Saturday, February 19, 2011

Joe Val Bluegrass Festival - Friday

The three day Joe Val Bluegrass Festival kicked off at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham, MA on Friday evening  after a full day of master class workshops taking place while the volunteer crew set the hotel up.  As the afternoon progressed, I felt like I was at a winter reunion of summer camp.  People we haven't laid eyes on since before Labor Day kept walking in the doors, instruments in hand and coolers full, to enjoy a weekend packed with great music from the stage, a wide range of workshops, twenty-four hour jamming, and all one would expect from a comprehensive bluegrass festival.  As usual, in my daily posts from festivals will focus more on impressions than on analysis.  Suffice it to say, the folks at the Boston Bluegrass Union, especially event producer Gerry Katz and President Stan Zdonik provide a solid balance between top-notch New England bands and fine national performers to provide a model for what a good indoor festival should look ant feel like.

The Sheraton Hotel

Tony Trischka Workshop

Phil Leadbetter Workshop

Tony Watt  Workshop

George Kosorowski in the Hallway



Frank Solivan & Stefan Custodi at Opening Reception

Darwin Davidson Presents Stan Zdonik 
with a more acceptable clip board

Berklee College All-Stars

Jack Devereaux & John Mailander

 Matt Wittler

Kyle Tuttle

Hot Mustard

Bruce Stockwell
Kelly Stockwell

 Bill Jubett
Bill Jubett & April Hobart

Alice Waters - #1 Bluegrass Fan

 Northern Lights Reunion

Mike Kropp

Jeffrey Horton
Jake Armerding

 Bill Henry

Taylor Armerding
Alex MacLeod

Kim Cyr

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

 Frank Solivan

Mike Munford

Lincoln Meyers

 Stephan Custodi

Tony Trischka & Territory

 Tashina Claridge

Michael Daves

Skip Ward

Word came in mid-evening that J.D. Crowe had fallen at a rest stop as he stepped out of his tour bus. He broke his arm in a couple of places and was rushed to the emergency room at a local hospital.  This sent the brain trust into a high powered search for a replacement band.  Since there are three large festivals along the east coast this weekend, finding a band not working was difficult.  Word finally came that Dan Paisley will drive up to fill the hole on Saturday evening.

Brain Trust at Work
Stan Zdonik, Ken Irwin, Jerry Katz
Mary Burdette, Katy Daley
Opening night at Joe Val proved to be a fine mixture of traditional and progressive sounds in a warm environment with highly charged vibe.  Come back tomorrow.