Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bluegrass Classic - Brooksville, FL - February 24 - 28: Preview

The Bluegrass Classic, presented by Ernie and Deb Evan, at the Florida Classic Park near Brooksville, FL will run this year from February 24 - 28. The event replaces the Roscoe Canaday Festival previously held on this weekend at the Dixieland RV Park in Waldo, Florida, a site that the festival had outgrown. Florida Classic Park, containing 256 water/electric sites, a new pavilion, and a large washroom containing showers should prove to be a lovely site for a festival on a grass covered field which often serves as the home of large, dog shows. We drove out there last spring where we found the grounds locked, so we couldn't survey them closely, but it looked well groomed with good drainage, and should more than adequately serve as a fine home for a growing festival. I've scattered photos from dog shows held here throughout the preview. It's easy to imagine the uses of this space for The Bluegrass Classic.

Satellite View - Florida Classic Park

The Lineup

Featuring four national bands, local bands, and plenty of space and time for jamming, visiting, and celebrating together, The Bluegrass Classic promises to be a significant upgrade from the previous site in Waldo.

Blue Highway
Wayne Taylor

Blue Highway has been one of the most consistent and recognized bluegrass bands in the country for twenty-two years. Until the recent exit of Dobro great Rob Ickes, the band had experienced virtually no personnel changes. Faced with the challenge of replacing the irreplacable, Blue Highway has hired Gavin Largent, a  young virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. We saw Gavin playing with Nothin' Fancy a couple of weeks ago on both banjo and Dobro and were mightily impressed by his ability to adapt quickly and present wonderful instrumental work. It will be huge fun to watch this young addition to the veteran band that has been so successful over many years.

Gavin Largent

Nothin' Fancy
Mike Andes & Tony Shorter

Nothin' Fancy continues to tour hard, entertain with enthusiasm, and build its already large fan base with a combination of well-chosen covers, original songs (both serious and comic) from the creative depths of Mike Andes' imagination, and music that is always enjoyable. Chris Sexton, on fiddle, is an animated flurry of musicianship and showmanship. Always fun!

Chris Sexton

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Lorraine Jordan's latest iteration infuses plenty of country music with her classic bluegrass material. The band includes the always reliable Josh Goforth on fiddle and guitar as well as Jason Moore on bass. Brad Hudson has re-joined the band on Dobro as well as to sing material from Carolina Road's recent country record,

Brian Aldridge

Perhaps Sideline should change its name. Begun as a side project by several very busy musicians, Sideline has become successful beyond all expectations, as exemplified by a recent national tour. Emcee Steve Dilling is his usual charming self, while brother duo Brian Aldridge on mandolin sings up a storm. Meanwhile, fifteen year old Nathan Aldridge plays fiddle with skill and maturity befitting a veteran twice his age.

Nathan Aldridge

Gary Waldrep

Gary Waldrep, from the sand hills region of Alabama, has long been a favorite of southern audiences. He's loved because of his lively presentation of bluegrass gospel along with classic bluegrass and clawhammer banjo. He'll be the The Bluegrass Classic for two days. 

Wry Whiskey

Ed Wybranowski hails from Detroit, and has been a Florida resident for a long time as have most of the others.  The band has drawn the members of this, essentially, local band together to play an eclectic brand of bluegrass including some originals, the Louvin Brothers, and Vaughn Monroe. They have fun, even to include the name of the band. 

The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake

This local band with one of the great names, cadged from a sad-death ballad by Bill Monroe, and a funny web site brings enthusiasm and a broad repertoire to this festival.

Ernie Evans & the Florida State Bluegrass Band

Ernie Evans & the Florida Stage Bluegrass Band plays its own repertoire of classic bluegrass, swing, and gypsy jazz to the delight of those loving diversity in their music. They also work hard running the festival and providing excellent sound. 

The Details

Tickets & Camping

Advanced ticket prices can still be obtained until February 4. Buy your tickets now and save $10.00 per ticket. Otherwise;

Tickets at the Gate or by Phone: $65.00
Day Tickets at the Gate: $25.00
Gates Open on Monday February 22

Water/Electric Sites
30 amp: $25.00
50 amp: $30.00
Buy Five Get One Free

Dump Station on Site

Special Activities
Soup Beans & Cornbread
Square Dancing
Possible Surprise Band

Potluck Supper

Open Mic

Friday and Saturday
Stage Shows

Gospel Sing

For Further Information:
Call: (904) 886-8378 or (904) 545-3079

How to Get to the Florida Bluegrass Classic
Input your location in the appropriate box and click

Both Irene and I look forward to seeing you there. 

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