Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Look Back at 2016 - Winter

YeeHaw Music Fest - January - Ocheechobee, Florida

For the past dozen years or so, we've headed south to Florida in early January. After retrieving our trailer at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, we hustle to the southernmost event we attend. This year, what was once the YeeHaw Junction Bluegrass Festival moved from the open field it had been held in for many years to the modern Agri-Business Center in the agricultural, retirement center of Ocheechobee, Florida, at the north end of Florida's largest lake. Despite chilly weather and the encountering some of the issues always presented by a new venue, this distinguished older event has been re-imagined and revived as YeeHaw Music Fest.

Promoters Ernie and Deb Evans

Nothin' Fancy - Mike Andes

Caleb Cox

Tony Shorter

JR Davis - Florida's All-Purpose Singer

The Atlantic City Boys Brought a Taste of Old Time Rock & Roll

Alabama's Gary Waldrep Brings Showmanship and Fervent Gospel

Mindy Rakestraw - Gary Waldrep Band

Susan Garrett Pounds - Penny Creek

Usually, when we're in Florida. We like to stay at one of Florida's many beautiful (and crowded) state parks between events. I often don't take a lot of pictures in these lovely spots. Resolution: write more about the parks and sites we visit in Florida.

The Palatka Bluegrass Festival

The Palatka Bluegrass Festival, held each year at the Rodeheaver Boys Ranch in northeastern Florida, is a benefit for the ranch, helping raise money to support this independent institution dedicated to helping boys whose parents can't carry their load. It's the largest festival we attend in Florida, promoted by bluegrass promoter Norman Adams, who runs a number of other events along the southeastern seaboard. 

Mississippi's Alan Sibley

Victor Dowdy - The Bluegrass Brothers

Cody Farrar - Breakin' Grass

Johnny Adams Jam - A Fixture

Todd Goodwill

George Botcher

The Gibson Brothers
Leigh Gibson

Eric Gibson

Jesse Brock

The Grascals
Terry Eldredge and Kristin Scott Benson

Kristin Scott Benson

Adam Haynes

Danny Roberts

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers

Dwayne Sparks

Mike Terry

Little Roy Lewis

The Lonesome River Band
Sammy Shelor

Jessie Smathers

Brandon Rickman

Barry Reid

Chris Paganoni - Penny Creek Band

Red Jones - Bluegrass Artist Host

Sherry Boyd - Emcee Extraordinary 

Greg Cahill - Special Consensus

The Spinney Brothers - Rick & Allan

The Steep Canyon Rangers
Charles R. Humphrey III

Nicky Sanders

Mike Guggino

Mike Ashworth

The Mad Fiddler - Nicky Sanders

Florida Bluegrass Classic - Brooksville, FL
Michael Reno Harrell - Singer/Storyteller

For a variety of reasons, mostly the inadequacy of the previous venue and too far north location, the festival once held in the world-famous speed trap of Waldo, FL moved south and west to near Brooksville, FL on a large open setting that had been used as a park for dog shows for many years. Ernie and Deb Evans, through their production company Evans Media Source, hit a home run on The Florida Bluegrass Classic, despite some very chilly weather.

Songwriter Mark Brinkman Conducts Workshop

Keeping Warm Evenings

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Josh Goforth

Tommy Long

Nothin' Fancy - Mitchell Davis

Chris Sexton 

Blue Highway
Shawn Lane

Tim Shelton

Gaven Largent

Wayne Taylor

Jason Burleson

Emcee Jo Odom - Baby It's Cold Outside

Steve Dilling & Jason Moore

The Shed at Brooksville

Newell Lodge

The Newell Lodge Bluegrass Festival in Folkston, GA has never quite lived up to its promise. The setting and the stage, in the midst of a large grove of live oak trees just thirty miles north of the GA/FL border, it has, sadly, never attracted a large enough audience to thrive. We'll not be returning. 

Deeper Shade of Blue
Jim Fraley

Jason Fraley

Irene Spent Some Time Watching

Irby Brown - Emcee

Greg Bird - Master at Country Karaoke 

The Larry Gillis Band

Albie Lopez

Michael Fagin

Mountain Faith
Summer Macmahon

Claire Lynch Band
Claire Lynch

Jarrod Walker

Mark Schatz

Ernie Evans


Sertoma is a service club which owns a lovely campground outside Brooksville, FL is home to a number of events including the Sertoma Bluegrass Festival held in late March. 

Dry Branch Fire Squad
Ron Thomason - Hamboning

Adam McIntosh & Greg Byrd

Marty Raybon & Full Circle

Tim Raybon

Chris Davis

Mountain Faith
Sam McMahan 

Summer McMahan

Braydon McMahan

Cory Piatt

Ron Thomason Looking On

Remington Ryde
Ryan Frankhouser

Richard Egolf

Back Porch Pickers

Jo Odum - A Warmer Emcee 

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