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.
Jamie Lynn Buckner
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mickey Harris & Ben Helsen
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.
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.