Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival - Fri

Friday was a huge day at Gettysburg.  It was a hot, lovely day with fleecy clouds and enough breeze to keep it comfortable.  Performances were uniformly strong.  The day felt much more like a Saturday at most  festivals, building to a rousing climax with the Tony Rice & Mountain Heart set followed by three more very strong sets from top bands.  A great festival day.

 Darin & Brooke Aldridge

This rising young band features a pleasing combination of gospel and secular music delivered with grace and subtlety by Darin and Brooke.  He's been a seasoned touring professional for a considerable time, having gone on the road with Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen when he was a teenager.  Brooke, who hails from the hollers just of the Blue Ridge Parkway has a pleasing and powerful voice that blends beautifully with Darin's lighter tenor.  This is a band to watch.

Darin & Brooke

Chris Bryant

Eddie Biggerstaff

Perry Woodie

Josh Greene

Darin Aldridge

Brooke Aldridge

The Claire Lynch Band

Claire, nominated for female vocalist of the year this year at IBMA, brings a delightful blend of traditional bluegrass, swing, and more to the stage with her very strong band.  She never fails to deliver.


Mark Schatz

Jason Thomas

Matt Wingate



Mountain Heart

Mountain Heart performed twice on Friday at Gettysburg, once with their high powered rock and blues infused performance and once as back-up band for Tony Rice.  In each of these capacities, their performance showed a mastery of their chosen styles.  They can deliver traditional bluegrass with the best of them and bend the genre nearly to the breaking point.  They remain a talented and entertaining band.

Barry Abernathy

Jim Van Cleve

Aaron Ramsey

Josh Shilling

Jake Stargell

The Grascals

It seems hard to believe that the Grascals have only been on the scene  for six years.  Their accomplishments in winning awards and spreading the word about bluegrass into new venues have been good for bluegrass and for them. While there have been several changes in the band over the years, they have never lost their focus, the attractiveness of their high quality.  Kristin Scott Benson on the banjo brings a delightful balance to this already vastly enjoyable band.  
Jamie Johnson & Terry Smith

Terry Eldredge

Danny Roberts

Kristin Scott Benson

Jeremy Abshire

Terry Eldredge & Kristin Scott Benson

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

IIIrd Tyme out has renewed its strengths and entered into what appears to be a resurrection of its popularity and effectiveness as a touring and recording band.  Few bands can point to having maintained the highest levels of quality as well as this one can.  The current version is strong at every position and this year has garnered the most IBMA nominations in its history.

Russell Moore

Steve Dilling

Wayne Benson

Justin Haynes

Edgar Loudermilk


Kristin Watches Her Husband

The Grass Cats

The Grass Cats are generally seen as a very high quality regional band focused on North Carolina appearances.  It is, therefore, a special delight to see them having journeyed to Gettysburg for their two very good sets here.  Since they don't travel far or often, audiences should seek to go out of their way to hear this band, whose material ranges from very traditional to more contemporary  approaches.

Russell Johnson

Tim Woodall

Steven Martin

Chris Hill

Rick Lafleur

Tony Rice
Tony Rice has been appearing with Mountain Heart in a series of performances that have been well received everywhere they appear together.   I'm separating pictures of Tony here, because his performance merits special attention, and many of the best photo opportunities I had were back stage.  I want to thank him for his patience with the intrusion my camera often represents. 
Tony Rice with Sachiko Waller

Tony Examines Josh Greene's Accutron

Tony On Stage with Mountain Heart

Wayne Bledsoe - Emcee