It rained in East Tennessee on Friday night, but the forecast for the weekend was promising. The weather would improve during Saturday with little further accumulation, and Sunday would be clear, sunny, and...dry. One of the hazards, and pleasures, of attending live music festivals is that they take place in the real world. Coming prepared for wet days and chilly nights only serves to increase the sense that music takes place in a real world, that each day presents gifts along with some risk. With the promise of a wonderful day of music to come, the Saturday crowd increased as the weather improved.
Chris West has consistently been recognized as a fine song writer/singer, but Blue Moon Rising has been unable to attract continued attention. Nevertheless, it was delightful to see both Keith Garrett and Brandon Bostic performing with a band where they both started and to hear Chris sing many of his fine songs.
Dale Ann Bradley has consistently been one of the finest singers in bluegrass music. She has won the IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year five times with her wonderful interpretations and compositions. It was especially gratifying to see Phil Leadbetter, currently continuing his now years-long fight against cancer playing Dobro and looking animated and full of energy both on and off stage.
Nine time IBMA Entertainer of the Year, the Del McCoury Band is probably the most recognized and rewarded bluegrass band of all time. The band has also won two Grammy awards. This year, banjo player Rob McCoury was named IBMA banjo player of the year for the first time. It's always a treat to hear and see the great Del McCoury.
Ashley Leadbetter & Grayson
The Tractor and Old Motor Display
Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain
Is that an oxymoron?
Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
Peter's Homestead House
Stage One, Store, Restaurant
Irwin's Chapel Church
Wilson Barn - Stage 2
The Gibson Brothers
Russ & Becky Jeffers at Stage 4
Bill & the Belles
Grace Van't Hof