all have first names starting with J played an enjoyable set. Jerry has been working on a solo project with John Wade featuring some of bluegrass music's brightest lights and consisting of a collection of truck songs. Watch for it.
Band Feud Game
This interlude pitted Carolina Road against Al Batten & the Bluegrass Reunion
in a take-off of Family Feud, as seen on TV. Lots of fun was had by all.
Note the piles of stuffed animals along the front of the stage. These were used as decorations throughout the festival and donated to the Shrine Hospital in South Carolina along with donations left on the pile. What a terrific idea as well as a welcome change from the usual pots of geraniums borrowed or rented from local florists.
Nothing can capture the spirit of this even more than what can be seen in a few of these pictures. Above, Nathan Aldredge on fiddle, plays with his father Mike Aldridge on mandolin. Two of Mike's older sons are both members of Constant Change, which also appeared on Friday. Below you'll see pictures of fiddler Johnny Ridge with his grandaughter Kendall singing with the band. Bluegrass has long been a family affair. The Carolina Road Homecoming exemplfies this spirit with both a narrow and a broader conceptualization of the word "Family."