Saturday at Jenny Brook dawned bright, clear, and a little chilly with the promise of heat in the air, although the weather forecast looked a bit ominous for later in the day and into Sunday. Since the day audience at bluegrass festivals usually stands as the difference between maybe breaking even and perhaps making a small profit for the event, Saturday's gate is always crucial. The schedule was full of music, workshop interviews, Bluegrass University classes, and Grass Seeds Stage performances along with the band contest included there. Blue Highway was scheduled for one evening performance and the Gibson Brothers, long the favorite draw at Jenny Brook and now even more so with their increased national prominence, were coming. It looked like a great day was coming.
Whole Belly Clams
A New England Delicacy
As the day wore on, the weather continued to deteriorate, although there appeared to be little chance that the skies would open up during the evening's show. Nevertheless, it was decided to move the show inside, where a pretty good-sized barn could hold what remained of the audience, many day trippers and a few campers having left. And then something special happened. An aura of intimacy was established creating something special that rarely happens at bluegrass festivals. Perhaps it was being forced indoors by the threatened deluge. Maybe it was lights. Or the closeness. For whatever reason, the indoor performances on Saturday night contained a magical quality not easily explained. Photos in this section are taken from both indoor and outdoor sessions.
The Gibson Brothers once again turned their appearance at Jenny Brook into a personal triumph by just being the Gibson Brothers. Over the years we've seen Leigh and Eric when they're road weary, discouraged, or anxious about something. Never once has any hint of personal concern entered into one of their performances even though the essence of their show and their popularity is presenting themselves as just who they are, two farm boys from northern New York who love bluegrass and country music and do their best to write and sing it through their own special lenses. The intimacy of the barn, and the barn jokes growing out of it were just right. After all, they spent plenty of time in barns in their time...at least Leigh did. Sister Erin had sung one song in the afternoon, and they brought her onstage to sing again in the evening, to huge acclaim and a couple of encores. Once again, they provided a Gibson Brothers moment that Jenny Brook attendees will remember well into old age.
Out of the Blue Grass won the Grass Seed Stage band contest held on Saturday, earning a gig on the Main Stage on Sunday afternoon. They were tuneful and pleasant to hear, playing both bluegrass standards and some material written from within the band. Nice job.
Zinc & Company was scheduled for the usually pretty thankless job of performing on Sunday afternoon. They performed their mostly classic country repertoire with zest and professionalism.