Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gettysburg BGF 2012 - Saturday

We had another warm, sunny day at Gettysburg as Saturday continued the run of fine weather and great music this year's festival has featured.  The lineup at Gettysburg is quite varied while never straying away from bluegrass. The audience is considerably younger than many we attend, and there are few rules. Nevertheless, I've seen no stumbling drunks, something I often encounter and "no alcohol" festivals. The Gettysburg vibe is live, real, and palpable.  Let's move to the music:

James King Band

James King has been quite ill recently, and the effects seem to have had a positive outcome for him. James looks healthy, and is singing better than I've heard him in years.  He also brought a strong band to Gettysburg, pickers who knew how to pick and were familiar with his music. It's a real delight to see and hear James feeling better and performing so well.

Zach Rambo

Clay Lillard

Eddie Biggerstaff

James King & Pete Wernick

Dancing isn't for the Young Alone

Dry Branch Fire Squad

Dry Branch Fire Squad is a fabled band mixing traditional music with contemporary humor in a unique fashion. They're a not to be missed attraction at the festivals where they perform.

Ron Thomason

 Brian Aldridge

Dan Russell

Tom Boyd

Ron Thomason Hamboning

Tom Boyd

Blue Highway

Staying together as a unit for seventeen years makes a huge difference in the quality and productivity of a great band. Blue Highway has managed this and created a distinguished body of work, mostly using original songs written by members of the band. Every position is strong and the synergy makes them great.

Wayne Taylor

Rob Ickes

Shawn Lane

 Jason Burleson

Tim Stafford

 Hank Janney - Emcee

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

Rhonda Vincent continues to offer tuneful music, lively personality, and a deep sense of connection to her huge fan base, guaranteeing increased attendance wherever she appears and generating intense loyalty.  In her two sets at Gettysburg she appeared to be in better than usual voice and well-rested. It's always a pleasure to see her perform, no matter how many times you've seen her before.

Hunter Berry

Mickey Harris & Ben Helson 

Brent Davis

Aaron McDaris

James King Makes Guest Appearance
 Garland Goble

The SteelDrivers

I don't know whether it's my growth in taste, familiarity, changes in personnel, or actual changes in the music of the SteelDrivers, but their music has become increasingly enjoyable to me in recent performances. Gary Nichols, their new lead singer, has a supple and versatile voice. Fiddler Tami Rogers harmonies are raw and clear while her work on the fiddle is among the best. Mike Fleming on bass adds both beat and vocal strength, while Richard Bailey and Brent Truitt are always solid. It was unusual and delightful to see this band in the daylight. 

Brent Truitt & Tami Rogers

Richard Bailey

Gary Nichols

Mike Fleming

Brent Truitt

 Tami Rogers & Mike Fleming

Tami Rogers

The Tuttles w/A.J. Lee

The Tuttles are a family band from California augmented with the addition of singer/mandolinist A.J. Lee. The band is young and in need of work on stagecraft but bears watching. They show admirable instrumental virtuosity. As is frequently true with kids bands, their vocal work will need to mature before an adequate analysis is possible. Molly Tuttle, a student at Berklee College of Music, won the general division of the prestigious Chris Austin song writing contest at Merlefest this year and shows promise as a song writer.

 Sullivan Tuttle

 A.J. Lee

Michael Tuttle

 Jack & Molly Tuttle

Sound Guys Deserve a Rest