Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival - Preview

The storied Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival opens its 66th semi-annual festival on Thursday May 16 and runs through late Sunday afternoon May 19th with Dailey & Vincent closing with their 90 minute set. With the greatest lights in bluegrass music, plenty of able newcomers, Gettysburg favorites galore, one of the most creative and useful workshop schedules to be found anywhere, a newish, roomy, and attractive stage with a capacious amphitheater bowl providing wonderful sight lines, plenty of vendors serving up a wide variety of food and crafts, Pete Wernick's Jam Camp before opening, and one of the best camping facilities to be found, Gettysburg has it all.

The Lineup

The lineup at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival is always one of the strongest and most well-balanced selection of traditional, contemporary, and progressive bands, some well-known national bands, others emerging groups on the verge of perhaps moving up. 
Newcomers and Up-and-Comers to Gettysburg
The Stevens Family (Thursday)
Ben Stevens

The Stevens Family band, from West Virginia is moving from being an all gospel band to performing a broader repertoire of mostly bluegrass covers as well as a few songs written within the band.

Sissy Stevens

Nora Jane Strothers & The Party Line (Thursday)

Nora Jane Strothers spent some time as lead singer with the Alaska band Bearfoot before going out on her own. A singer/songwriter who was educated at New York University and taught English, her first self-titled album was produced by Brent Truitt of the Steel Drivers.

The Grass Cats (Friday)
The Grass Cats are a well-established North Carolina band playing a solid mixture of classic bluegrass covers, gospel music, and original songs as well as bluegrassed versions of songs from other genres including rock, jazz, and swing.

The Rambling Rooks (Friday)

The Rambling Rooks represent a group of bluegrass headliners who first came together with the Lonesome River Band in the 1990's. Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby, and Kenny Smith (with a still to be named banjo player) made their debut at the 2012 IBMA Fan Fest and are drawing raves wherever they appear. All three are accomplished singers, instrumentalists, and song writers. Look for good material coming from them.

Springfield Exit (Saturday)

Springfield Exit comes from northern Virginia. They perform original songs and a wide variety of their own arrangements of old standards and traditional songs and instrumentals pulled from a many sources, traditional as well as new country, blues, swing, bluegrass, and folk. I'm told that Tom Adams is playing banjo like Tom Adams ought to. Should warm the heart of any bluegrasser. Linda and David Lay, Marshall Wilborn, and David McLaughlin, a feast of music.

Volume V (Saturday)

Volume V is a Mississippi-based band fronted by fiddler/singer Glenn Harrell.  They are a young, entertaining band with a wide variety of contemporary bluegrass and solid gospel singing. We always look forward to seeing them. 

Circa Blue (Sunday)
 A West Virginia based bluegrass band that says it brings something new to bluegrass...Circa Blue

Steel Wheels (Sunday)
Steel Wheels made a stunning Merlefest debut in 2011 with their high energy, raw mountain sound. Based in the Blue Ridge mountains of western, they hearken back to the days of old time music along with a rousing bluegrass vibe.

Gettysburg Favorites

Gibson Brothers
Eric Gibson

Leigh Gibson

Kenny & Amanda Smith

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

Lonesome River Band

  Mountain Heart
Barry Abernathy & Aaron Ramsey

Jim Van Cleve
The Hillbenders

Chad Graves, Mark Cassidy, Nolan Lawrence

  Dry Branch Fire Squad

Ron Thomason

Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers

  Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

  Steep Canyon Rangers

Hot Rize and Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers

The Seldom Scene

Dudley Connell

Ben Eldridge

Dry Branch Fire Squad

Marty Rabon & Full Circle

The Seldom Scene (75 Minute Set)

  Dailey & Vincent (90 Minute Set)

Darrin Vincent

Jamie Dailey

For the full schedule and times of performances as well as the workshop schedule, click here. Bands appearing more than one day are only pictured once above.

Pete Wernick's Jam Camp
Ira Gitlin, Pete Wernick, Joan Wernick

Dr Banjo, Pete Wernick, is well-known as a performer, leader in bluegrass, and teacher. His Jam Camps provide a non-threatening opportunity for closet pickers to learn to jam during a three and a half day intensive workshop. Assisted by his wife Joan and an able staff, his approach frees people to learn to play bluegrass music or to improve their skills. There's still room for additional registrants at the Gettysburg Camp.


Granite Hill Camping Resort
The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival

 Granite Hill Camping Resort is a full service campground just a few miles from the magnificent Gettysburg Battlefield National Park and the historic village of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  It offers full service sites as well as lots of rough camping. Many attendees have been coming in groups and camping in the same locations for twenty years or more. They establish elaborate compounds where friendships are renewed each year. The site contains a full service bed & breakfast, playgrounds, a large swimming pool, a snack bar which also sells wine and beer, and much more. If you're planning to come, try to make an extra couple of days available to visit the battlefield, the site of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

In the Campground

At the Workshop Stage

Listen To and Watch the Music from the Pool

Sand, Sun, and Shade Tent

Good Range of "Good" Food

  The Details

 The Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival at Granite Hill Camping Resort runs from May 16 - 19,2013. You can find information about tickets here. 

How to Get to Granite Hill Camping Resort
to get your route to the campground, click on the link below the map
and then input your current location in box A

This year's 66th semi-annual Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival looks to follow in the steps of its predecessors, offering the best of the best along with a taste of the future and more than a nod to the past. Can't wait!