Sunday, February 19, 2012

Palatka Bluegrass Festival 2012 - Friday

Sign-Up for Next Year's Reserved Seating

Yes...It's a Real Ranch

Gil Nelson's Jamming Class

Blood Donor Drive on Campus

Friday dawned over-cast and threatening with the weather forecast calling for (at best) scattered thundershowers. Nevertheless, it was warm and pleasant, and the weather held all day...until around 7:00 PM, right in the middle of Darin & Brooke Aldridge's well-received second set, when a torrent of rain came down, making so much noise on the tin roof that it was nearly impossible to hear the music. Within 45 minutes of so, the rain had stopped, leaving a few puddles to be negotiated, but it was the last rain of the weekend.

The Thomas Family - Open Stage

Volume Five

Volume Five, despite the relative youth of most of its members, is a young band that's been making its mark in satellite radio play as well as on the festival circuit. Fronted by Glenn Harrell, who's played with the likes of Marty Raybon and David Davis, the members are experienced young pickers who can offer both drive and a strong melodic underpinning.  They play traditional bluegrass with a creative tilt along with a good deal of original material. Glenn Harrell's soulful voice is strong and filled with heart.

Glenn Harrell

Patton Wages

 Colby Laney

 Jesse Daniel
Chris Williamson

Glenn Harrell & W.a. Pate

 Darin & Brooke Aldridge

The Darin & Brooke Aldridge Band continues to develop, adding new material, polishing earlier work, and developing entertaining and amusing bits that endear them to their increasingly large audience. This weekend, they managed to appear at both Palatka and Joe Val, in Framingham, MA, a feat of endurance that would tax anyone involving hours in the van as well as a flight.  Brooke's voice was strong and clear. It's the kind of voice that sends chills down your neck and raises the hair, filled with strength, conviction, and tonality.  Darin Aldridge, a veteran of years on the bluegrass trail despite his relative youth, wisely keeps her front and center. Rachel Johnson Boyd, pretty and pert beside her taller musical sister, contrasts and complements at the same time. Chris Bryant and Dwayne Anderson round out this outstanding young group.

Brooke Aldridge

Darin Aldridge
Chris Bryant

Rachel Johnson Boyd

 Dwayne Anderson

Head Stock - Bryant Banjo #1

Norman Adams with Great Grand-Daughter

 Goldwing Express




Danny Paisley & Southern Grass

Danny Paisley's rough, edgy voice may not be to everyone's taste, but he serves up traditional bluegrass, often using well-chosen contemporary material, with the best of him. When delivered with the kind of excellent sound provided by Madison Gibson, sadly retiring this year, Danny truly shines.  This weekend, his twelve year old son Ryan took a full position in the band on mandolin, taking his breaks with skill and enthusiasm. He joins what has, essentially, been a two-family band, continuing a tradition of over forty years going back to Danny's dad Bob Paisley. Danny has added very good young pickers to the band which continues to be hard driving and solid.

Danny Paisley

Ryan Paisley

Doug Meek

Eric Troutman
Mark Delaney

Bluegrass Generations - Doyle Lawson & Ryan Paisley

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

 It's difficult to find new things to say about Doyle Lawson. He continues to be a link between today and the second generation of bluegrass music having completed his bluegrass apprenticeship with Jimmy Martin,  J.D. Crowe, and the Country Gentlemen before forming, in 1979, his long-successful band, Doyle Lawson & Foxfire, which soon become Quicksilver. The band has become an incubator for fine bluegrass musicians spread across the landscape  and known as the Doyle Lawson School of Bluegrass. Doyle continues to surround himself with fine young musicians, remaining simultaneously fresh, contemporary, and traditional. His commitment to mixing gospel and secular music with tasteful humor continues unabated.

Doyle Lawson

Jesse Baker

Mike Rogers

Josh Swift

Jason Barrie
Cory Hensley

It's always a pleasure when we get to enjoy a warm evening at Palatka. Friday, even with a brief gulley-washer, the day proved to be warm in both climate and spirit. Rodeheaver Boys Ranch and the Adams and Anderson production team served up another fine day.