Thursday, January 12, 2012

YeeHaw Junction Bluegrass Festival, FL - Preview

A bumper sticker sold at the "World Famous" Desert Inn at YeeHaw Junction asks "Where the Hell is YeeHaw Junction?", a good question that bluegrass music lovers who have faithfully attended this fine traditional festival opening for its eighteenth year in the middle of a large pasture just west of the Junction of Florida Highway 60 and the Florida Turnpike don't need to ask. As they travel west from Vero Beach to the east towards Lake Wales they see a large circus tent erected, a collection of campers assembling, and a good time waiting to happen. Regular attendees at YeeHaw Junction begin arriving on Monday or Tuesday. By Wednesday, a goodly crowd has already arrived to partake of the delicious pot luck barbecue with pork provided by promoters Keith and Darlene Bass. I'm told that this year eight pigs will be roasted.  The music begins at 3:00 PM on Thursday afternoon kicked off by regional group Hiway 41 South followed by bluegrass's Hillbilly Goddess Alecia Nugent. Music continues through Saturday night with a varied lineup of largely traditional bluegrass bands. The weekend ends on Sunday morning with the popular bluegrass gospel sing and jam conducted by itinerant bluegrass preacher Mike Robinson and his wife Mary.  The event has often been our first festival on arriving in Florida, and we always look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones there.  You can purchase tickets here. Click on the word "Tickets" to purchase on line or download a ticket order form to order by mail. I'm told there are still a few electric hook-ups remaining.

The Lineup

YeeHaw Junction always includes a good sampling of national (and international) bluegrass bands as well as local ones well known to attendees. Each year, Keith and Darlene Bass also introduce a couple of new bands to the audience.  This year is no exception.  

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage (Saturday)

Rhonda Vincent

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers (Thursday & Friday)

 Joe Mullins

Alicia Nugent (Thursday & Friday)

The Spinney Brothers (Friday & Saturday)
Rick & Allen Spinney

Remington Ryde (Friday & Saturday)

The Travelers (Friday)
The Travelers, new this year to YeeHaw Junction, have been reconstituted recently, and contain several well-known Washington area bluegrassers who have been members of a variety of bands, including the Country Gentlemen, both original and tribute versions.  Another lesser known but notable group is The Spinney Brothers. Hailing from Nova Scotia, this band has received increasing attention here in the U.S. Last year they successfully showcased at IBMA and participated in a "brothers tour" with the Gibson Brothers in New England and New York. This is a very solid band.  Rhyme & Reason is another Canadian bluegrass band originating in the Hamilton/Niagara Falls area of southern Ontario.  Highway 41 South has been increasingly visible in Florida, playing at festivals and opening for Claire Lynch at Mixon's Groves late last year. They have shown steady improvement playing bluegrass standards. Host band Keith Bass & the Florida Bluegrass Express will play on Saturday. A variety of workshops will be presented on Friday and Saturday mornings before the show under the main tent begins. Members of Joe Mullins band will conduct Friday's workshops and Remington Ryde members will do Saturday's.
Under the Tent

Along Vendors Row

Mike & Mary Robinson (Sunday Morning 9:00 AM)
Bluegrass Gospel Sing & Jam
A new feature at each of Keith and Darlene Bass's five festivals has become the raffling off of a gift basket for the benefit of local individual's fighting against breast cancer. Darlene is a cancer survivor. The baskets contain items donated by the bands and event sponsors. Please support this worthy effort.
Keith & Darlene Bass

How to Get to YeeHaw Junction

YeeHaw Junction is always an enjoyable weekend. It's pretty laid back with plenty of jamming at all levels. While located in a field, water is available as are a limited number of electric hookups. Hot showers are provided. We're ready to head south in order to get to YeeHaw Junction on time. See you there.