Monday, December 9, 2013

A Look Back at 2013 (2) - Heading North

As we leave Florida each year, our first stop is at Newell Lodge in South Georgia. In fact, it's so far south, some people call it North Florida, but we're staying a little ahead of the heat as it takes over the peninsula below and heading north a precisely the hay fever line. Various Spring allergies will be with us for the next four months. Newell Lodge is a little gem nestled in a beautiful live oak grove in one of the most rural and isolated places we go. 

Low Country Boil at Newell Lodge

Mindy Rakestraw - The Gary Waldrep Band

Kalyn Hall Wilson - The Wilson Family Band

 Gary Waldrep - The Gary Waldrep Band

Glenn Harrell - Volume V

Brandon Bostic - Memphis Belle

Clint & Kalyn Hall - Memphis Belle

Samantha Snyder - The Snyder Family

Zeb Snyder - The Snyder Family

 Owen & Zeb Snyder

Stuart Wyrick

Sweet Grass Bluegrass Festival - Mount Pleasant, SC
Common Ground - Alan Bibey, Melvin Cumbee, Susan Riddle
The First Annual Sweet Grass Bluegrass Festival at Patriot's Point, a naval museum in Mt. Pleasant, SC, across the river from Charleston, featured wonderful bands, a fine venue, and good sound, accompanied by chilly weather around St. Patrick's Day.  Next year it will be held a couple of weeks later, and should be a good choice for people to attend. Here are a few highlights.

 Mike Andes & Chris Sexton - Nothin' Fancy

Cory Walker - Sierra Hull

 Sierra Hull

 Russell Johnson - The Grass Cats
Publicizing IBMA in Raleigh

Marc Pruett - Balsam Range

Steve Dilling

Edgar Loudermilk

 Rhonda Vincent - Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

Josh Williams - Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

Rhonda Vincent
Always a Pleasure to Photograph 

Steve Dilling

RenoFest - Hartsdale, SC
Stephen Moore - Banjo Contest Winner

Brandi Miller - Runner Up in the Banjo Contest

We look forward to attending this small two day festival for both the instrument and band contests, which are fairly run and hotly contested, and the fine bands that perform there.  This indoor festival is always held on the fourth weekend in March.

Caleb Smith - Balsam Range

Tim Surrett - Balsam Range

Mike Scott - Ronnie Reno & the Reno Tradition

Ronnie Reno

Bryan McDowell - The Claire Lynch Band

Claire Lynch

The Gibson Brothers in Lenoir, NC
Leigh Gibson

Clayton Campbell - The Gibson Brothers

Darin & Brooke Aldridge at the Joy Theater
King's Mountain, NC
Men Singing for Christ - Gospel Choir

Dwayne Anderson - Darin & Brooke Aldridge

Darin Aldridge

Darin & Brooke Aldridge

Willow Oak Bluegrass Festival - Roxboro, NC
Melvin Goins

We attended the Willow Oak Bluegrass Festival for a couple of years and then stopped going because it was out of control. Promoter Mike Wilson bought the park and has revived the festival, a traditional one usually on the same weekend as MerleFest. Set on a marvelous, isolated site, it's a lovely place to spend a weekend easily accessible from the Raleigh/Durham area as well as Greensboro and southern Virginia.

 Lorraine Jordan

 Josh Goforth - Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Lou & Christie Reid Walking to Work

Lou Reid - Lou Reid & Carolina

Kevin Richardson

Bob Cook - A Special Friend

Mike Aldridge, Johnny Ridge, Al Batten
Al Batten & the Bluegrass Reunion 

Johnny Ridge

Steve Thomas - Newton & Thomas

Matt Wallace

Bass Mountain Boys Reunion

Linda Dilling & Sheila Manness

Wayne Benson - Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out

HoustonFest - Galax, VA
Haydon & Tess Caldwell

 Houston Caldwell was a bright and talented young musician, firefighter, and soldier who was sadly killed in a motorcycle accident on his way home from competing in the Merlefest banjo contest. This festival was established in his home town of Galax, VA as a memorial to him and his values. This two day festival celebrates young musicians, highlights the future of bluegrass and old-time music, and presents top bands whose members were Houston's friends. It hits all the right notes.

 HoustonFest Jam

Wayne Taylor - Blue Highway

Tim Stafford - Blue Highway

Jason Burleson - Blue Highway

Stacy Grubb

Sammy Shelor - Jam: Remembering Houston

Ron Block

Brandi Miller

Sierra Hull & Jacob Eller

Scholarship Winner & the Caldwell Family

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival
Denton, NC
Doyle Lawson & Junior Sisk

Doyle Lawson, along with his friend Milton Harkey, are credited with practically inventing the "family festival" by eliminating open drinking and inviting the counter culture out when this festival was begun back in the late seventies.  Now one of the historic "traditional" festivals, the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver is heavy on gospel music and old friends. Located in a family owned museum celebrating rural life, it's a good one.

The Roys

The Roys got lucky on this morning, and lost their sound. They came out into the audience where they showed their pluck and their quality in the break-out performance.

Lee Roy

Elaine Roy

Adam Steffey - The Boxcars

Keith Garret - The Boxcars

Ron Stewart - The Boxcars

Sonia Isaacs - The Isaacs

Ben Isaacs - The Isaacs

Shawn Lane - Blue Highway

Bill Emerson - Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie

 Evan McGregor - Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Jim Fraley Jamming

Junior Sisk & Joe Mullins
Photo Shoot for Their New CD 

Josh Swift - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Dustin Pyrtle - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Lynn & Brenda Butler

And so we crossed the Mason-Dixon Line headed for the summer season, but taking our hay fever with us. More coming.....