Friday, June 19, 2009

Jenny Brook 2009 - Thursday

The Tunbridge World's Fair grounds turn out to be even better as a site for a bluegrass festival than my initial response suggested. As people rolled in on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday all day, it became obvious that the grounds could absorb large numbers of campers in rigs of varying sizes. A lovely brook runs along one edge of the site, allowing people seeking a little distance the luxury of sleeping with the sound of running water soothing them to sleep.

Wednesday evening featured a very successful covered dish supper followed by a barn dance with live music. The food was plentiful and tasty, the music lively, and a few people even danced. People who've been coming to Jenny Brook for years had a chance to re-unite and enjoy some good fellowship. After supper, a movie was provided for kids. The movie program will continue indoors for children of all ages throughout the weekend, featuring a variety of family films.

Toni & Bruce

Candi Sawyer with her Parents
Brenda and Lonnie Mathews

On Thursday, the sky remained overcast with drizzle and rain alternating. Rigs kept rolling in, and people found parking spots that suited them. Old friend jamming groups set up their compounds, while other people sought places away from the jamming where they could get a quiet night's sleep. As usual at these events, there was an air of enthusiasm as show time approached, which the rain put some damper to, but by the time the Sawyer Brothers took the stage to open the festival, there was a significant crowd underneath the spacious tents.

Seth Sawyer & the Sawyer Brothers

Seth Sawyer

Mathew Sawyer

The Pine Hill Ramblers, a pleasant and lively group from the eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire area proceeded to put on a solid and enjoyable set. Particularly effective was bassist and vocalist Claudia Landell's yodelling. Their harmonies were tight and enjoyable. More people around New England should get a chance to hear and see them.

Pine Hill Ramblers

Ben Silver

Claudie Landell

Richie Chiasson

Larry Simonson

Brenda Mathews and Friends featured a new band calling itself "Lonesome, Wild & Blue" for Brenda's annual set of old time country, which her late father Fernand Parker had so loved. Fernand, the long-time promoter of the bluegrass and country shows at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, VT recently died, at age 88, after sustaining severe burns in an accident. This year's Jenny Brook Family Bluegrass Festival is dedicated to him by his grand daughter, Candi Sawyer.

Brenda Mathews & Friends

Brenda Mathews

Rob Ravlin

Steve Hennig

Gary Hutchins

Keith Barrett

Dave Gibson

Smokey Greene has been a fixture in New England, New York, and Florida for more years than anyone else can remember. Now well into his seventies, Smokey brings a rich baritone voice accompanied by his beloved guitar, Ben A. Martin to a selection of songs ranging from old time country through bluegrass to novelty tunes always sure to please. His fans throughout the east know his music and pepper him with requests for their favorites. Backstage, there was real admiration not only for his music, but for the fact a man his age could remember the lyrics to so many great songs.

Smokey Greene

Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
closed Thursday evening with their unique brand of old timey music, country humor, and good natured fun. They'll be here for three more sets during the weekend, so I won't put too much up today. Suffice it to say, they're as entertaining as a band gets. Then, they stay around and join the crowd for evening jamming.

Leroy Troy & the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band

Leroy Troy

Mike Armistead & Dave Gandin

Lester Armistead

Pete Elegant

Joe & Marla Singleton

Brenda & Candi

Evening Jammin'