Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Palatka Bluegrass Festival 2013 - Preview

The Palatka Bluegrass Festival opens for the ninth year at the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, just south of Palatka, Florida on Thursday, February 21st and runs for three days of all-star bluegrass held for a good cause on a well designed campground with a covered shed and all the amenities. Promoters Norman Adams and Tony Anderson have worked closely with the management and staff of the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch to provide a high quality event that's strongly fan-oriented and helps provide support and maintenance for the fifty boys living on the Ranch.

James King

 Crowe Brothers

Bluegrass Brothers - Victor Dowdy

 The Grascals

 Nothin Fancy

 Dailey and Vincent - 1 Evening Show Only

The Marksmen
 The Goldwing Express

Seldom Scene
Alecia Nugent

The Gibson Brothers
Dry Branch Fire Squad
Tony Holt & the Wildwood Valley Boys

 Dry Branch Fire Squad

Little Roy & Lizzy Show

The Moron Brothers

Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

Gene Watson & the Farewell Party Band
        (one 90 Minute Show)

Gene & Rhonda

Things to Look For
As a new bluegrass season gets rolling, it's always interesting to discover what changes have been made in our favorite bands.  Some bands stay more or less the same year after year. Nothin' Fancy has steadily and successfully kept it's program fresh while making only one major change in personnel. With Gary Faris' retirement, Justin Tomlin has brought his excellent voice and flat picking to the group. He has now been with them for over six months and is fitting in and contributing very well.  Because so many people have favorite material of both Dry Branch Fire Squad and Seldom Scene, each band has become nearly a prisoner of its success, finding it difficult to add really new material to its repertoire and still please its fans. On the other hand, the Gibson Brothers are beginning to perform new songs from their latest CD out in March. Rhonda Vincent has re-hired Josh Williams who, I'm certain, will make a significant addition to her band with both his singing and his Tony Rice style guitar. The Bluegrass Brothers seem to be, once again, in flux and will be interesting to see who shows up. I've never seen Gene Watson and am not familiar with his earlier work in country music. I'm told he's a singer's singer who has been reliably heard for years and deserves to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame, but hasn't received the acclaim he deserves. He and Rhonda have been on a limited tour recently. This evening, in which Rhonda will appear in his set to showcase their duets should be a great way to close the festival. Also look for some sort of Tomfoolery between Rhonda and Lizzy Long as well as who knows what from Little Roy.

 Josh Williams Rejoins Rhonda

Rodeheaver Boys Ranch
Plenty of RV Parkin

Dining Hall

The Boys at Work

Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, founded in 1950 by evangelist Homer Rodeheaver, is a residential facility for school age boys who have not been adjudicated delinquent and are mentally and emotionally sound. Rodeheaver is not a detention facility or treatment center. It is a home for troubled and dependent children and provides a wholesome home environment with religious, educational and vocational training for at-risk boys. The Palatka Bluegrass Festival, held twice annually is a major fund raising effort of the Ranch. Over the years we've attended this very strong festival, we've found the boys and the staff to be uniformly friendly, approachable, and helpful.

Ranch President Ken Johnson

Jeff King - Director of Development

Snack Area

Ranch Concessions & Gift Shop

Audience in the Shed

Tickets have been selling briskly and all reserved seats have been sold.  Tickets are $75.00 in advance, $85.00 at the gate.The reserved seats are sold out, but there are plenty of General Admission spaces available. Call Norman Adams at 706-864-7203 . Palatka has, perhaps, the best lineup of any bluegrass festival in Florida. Come on out and get in on the fun. You can expect the possibility that evening can be chilly. Be sure to bring warm enough clothes. 

How to Get to Palatka

Judy & Norman Adams

Sherry Boyd - Emcee

 Jumbotron for the Back of the Shed