RV's streamed in all day to prepare for Thursday's abbreviated schedule and the rest of the three day Rockahock Fall Bluegrass Festival at Lanexa, VA, located conveniently between Richmond and Williamsburg and just a few minutes off I-295, the Richmond by-pass. The owners of Rockahock, after purchasing the campground at fire sale prices a few years ago, have invested widely and wisely in improvements, and thrown income back into the enterprise. The results are a major resort campground in the process of positioning itself as a destination resort within a convenient distance of Colonial Williamsburg and other Tidelands attractions. It has also become a fine venue for a growing and well-organized bluegrass festival. Promoters Sweet Brenda and Him (Calvin) Lawson have provided a strong lineup to attract bluegrass fans with an orientation towards the traditional and a willingness to try something a little new.
Sassafrass Warthog, a local band, kicked off the festival with an open stage performance. I missed the names of the pickers, but will edit them in as soon as someone sends them to me. Thanks.
During the last couple of years the Bluegrass Brothers seemed to be drifting, with brother Robert retired and son Donnie not performing in the band. Their return has reinvigorated the band, which performed with its earlier energy and raw enthusiasm. The band plays mostly second and third generation covers along with a few originals by Victor Dowdy. One of its appeals is their origins as a field picking band that has moved into the professional ranks with some success. They are a fan favorite, especially in their home territory of Virginia and surrounding areas. Their performance exceeded those of recent years considerably, and leader Victor Dowdy expressed optimism about their future.
The campground provided a Brunswick Stew supper which was simply scrumptious. Sweet Brenda continued to be found working everywhere. Maybe by next fall the rest of the campers will provide all the stuff for a really excellent covered dish on Thursday evening.