Friday, August 20, 2010

Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival 2010 - Thursday

I'd been watching the weather forecasts for Gettysburg for almost two weeks seeing nothing but thunderstorms in the future.  After rain early in the week, Thursday dawned bright and clear, promising hot later in the day.  Lots of people would be happy to have the pool nearby, and the warmth continued into the evening, making it a perfect day to be at a bluegrass festival.

The Hillbilly Gypsies
A West Virginia almost old-time bluegrass band, The Hillbilly Gypsies won the 2009 DelFest band contest and won a place on this year's DelFest lineup.  They opened Gettysburg today with energy and enthusiasm.  The band will continue to develop their stage presence and become increasingly tight, while seeking to avoid losing their rough edge, which gives them much of their charm.  They were a solid opening act.

Trae Buckner

Jamie Lynn Buckner

Dave Asti

Ty Jaquay

Jason Teal


Don Rigsby & Midnight Call

Kentucky's Don Rigsby brought his band Midnight Call to Gettysburg and delivered a lesson in what traditional music is and how to present it.  There are lots of bands calling themselves "traditional," but few, if any, come to the stage with the polish, comitment, and drive of Rigsby and his group.  Don was in especially fine voice, and his sets were very well received.

Don Rigsby

Clive Marshall

Lloyd Herring

Matt Hooper

Jayd Rains

The Gibson Brothers

Tired from their long drive to Gettysburg from Green Bay, WI and energized by news they had been nominated for four IBMA awards, the Gibson Brothers came to play, showing the audience why they had been tagged for recognition.  Their unique brother harmonies, the best in contemporary music, coupled with their superlative song writing have combined to deliver them to the top of the pack.  Their CD "Ring the Bell" topped the Bluegrass Unlimited charts for most of the year, while two of the songs from that album have also consistently charted.  One red-faced fan came to the merchandise table in the evening to buy a CD and appeared so overcome with emotion trying to talk to Eric he could scarcely speak.  This is the kind of enthusiastic emotional response is typical wherever they appear.

Eric Gibson

Leigh Gibson
Mike Barber

Joe Walsh

Clayton Campbell

Immediately after their set, the Gibsons moved to the Workshop Tent where they delivered a set labeled "Gibson Brothers Sing Their Favorite Songs" in which they offered some of their country favorites, songs of their own they seldom sing on stage, and at least one new song from their upcoming CD, for which they'll go into the studio in October.


Workshop Audience

 Rhonda Vincent & The Rage

One of the most remarkable things about Rhonda Vincent is her ability to light up the stage with  her combination of folksiness, sexiness, and charm before returning to her merchandise table where she patiently greets each of the many people waiting in line with her endless enthusiasm, making comments she must have made thousands of times seem personal and spontaneous.  She is totally with each person, never hurrying them along and staying to greet everyone until the last.  

Rhonda Vincent

Hunter Berry

Mickey Harris & Ben Helsen

Rhonda's People

Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie Band

Bill Emerson, one of the founding members of the legendary Country Gentlemen, is a Washington icon and continues to tour as he enters his seventies.  The band offers a mix of classic bluegrass and new music which is pleasing and entertaining.

Bill Emerson

Wayne Lanham
Chris Stiefel 

Teri Chism

Lynn Morris Running Sound for Emerson

Eric Gibson and Lynn Morris


Irene Watching the Gibson Brothers

Friday will be another great day at Gettysburg.  Come back for more.