Monday, March 8, 2010

Tomorrow's News Bluegrass Festival - Craig's RV - Arcadia, FL - Preview

The Tomorrow's News Bluegrass Festival kicks off a three day run on Thursday, March 11 with music beginning in the afternoon.  Promoter's Keith Bass & Victor Hall promise a weekend of good music, plenty of jamming, and lively good fun at Craig's RV Park, located about seven miles north of Arcadia, Florida on route 17.  The grounds open for dry camping on Monday.  Over the past several years, park owners Alan and Vickie Wickey have made significant improvements to the performance area, increasing the size and strength of the stage and shed as well as providing a snack bar serving three meals a day with attached hot showers.  There is almost endless  field parking for RVers on gently sloping ground that provides good drainage.  While not providing hookups, this is one of the better sites for attending a bluegrass festival in the state.

Craig's Stage Area

Craig's Snack Bar
Field Camping

Keith Bass and Victor Hall are coming back with a second, smaller festival, having successfully assumed management of  YeeHaw Junction in January. The festival takes the name of the host band, Tomorrow's News, suggesting an offer of presenting good rising bands that fans haven't necessarily heard of yet, but that promise to be on people's lips in the future.

The Hagar's Mountain Boys

The Hagar's Mountain Boys come from Roxboro, NC in one of the core areas for traditional bluegrass. They maintain a traditional bluegrass sound while also featuring the soulful voice of Blake Johnson who brings a contemporary vocal flavor to their work and present originals written by band members or for the band as well as more familiar material. Ricky Stroud's strong leadership and solid work on mandolin and singing tenor harmonies has served to mold a solid and entertaining bluegrass band. Their recent third CD release, Forever Yours, has garnered strong reviews and is helping drive a marked spread in this relatively new band's outreach. They have been appearing in increasingly high profile venues. This is their first appearance in Florida. 

The Bluegrass Brothers

The Bluegrass Brothers provide evidence of what can happen when a first rate group of festival jammers takes the music and some hard work seriously.  During the past several years, this hard working, high energy band has steadily improved and widened the scope of its repertoire.  Young Steve and Donnie Dowdy have significantly improved as instrumentalists, and the band is a crowd pleaser with its enthusiasm and work ethic.  Familiar to Florida audiences, they never fail to entertain.  

Steve and Donnie Dowdy
Victor Dowdy

The Wilson Family Band
Robert & Mellissa Wilson
The Wilson Family Band comes from the small south Georgia town of Folkston.  They have become regional favorites in Florida and Georgia, ranging from time-to-time as far north as South Carolina and west to Kentucky with their pleasing combination of deeply felt gospel music and enjoyable bluegrass songs, a number of them written by son Clint and his sister Katie.  Friends of ours for several years, they serve as a model for successful family bands, keeping their values clear and simple and providing a rich a rewarding family life.  Their performances are always well received by their audiences.
Clint Wilson

Katie Wilson

Ken Scoggins & Miller's Creek

 Ken Scoggins & Miller's Creek hails from Rock Hill, South Carolina. Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine has said,"They feature smooth harmonies and solid picking in a program rich with strong material. This is a relatively new band that should offer alot in the future..." 

Generations Bluegrass Band

Generations Bluegrass, fronted by third generation picker Leron Rogers and his wife April, a first generation performer, includes Bobby Martin (second generation) as well as Ryan Clark and Katie Rogers (… well, you get the idea). This is a Florida based family band that has been mostly associated with the Southwest Florida Bluegrass Association.

The Palmetto Ramblers Bluegrass Band
Palmetto Ramblers describe themselves as a hard-driving traditional bluegrass band based in Florida. Guitarist and lead singer Charlie Hoskins traces his history in bluegrass back to the seventies. The band's web site contains no information about its other members or useful pictures.

Tomorrow's News
 Tomorrow's News is host band for this festival and contains, as members, Keith Bass and Victor Hall, co-promoters of the event. The band began as a gospel band and still retains this commitment while having extended its range and reach into bluegrass and, perhaps, beyond as lead singer, seventeen year old Kalyn finds her own voice and develops her delivery.  This band deserves watching for its present strength and future potential.

Victor Hall
Keith Bass

Bryce Hall

Kalyn Hall

For further information about the Tomorrow's News Bluegrass Festival, check out the festival flyer here.  The map below shows where the festival can be found.

See you there.
Several pictures in this preview are band promos taken from their web sites, as I had not had an opportunity to photograph them or did not have photos I wanted to post.