Friday, October 18, 2013

Rockahock Fall Bluegrass Festival - Thursday

The Rockadome at Rockahock

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.

Calvin Greeting Guests

 Sweet Brenda - A Whirl of Activity

Sassafrass Warthog

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.

Kevin Beamon

Bob Hegeman

Brian Miller

Jim Masher

Opening Exercises were Simple & Solemn

The Bluegrass Brothers

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 Trio
Robert, Donnie & Victor

 Victor Dowdy

 Robert Dowdy

Steven Dowdy

Donnie Dowdy

Chris Hart

 Victor & Robert Dowdy

Lorraine Jordan with the Bluegrass Brothers

The Golf (?) Cart Brigade

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.

Sweet Brenda Lawson

Bluegrassers Know How to Eat!

Calvin & Brenda Serve

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road are always at their best when playing to a hometown crowd, which they had at Rockahock. Veteran band leader Lorraine Jordan knew many people in the crowd, and greeted them by name while singing from their large catalog of new and older, more familiar Carolina Road material. Lorraine leads her band with confidence, capitalizing on each of their individual strengths to provide a varied and enjoyable program. 

Lorraine Jordan

Ben Greene

Tommy Long

John Bradley

Josh Goforth

Soundman Doug Crabtree

Calvin & Brenda Lawson
with Niece Meghan

Inside the Rockadome

The Rockadome at Night