Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival, Folkston, GA - March 12 - 14, 2015 - Preview

The Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival will run at Newell Lodge in Folkston, GA from March 12 - 14, 2015. This small festival deserves greater attention. Located in the midst of the South Georgia piney woods just north of the village of Folkston along U.S.  Route 1, Newell Lodge sits on a hammock rising only a few feet above the surrounding pines, just enough to create an absolutely beautiful ancient forest of live oak trees. Into this woodland setting, festival promoter and developer Harvin Carter has built an equine resort named after his daughter Ashley, who takes an active part in managing the events there, several comfortable guest houses sleeping up to six people, and a comfortable campground with some full hookup sites and many water & electric sites. In the midst of all this he erected a large stage shaded by the oak trees. This year, after a season's absence, the headline band is one of America's favorites, The Lonesome River Band.

Harvin Carter

The Lineup
Lonesome River Band

For thirty years the Lonesome River Band has been providing high voltage bluegrass music that, especially at night, rocks the house. Five time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year and recipient of the $50,000 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo, Shelor is not only a virtuoso on his instrument, but a leader who infuses his band with the same fire that animates him. Singer/songwriter Brandon Rickman contributes some of LRB's best new material while bringing his own distinctive voice to the band's extensive catalog. This is a rare visit to South Georgia for LRB and shouldn't be missed.

Sammy Shelor

The Gary Waldrep Band

Gary Waldrep, highly popular in this part of the world, is a seasoned entertainer who brings fervent gospel music and an old-time sensibility to his music. Guitarist Mindy Rakestraw has a fine singing voice, too. Coming from the Sand Mountain region of Alabama, Gary's shows are always well received.

Gary Waldrep

 Mountain Faith

We last saw Mountain Faith as a contestant in the band contest at RenoFest several years ago and at the Coot-Williams Festival near Shelby, NC. Since then they've come a long way, now recording for Crossroads Records with Summer McMahon singing lead and playing fiddle. Look for solid bluegrass gospel music from this touring band which will be playing at Red, White & Blue in North Carolina and Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO later this summer.

Summer McMahon

Amanda Cook & Kennesaw Ridge

We first saw Amanda Cook playing with High Cotton at Perry, FL several years ago. Since then she has changed direction, formed her own band called Kennesaw Ridge, joined IBMA to widen her exposure, and released a new CD called One Stop Along the Road. I'm looking forward to hearing this band and seeing how Amanda has progressed.

Amanda Cook

Big Cypress Bluegrass

Big Cypress Bluegrass is a Florida-based traditional bluegrass band fronted by Randy Slaughter, on guitar and lead vocals, and his wife Kim Hiersoux. The band is a frequently in the lineup of the Florida State Bluegrass Festival in Perry, FL. as well as other events around Florida.

BlueRoad Bluegrass

According to BlueRoad's Facebook page, they are "North Georgia based bluegrass band, BlueRoad, has sent shock waves through the bluegrass world since they hit the scene in May of 2012. BlueRoad's blend of hard driving, traditional, progressive, contemporary, and modern sounds give them a sound that is truly their own. Whether they are covering a bluegrass standard, or preforming their original material," I leave it you to decide whether this is an accurate description.

Clint Wilson tells me that The King Family "are father, mother, son, and daughter, and close family friend. The son, Aubrey, placed 3rd in guitar at RenoFest."

The Venue - Newell Lodge
The Audience from the Stage

Camping in the Woods

Decorations on the Grounds

A Jam in the Gazebo

A Typical Cottage for Rent

The Stage

Breakfast in the Cafe

Ashley & Kay Carter

Newell Lodge is truly one of the most inviting venues in all bluegrass.

The Details

Information about Tickets & Camping: Call 912.486.2838

Thursday - $10.00
Friday - $15.00
Saturday - $25.00
3 Day Ticket - $45.00

Home Cooked Food Served Daily in the Cafe

How to Get to Newell Lodge
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See you there!