Despite persistent rain and a big thunderstorm with strikes all around the fairgrounds and one hit at the Sugar Shack, the crowd who came to the Jenny Brook Family Bluegrass Festival this weekend stayed in good humor, came out to see the bands, participated in workshops, continued to jam all over the camping area, and came to the stage to see some of the best bluegrass available anywhere, from the regional bands and great national groups.
Hot Mustard won last year's band contest at the Grass Seed Gazebo Stage at Jenny Brook, earning a Sunday slot in the lineup. A year later, they have appeared in a variety of venues around New England, including opening for Tony Trischka on his New England tour a month or so ago. They had a regular slot Jenny Brook this year and performed their satisfying blend of conventional bluegrass songs blended with some jazz and some excellent double banjo work. Check out their schedule to see where else they'll be appearing this summer.
The Grass Seeds Gazebo Stage
The Gazebo Stage
Leroy Troy Conducts Banjo Workshop
During the afternoon the clouds lifted as blue showed through and even a few glimpses of sunshine and real shadows cast by it were seen. Some people were even seen swimming in the river.
Saturday afternoon at the main stage featured performances by bands that have been covered earlier or will be tomorrow. The Seth Sawyer Band, Hot Mustard, and White Mountain Bluegrass all presented top notch performances. Darin & Brooke Aldridge excelled in two sets from the main stage, bringing the audience to its feet. More about them tomorrow, too.
During the second Tennessee Mafia Jug Band set, just as it was getting dark, a large black cloud came in from the west and soon we were in the midst of a pretty strong thunderstorm, which stopped everything for about 45 minutes. Simultaneous lightning and thunder hit all around us, and we later learned that the Sugar Shack had been close enough for a staff member to get a "tingle" and sparks to arc between the metal appliances inside it. Pretty scary.
The evening closed out with fine performances from both the Boxcars and the Gibson Brothers. It was a most satisfying day and jamming continued long into the night.