Thursday, June 16, 2016

Musicians Against Childhood Cancer 2016 - July 20 - 23 - Preview

Musicians Against Childhood Cancer/Bluegrass Classic will run at Hoover-Y Park in Columbus, OH from July 20 - 23, 2016, celebrating it's 32nd year of bringing great bluegrass to the Columbus area and to the country in a comfortable setting offering four days of many of the top bluegrass stars in the country. Promoter Darrell Adkins' unique Classic Performances highlight performers not frequently seen together or more familiar in others genres. This year there will be six Classic Performances during the four day run of the festival, rededicated in Mandy Adkins in 2000 after she lost her battle to brain cancer. All proceeds from the festival are donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Since its inception, the MACC has donated $875,840 to St. Jude following Mandy's death. The musicians donate their music and talent to this worthy cause.

Mandy Adkins

In many ways, the MACC is a family affair. Four generations of the Adkins family have and are participating in this annual event, picking up additional responsibilities as they mature. Musicians often come early and stay for most of the event, bringing their spouses and children, visiting with friends they don't often have time to see out on the bluegrass trail, and enjoying their time with the festival crowd. The environment is warm and welcoming. The few rules necessary are clearly stated and promptly enforced, maintaining a family friendly setting and vibe. Younger children who play music are welcomed to the MACC Children's Band, which performs on Saturday morning.

This year's lineup features thirty-four bands and more individual side musicians than it's possible for me to catalog. The list includes four members of IBMA's Hall of Fame and more category winners than I can count. The bands represent several distinct styles of bluegrass ranging from hard driving traditional bands, to classic country, old-time, and contemporary. As Darrell likes to say, "If a band doesn't suit your taste, go get something to eat or take a nap. You'll love the next one."

Here's a snapshot of the lineup for this year's MACC:

Classic Performances

The Tim O'Brien Band - Thursday

Tim O'Brien makes his MACC debut in a Classic Performance in support of his new CD Pompadour, just out. Known to more than a generation of music fans as a member of Hot Rize, a regular at MerleFest and Telluride, and frequent recording with everyone from his sister Molly, singing often traditional bluegrass music to Darrell Scott presenting what's best described as Americana, O'Brien is a musical legend, rooted in tradition while known for risk taking and innovation. The band this weekend will consist of David Grier, Shad Cobb, Mike Bub, and newcomer Jan Fabricius. David Grier is considered to be one of the finest flatpicking guitarists in the world. Mike Bub is five time IBMA bass player of the year. Can't wait to hear this set!

David Grier

Flashback - Friday
Richard Bennet, Curt Chapman, Don Rigsby, Phil Leadbetter

This newly constituted band consists of musicians who were members of J.D. Crowe and the New South during the 1990's.The group released an album, including Crowe, back in 1995. Now, with J.D. Crowe retired, the sound of this band becomes an exciting reminder of those great days from former members of J.D. Crowe & the New South.Stuart Wyrick has been selected to play banjo in this exciting new band. Flashback will be making its debut performance at the MACC.

Randy Kohrs & Friends
 Aubrey Haynie, Clay Hess, Paul Harrigil - Friday

Composed of former "young guns" of bluegrass music, now matured, but not blunted, this band should provide lots of music and a few not so gentle surprises. Kohrs, now noted as one of the top producers in Nashville, started his career as a Dobro innovator some years ago. Aubrey Haynie, a product of the Bluegrass Parlor program in Tampa Florida, has become one of the top session musicians and side musicians in Nashville, Clay Hess played guitar for Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder before heading out to front his own innovative bluegrass band. Paul Harrigil, still too young to be called a "former" anything, plays banjo for Flatt Lonesome. 

Clay Hess

Old Friends - Doyle Lawson, Paul Williams, and Joe Mullins - Friday

Well over 150 years of experience bringing the audience classic bluegrass from the first and second generations, both Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams are members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Joe Mullins, front man of Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers as well as having played banjo on the great Longview recordings, is one of the best Scruggs-style banjo players around. This Classic Performance promises a feast of familiar traditional bluegrass as fans want it. 

Paul Williams

New Monday - Saturday

As with so many groups which appear at the Station Inn, New Monday features a somewhat changeable cast of performers, depending on who's in town. While Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, and Val Storey form the core of this group, some of Nashville's finest stars and side musicians may show up on any Monday to sing classic country, the great country music from the late fifties into the nineties. Look for Bradley Walker here, as well as other surprises. It's always a treat to see this band, which will appear on the culminating evening of the MACC, Saturday night!

Larry Cordle

Carl Jackson

Tribute to Merle Haggard - Daryle Singletary & Friends - Wednesday
Daryle Singletary

Merle Haggard represented one of the many contact points between bluegrass and country music. His song California Cottonfields, as well as several others, have become bluegrass standards. Haggard's music crossed boundaries, as his life defied classification. Daryle Singletary, with his deep, mellow baritone voice and warm demeanor will bring others to the stage in a tribute to the life, legend, and music of Merle Haggard. Though noted as a country singer/songwrter, Haggard recorded The Bluegrass Sessions in 2007.

Merle Haggard

New to the MACC in 2016

This year a number of bands that have not previously appeared at The MACC before will be featured during the week. It's an interesting and capable group bound to entertain and delight. Bands in the Classic Performances are not listed below.

Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
LeeRoy Troy

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band featuring LeeRoy Troy brings back the music and style of Uncle Dave Macon and brings it up-to-date, too. Their hi-jinks not only often represent a change of pace at a bluegrass festival, but introduce listeners to a style of traditional string band music that might be lost to all but scholars of the music without bands like this one, that provided entertainment from the days of Vaudeville and early radio. Sit back and enjoy yourself.

Mike Armistead


As Sideline's name implies, the band was founded as something to do during the slow late fall and winter season for a group of North Carolina pickers. Something happened on the way to the studio: they became a hit. Now approaching 100 dates a year and about to release their third collection, this time featuring some newer material, Sideline has become the quintessential traditional, hard-driving bluegrass band, filled with talent, energy, and joy in performing. The best cover band in the business is expanding its repertoire and its reach

Steve Dilling

Terry Baucom & Dukes of Drive

A founding member of IIIrd Tyme Out, Terry Baucom has long been known as one of the finest banjo players in the business. He's played as a sideman with the best. Now he's touring with his own band. 

Terry Baucom & the Dukes of Drive

Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

Rob Ickes has, virtually, redefined the Dobro over the past two decades, during which he was named IBMA Dobro Player of the Year an amazing fifteen times. All of that time was spent with ground breaking band Blue Highway. Now he's combined with guitarist Trey Hensley to present a duo of their own. Their first CD was nominated for a Grammy. Now they've produced a new CD called The Country Blues, which will be released in early July. This duo's picking and singing will be a pleasure to hear.

Rob Ickes

David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition

Bluegrass fans are familiar with David Parmley as a member of The Bluegrass Cardinals and, later, David Parmley & Continental Divide. After a hiatus from the road, David has returned with a band filled with familiar faces dedicated to re-introducing the great Bluegrass Cardinals sound of the seventies through the nineties. The band is certain to bring nostalgia with some familiar, and still frequently covered, material. 

David Parmley

The Boxcars
Adam Steffey

The Boxcars present some of the finest pickers, singers, and songwriters to have been assembled in a single band in some years. Adam Steffey, eleven time IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, and Ron Stuart, who's won the instrumental award on both banjo and fiddle, are in great demand both as session musicians and with bands. Steffey's mandolin playing has influenced a generation of up-and-coming pickers. Lead singer Keith Garrett is a talented songwriter as well as singer. Be sure to catch this band if you've never seen them live before.

Ron Stuart

The MACC advertises itself as an All-Star festival, and indeed it is. Since bands only perform one set during the weekend, attendees may wish to pick and choose which bands they come to the stage to see and hear. Since there's plenty of shade, you can almost always find a place to move your chair if you don't wish to sit int he sun. The music starts each day at noon, and usually lasts until eleven in the evening. That's a lot of bluegrass, but you won't find a clunker in the bunch. There are plenty of different styles, some of which you might prefer over others, but you can count on getting plenty of the music you love here. 

At the Gate

The Details

Tickets: You can order tickets until July 13 at a discount online here. Remember, The MACC is a benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so at least a portion of your ticket price is tax deductible. There are a number of day ticket and season ticket options. You can also purchase tickets for the Todd Sams Guitar raffle online. The guitar is a replica of Tony Rice's famous Martin D-28 once owned by Clarence White. A new custom banjo has also been added to the raffle opportunities. 

Todd Sams Raffle Guitar

Davis Concord Model Raffle Banjo

Camping: Camping is available in four locations around the performance area. There are a number of electric sites, some with thirty amp service. These are likely to be reserved by the time you read this. In order to arrange camping, call 740-548-4199. While there are a couple of water standpipes available, campers should plan on arriving with full water tanks. A pump-out service is provided at a fee. Here's a map of the site:

In addition to the porta-johns provided at convenient locations, there are flush toilets and a shower facility (small charge) provided. On the grounds there are playgrounds, swings, a fortress, and other provisions to make children's time fun. Check the camping page of the MACC website for other conveniences. 

Hotels: A number of hotels and motels are available within a convenient drive for those who prefer not to camp. Here's a map and list

Map of Hotels Near Hoover-Y Park

MACC Recordings: Two award winning live recordings of artists at the MACC have been made. You can order them through this blog by clicking the links for each one.

Celebration of Life

Life Goes On

How To Get To the MACC:

Hoover-Y camp is located at:
1570 Rohr Rd.
Lockbourne, Ohio 43137

Here's a Customizable Map designed for you:

Phyliss & Darrel Adkins Accept Award

For many people, Musicians Against Childhood Cancer has become a bucket list festival because of its large, varied, and accomplished lineup, one of the best anywhere. Others are devoted to The Cause. Note that you don't have to attend the festival to support it. You can purchase raffle tickets online, donate to St. Jude through the MACC by credit card or direct donation on the upper left hand corner of the Home Page. 

Finally, if you heard about the festival through this blog, or are a regular, please take the time to say hello to me or Irene when you see us around the grounds or at the gate. See you at the MACC!

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