Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bluegrass on the Waccamaw - Conway, SC - Preview

The Late Jennings Chestnut

The fourteenth annual Bluegrass on the Waccamaw will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at the Old Peanut Warehouse in Conway, SC sadly missing its founder Jennings Chestnut but continuing to offer a traditional bluegrass festival "Free to the Public."  While part of the heart has gone out of this wonderful little event, the soul, with its commitment to carrying on spirit of this event will be carried on by Jennings' partner Donald Smith and Shane Hubbard, both Conway business men long associated with the festival along with a corps of dedicated and experienced volunteers.

Donald Smith

Shane Hubbard

The Old Peanut Warehouse is an historical, weathered wooden warehouse located under the bridge into Conway over the Waccamaw River.  The building's Strom Thurmond porch provides a great venue for presenting bluegrass. 
The Old Peanut Warenouse

A Tent Provides Plenty of Shade
The Beautiful Waccamaw River Flows Nearby

And Jammers Congregate on the River Walk

The River Walk

Bluegrass on the Waccamaw will kick off with a barbecue supper held inside the Peanut Warehouse.  Tickets for this event cost $25.00 with all proceeds going to support the continuance of the festival.  Music for this always enjoyable evening of music and fellowship will be provided by The Wolfe Brothers String Band, one of whose members, Dale Morris, will also be the emcee on Saturday, after having performed the same function at Merlefest the previous week. The dinner will be a traditional Chicken Bog supper, which is always tasty, prepared by Larry Dickerson, a local restaurateur.  For further information about this event, call Shane Hubbard at (843) 222-2580.

The Wolfe Brothers String Band
Publicity Photo from Band Web Site

Dale Morris
On Saturday morning music begins at 12:30 and runs until 10:00 P.M. with no admission charge.  As Jennings Chestnut was fond of saying, "Just because Bluegrass on the Waccamaw is 'Free to the Public' doesn't mean it doesn't cost anything."  Those attending the event or wishing to support it are invited to make donations to help cover the cost of production.  Please send checks to:

Bluegrass on the Waccamaw
2514 Graham Rd.
Conway, SC 29526

Contributers will Receive this Decal

As has been the custom at Bluegrass on the Waccamaw for the past thirteen years, music will be provided by a combination of well known touring national bands, regional up-and-comers, and local favorites.  To see the entire lineup and schedule, click here


Grasstowne was established three years ago and has since produced two fine CD's and toured widely to high acclaim.  Founding members Alan Bibey on mandolin and Steve Gulley, one of the premier tenor singers in bluegrass music, will be joined this year by guest artist Ron Stewart, multiple winner of IBMA instrumental awards for his instrumental work on both banjo and fiddle.  

Alan Bibey
Steve Gulley
Ron Stewart

All three members of Grasstowne will be presenting free instrument workshops during the festival at the workshop tent down near the River Walk.

Alan Bibey Workshop

The Little Roy and Lizzie Show

Little Roy Lewis has long been a fixture both nationally and at Bluegrass on the Waccamaw appearing with his sisters in The Lewis Family, a renouned gospel band.  Now touring with his protege Lizzie Long,  attendees can expect the legendary Little Roy humor and and fine picking in a new, more secular format.  Supported by a strong band, the group is sure to entertain.

Little Roy Lewis
Lizzie Long

Darin & Brooke Aldridge
The Darin and Brooke Aldridge Band performed last year at the benefit supper on Friday evening.  This year, with a  self-titled new hit CD reaching onto the charts, they're featured on the stage at Bluegrass on the Waccamaw with their excellent band.  Begun as a gospel band three years ago, this duo has drawn rave reviews in churches, at festivals, at the annual convention of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and on Sirius/XM Radio.  Don't miss this exciting young band so you'll be able to enjoy them now and, in a few years, say, "I saw them in Conway when they were just starting out."

Darin & Brooke

They also host their own festival in Cherryville, NC each April.

The Snyder Family Band
Fourteen year old Zeb Snyder, an contest winning flat picking guitarist, and his ten year old sister Samantha, also a winning contest fiddler, have been raising eyebrows for several years, not just for their potential, but for their polished performances now.  Last week they made their debut at Merlefest, where they were invited to participate in the famous Midnight Jam, and created quite a buzz.  Sometimes joined on stage by their mother Laine and four year old younger brother Owen, this emerging band is sure to please.  They're returning to Bluegrass on the Waccamaw for the third time.

Zeb Snyder with Father Bud

Samantha Snyder

People visiting Conway, which lies only a few miles west of the bustling Myrtle Beach Grand Strand, for the first time will find a charming southern town with streets shaded by majestic live oak trees.  The City has often chosen  to preserve the trees rather allow drivers to zip through town, making for charming zig-zags in the middle of town neighborhoods.  There's ample parking within a few steps of the Old Peanut Warehouse.  Food is provided by a vendor, or visitors can stroll a couple of blocks and select from one of several fine restaurants in town.  

You Can Find Conway Here

Bluegrass on the Waccamaw is one those out-of-the-way small events that delight lovers of good bluegrass music as well as people savoring a taste of local color and regional culture.  Drop in for a few hours or come to spend the entire day at the very family friendly event.  Please observe the Waccamaw request to leaves Alcohol, Coolers, and Pets at home.  

Willie Chestnut

Jennings Chestnut with Daughter Ginger Campbell