There will be a Jam and Supper on Thursday evening. Friday's festivities open at 5:00 PM. The evening's headliner will be The Darin & Brooke Aldridge Band. With a CD that has reached the Bluegrass Unlimited charts and two songs in the top thirty list of BU, this band, which is based in Cherryville, has reached national prominence by dint of their talent, hard work, and commitment.
Local band Unspoken Tradition will also appear on Friday. This band is interesting because its members were all students of Darin Aldridge's and they came together during jam sessions at the legendary Bomb Shelter, a noted local jam site often mentioned in Dr. Tom Bibey's web log and found only by those who know where to look. The Catawba Valley Youth Band will also play on both days.
Saturday offers a good variety of touring bands in addition to a strong selection of local offerings. The Goldwing Express, a Branson style show band which has developed a strong fan base despite not receiving air play on bluegrass radio, will feature its blend of family humor, familiar songs, and over-the-top patriotic fervor which puts fans in the seats at festivals everywhere.
Perhaps the most interesting band to take the stage on Saturday will be Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa. Taylor retired a couple of years ago from Country Current, and began touring with his current band about eighteen months ago. The band will be releasing its first CD within the next couple of weeks and will be showcasing at official and after hours events at the upcoming IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) meetings in Nashville. They have appeared to very appreciative audiences at a number of festivals this spring and fall, and their bookings continue to increase. At Gettysburg they sang a combination of familiar Wayne Taylor songs from his Country Current Days, newer or previously less frequently performed works from his catalog, and a fine bluegrass setting of a Bob Dylan song. Taylor has one of the finest lead voices in bluegrass and his flat picking is very solid. The band, featuring mandolin virtuoso Emory Lester and the able, young banjo player Lee Marcus, becomes tighter and stronger with each performance. Keen Hyatt on bass is strong, too. This band will be receiving strong responses from festival fans and from CD sales during the coming year. This small event represents an excellent chance to see and hear them now.
Join promoters John and Linda Hunsucker for a weekend of good bluegrass music. I look forward to meeting you there.