Saturday, September 15, 2012
Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival 2012 - Friday
I took an early morning walk around the campground to explore nooks and crannies I hadn't seen before. All kinds of rigs are scattered around the grounds in various configurations. Mornings at Dumplin Valley are relaxed as the music doesn't usually start until noon, giving people a chance to enjoy a little quiet time, jam, cook, clean, and relax.
The Little Roy & Lizzy Show
Lizzy Long has come into her own as a comedienne, multi-instrumentalist, emcee, and leader in the Little Roy and Lizzy show, while Little Roy Lewis, at age seventy, continues to hearken back to the days of the minstral show and vaudeville and still add new twists and turns to his performance. Performing today on banjo, guitar, fiddle, and slide guitar, Lizzy showed her versatility and ability while also playing the foil to Little Roy's slapstick humor and adding a bit of her own. Working with a younger and more willing cast of characters, Little Roy seems to be freed to expand his repertoire. It's a winning combination.
Little Roy Lewis
The Crowe Brothers
The Crowe Brothers, like the members of Balsam Range, come Haywood County, North Carolina. They bring a very traditional bluegrass style of brother harmony, which some say is strongly influenced by the Louvin Brothers. Josh Crowe on guitar and his brother Wayne on bass deliver the singing, while Steve Sutton on banjo is an old pro and a wonderful stylist. Brian Blaylock is strong on mandolin.
Tina & Adam Steffey with Riley and A.P.
Mickey McNabb's Jam Tent
If you haven't heard or heard of Monroeville yet, you will soon. And most likely you're going to like what you hear. Using a name that shows their respect for and the influence of the founder, the band plays bluegrass standards and then treats you to the writing of two talented singer songwriters, Daniel Salyer and Eli Johnston, as well as playing grassed versions of swing, rock, and Latino-influenced music that both surprises and pleases. These young, disciplined musicians are filled with energy and likeability. Look for them and give them a listen on YouTube.
The Steffeys & Emcee Freddy Smith
Emceen Freddy Smith of WDVX
Balsam Range has emerged as one of the most exciting bands on tour today. Still limited in exposure due to their all having day jobs in their Haywood County homes in North Carolina, their three very fine CD's have had wide exposure and they are frequently heard on Sirius/XM satellite radio. With Buddy Melton returned on fiddle after a near fatal farm accident last spring occaisioned extensive reconstructive surgery to save his life, the band is moving ahead on its upward trajectory. The band is filled with strength at every position and yet maintains a totally ensemble sound that is always exciting. Adam Steffey filled in for Darren Nicholson this weekend on mandolin. See this band if you have a chance. Bradley Walker, 2007 Male Vocalist of the Year at IBMA, made guest appearances with Balsam Range and Rhonda Vincent.
Bradley Walker & Buddy Melton
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage w/Bradley Walker
Rhonda Vincent remains the consummate entertainer, relentlessly touring and seemingly always fresh, energetic, friendly, and upbeat. That she maintains the pace and energy is truly a triumph of will and careful management of her resources. Surrounding herself with a multi-talented band of men who are fine musicians and solid entertainers themselves, her performances are always well and enthusiastically attended. Today she welcomed guests to the stage as well as continued her round of tomfoolery with Lizzy Long in a friendly contest to top each other with pranks and fun. She's smart enough to always leave her audiences wanting more.
Rhonda Vincent & Promoter Joe Soward
Bradley Walker, Joe Soward, Sally V. Berry, Rhonda Vincent
Silliness with Rhonda, Lizzy & Little Roy
Today will be another great day at Dumplin Valley. No blogging tomorrow, but come back on Monday for Saturday and a wrap up.