Melvin Goins has been performing bluegrass and country music for sixty-two years. He brings plenty of enthusiasm and genuine nostalgia for traditional country and bluegrass music with him. His show is filled with songs that in another's hands would be just old chestnuts, but he keeps them fresh and enjoyable.
Little Roy Lewis
Lou Reid & Carolina can be counted on for tuneful bluegrass from Monroe to more contemporary work. His great hit of a few years ago, Time, never ceases to move me. Skip Cherryholmes will be joining the group soon as Kevin Richardson leaves to front his own band. Lou's voice and mandolin are the center of this fine, small band, but wife Christy keeps things light and funny while contributing both a strong beat and well-matched harmony. Trevor Watson is always reliable on banjo. It's always a pleasure to see this group.
Michelle Nixon & Drive
Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, two seasoned Nashville performers have a new, star-studded self-titled CD and are supporting it on the road. Thomas is a sought after session musician skilled on fiddle and mandolin. Newton is the co-producer of the Graves Mountain Festival and served for several years as co-producer with Carl Jackson at the IBMA Fan Fest in Nashville. They featured material from their new CD as well as traditional bluegrass material. Bassist Matt Wallace provided plenty of drive.
The Malpass Brothers are an unusual duo for a bluegrass festival, yet, because the music they play has no other real home, it seems as if a bluegrass festival is where they belong. They sing music from the emerging days of country music (Delmore Brothers and others) through the emergence of country music in the 1940's to its full flowering in the 1950's with Hank Williams and the soaring violins of the late fifties and early sixties. Their newest tunes include a nod to Elvis and Johnny Cash, but deny the country rock they say now masquerades as country music. They are, perhaps, at their best in their impressions of Hank Williams, Marty Robbins, and others. Their look and sound is reminiscent of the days when the line between country and bluegrass was unclear or non-existent. They represent a nice change of pace which promoters of bluegrass festivals might consider while seeking to maintain traditionalism, since classic country is not widely heard these days.