Saturday, February 25, 2012

Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival - March 8 - 10, 2012 - Preview

Nestled into a magnificent live oak grove on a small hammock in the piney woods just north of Folkston, GA, Newell Lodge has quickly developed as a destination festival offering fine bands, delightful hospitality, and a setting that has something to offer every bluegrass fan.  Owner Harvin Carter and his family have taken a resort initially focused on equine events and developed it into a prime bluegrass venue, building a carefully designed new stage and providing an increasing number of RV hookups to make the site bluegrass friendly for fans who wish to come for the entire weekend.  This spring's event will be the first extending over three days, featuring national bands on each day.  Headliners J.D. Crowe & the New South and the Gary Waldrep Band are joined by last year's well-received young group Monroeville, the emerging young Snyder Family, and a strong selection of regional and local emerging bands. If you're a Snobird beginning the trek home, this would be a great place to stop for a couple of nights.

Newell  Lodge
The Live Oak Grove
Stage Setting


Rental Cottage

Harvin Carter - Host/Promoter

The Bands
J.D. Crowe & the New South

J.D. Crowe truly needs no introduction. Famed for his banjo style, distinctive enough to be labeled Crowe Style, as well as his drawing together the Bluegrass Album Band, which almost singlehandedly re-introduced America to the first generation of bluegrass innovators, and bringing Tony Rice to the fore, Crowe continues to tour with his band and has recently released a very well-received CD called "Old Friends" with former band-mates Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams. J.D. Crowe is not only a great veteran, he's always a treat to see and hear.

J.D. Crowe

The Gary Waldrep Band
Based in northern Alabama, the Gary Waldrep Band is a regional favorite deserving broader national attention. They bring a high energy show featuring Waldrep's fine banjo play and singing along with Mindy Rakestraw's lovely bluegrass voice. Their music is a pleasing mix of traditional bluegrass and gospel bluegrass loved by his many fans.

Gary Waldrep


Emerging band Monroeville proved themselves to be etremely popular at Newell Lodge a year ago. Combining traditional with more contemporary sounds and a bluegrass mix including lots of gospel music as well as songs adapted from other genres and the writing of bassist Daniel Salyer, the band has it all.  They're young, high energy, and good.
Daniel Salyer & Matthew Munsey

The Snyder Family Band

The Snyder Family Band is at a transition point between being a novelty band featuring two charming and precoucious kids and becoming a mature band with two exceptional contest winners leading the way.   Zeb Snyder, who won last year's RenoFest guitar contest as well as the adult guitar division at Galax. Samantha Snyder, at age thirteen, won the adult bluegrass fiddler division. They've set a high standard for themselves.

Samantha Snyder

Zeb Snyder

The Wilson Family Band

The Wilson Family, a regional favorite from Folkston, GA, has been intimately involved in working with Harvin Carter to develop and build this festival. Robert and Clint Wilson have consulted extensively on every element of presenting a first class festival while the family band has performed at every event.  Having added a new member, through marriage, and with each of the young 'uns headed in new directions, it's impossible to predict the future of this band, so see them while you can.  Clint and Robert will be providing sound the the festival.

Katie Wilson

Robert & Melissa Wilson

Clint & Kalyn Hall Wilson
Flatt Lonesome - Thursday
Flatt Lonesome is an emerging band from Callahan Florida who are just returned from a main stage performance at the Joe Val Festival in Framingham, MA as well as a first place finish in the SPBGMA band contest earlier in the month.  They were also recently featured in an article in Bluegrass Today. I haven't heard this band, yet, but am eager to see what they have to offer. They'll be appearing on Friday.

Barbwire Bluegrass - Friday

Purple Hulls - Saturday

The Purple Hulls are another emerging band, coming from Kilgore, TX via their current base in Nashville. Look for an interesting mix of family trio offering acoustic country and bluegrass along with  gospel music.
Grassline - Saturday

Grassline is a new bluegrass band featuring Evan Rose, formerly with the Larry Gillis Band and the Lonesome Whistle bands,  and Seth Hutcheson. If Evan Rose is in the band, look for hard driving bluegrass.

Newell Lodge will run from March 8 - 10, 2012. They've announced that almost all hook-up sites have been reserved, but there's always a chance of cancellations, so call to get on the list (912-496-2838). For information about tickets, check here. Harvin Carter has announced that there will be a fish fry and a low country boil on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. He hasn't decided which will  be which night yet. They're both going to be delicious. You decide your contribution.

How to Get to Newell Lodge

We always look forward to coming to Newell Lodge, not just to visit old friends, but to hear new and interesting music mixed with fine traditional and gospel singing and playing. Hope to see you there.