Saturday, May 12, 2012

DL & Q Bluegrass Festival - Denton Farmpark - Friday

Friday at the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival offered one of the finest single days of weather we've ever enjoyed at a bluegrass festival. It was warm and sunny with a slight breeze keeping it from becoming hot. For most of the day it was cool under the shed roof,  only becoming chilly as the program wore on into the late evening, with Josh Williams starting his second set around 12:15 AM, long after we were happily in bed and snoozing away.  Vendors were kept busy, the crown entertained, and everyone's spirits high throughout the day.

Balsam Range

With the return of fiddler/lead vocalist Buddy Melton from a serious head injury in March Balsam Range is fully restored and has picked up as the hottest young band in bluegrass. Combining instrumental versatility and drive with extremely well selected original materials and a clearly recognizable signature sound, Balsam Range generates huge excitement whenever they appear. The line at their merchandise table says it all:
 Darren Nicholson
Caleb Smith

Mark Pruett

Buddy Melton

 Tim Surrett

The Roys

Months of hard touring have helped The Roys, a brother/sister duo,  sharpen their show on every level. They've developed a solid act working with  a band of young sharpshooters as sidemen.  It's enjoyable to see these pleasant young people who started out in Fitchburg, MA develop.

Elaine Roy

Lee Roy

Clint White

Harry Clark

Sterling Masat

Royal Masat

The Golf Cart Brigade

 The Grascals and Friends

 Kristin Scott Benson

J.D. Crowe & the New South

The great J.D. Crowe, one of the most distinguished musicians and influential banjo players of the second generation of bluegrass artists, has wisely decided to retire while his picking still gives a magnificent example of musical elegance at its best. While he may make a few appearances in the future, his retirement means people will remember him while still on top of his powers. Hopefully, his fine band will remain together and continue to tour, developing a distinctive sound and personality of its own.

Ricky Wasson
Dwight McCall

Matt DeSpain

 The Claw

J.D. with friends
Ricky Wasson, Mark Pruett,& Eric Ellis
 Photo by Mike Lane

 Doyle Lawson
Suzana Lawson

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Doyle Lawson's band is at the highest level of musical performance we've seen since we've been involved in bluegrass music. The addition to the band of Joe Dean on banjo has greatly increased the chance that the Doyle Lawson School of Bluegrass Music won't have any graduates soon. A highlight of yesterday afternoon's performance was Mike Rogers' (also a recent addition) rendition of "Precious Memories." Outstanding!

Joe Dean

Mike Rogers

Cory Hensley

 Jason Barrie

Josh Swift

 Doyle Lawson

Our Rig

The Grascals

The Grascals continue to be energetically pleasing and solidly musical. Their new CD is coming out soon and will be sure to be a first rate production. Danny Roberts is, sadly, too little recognition for his excellent work on the mandolin.
Terry Eldredge

 Danny Roberts
Kristin Scott Benson

Terry Smith

Jeremy Abshire
Jamie Johnson

Joe & Shirley Huckaby

 Jason Barrie & Family

Josh Williams

Josh Williams had the unenviable chance to close last night's show late into the early morning. We were long past gone, but Mike Lane tells us his evening show was a bangup event, because Josh continued to play an un-amplified set after hours. Josh has consistently grown as a musician, emcee, and band leader. The fortunate catch which became the so-called bird video I took last year has, we both hope, helped give his career a boost. Nonetheless, he's become a first rate performer as well as singer/guitarist. 

 The Bird Video Behind the Singer

Josh Williams

 Randy Barnes

Jason McKendree

Nick Keen

 Josh After Midnight
Photo by Mike Lane

Chris Jones Interviews for Sirius/XM
  Photo by Mike Lane