Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival - June 22 - 25. 2017 - Preview

The Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival is one of the most popular and respected bluegrass festivals now held in New England. People travel from huge distances to attend and enjoy the music offered there, the site at the Tunbridge World's Fairgrounds in Tunbridge, VT, and the lovely rolling hills of eastern Vermont. The festival will run from June 22 - 25, 2017 with an opening pot-luck supper and barn dance on Wednesday, the 21st. Because of my lateness at getting it out, it's an abbreviated overview. I hope it's helpful. 

Aaron Foster & Dreamcatcher

We've watched Aaron Foster (Frosty) grow up at Jenny Brook from an awkward very young teenager who was just learning to play the banjo on his Deering Goodtime into a mature adult who has capably led the Jenny Brook Kids Academy and nearly completed his education at East Tennessee State University while building his own band and developing a reputation as both talented and reliable. It's exciting for us, and the entire Jenny Brook community to see him appear as the leader of his band DreamCatcher on the main stage as well as to lead a session at the Sugar House stage. Way to go.....

David Davis & the Warrior River Boys

David Davis, from Alabama, is one of the foremost Monroe style mandolin players in bluegrass. We haven't seen him in too many years, and are most happy to see him return to Jenny Brook. 

Rickey Wasson Band

Rickey Wasson spent many years as lead singer and spokesman for J.D. Crowe & the New South.  His baritone voice has always been exceptional. Appearing with this band, affectionately called the Wasscars by Randy Graham will be Graham on mandolin, Josh Hymer on banjo, Ron Stewart on fiddle, and Harold Nixon on bass. Sounds like a good time will be had by all.

Zink & Co

Cory Zink & Co has developed a solid fan base at Jenny Brook over the years. His mix of classic country and bluegrass is enjoyable, as is his solid baritone voice. 


Sideline is one of the hottest new bands on the bluegrass circuit. Beginning as what their name implies, they've continually strengthened the band, adding new young guns to their very experienced core. This band will be a highlight of the festival for those liking traditional bluegrass served up with high energy and huge enthusiasm. 

Dale Ann Bradley

Dale Ann Bradley, a five time winner of the IBMA Female Vocalist, is one of the finest bluegrass singers ever. Her clear, warm voice combined with her deep, heartfelt sincerity welcome listeners into the world of her upbringing and her imagination. One of the best. 

Carl Shifflett & Big Country

Carl Shifflett, with his hound dog face, loud tie, and fifties era microphone brings to life the radio shows of the 1940's and 50's when hard working bluegrass bands traveled from one local low power radio station to another to broadcast fifteen minute or half hour live shows to the audiences within a twenty mile radius. His shows illuminate the world of traditional bluegrass. 

Ricky Skaggs (one long set)

Ricky Skaggs, as a performer in both country and bluegrass music as well as a music publisher, has become a living musical legend. He has been responsible for helping maintain the popularity of the music of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers standing beside his award winning country songs like Highway Forty Blues. He has put together one of the best large bluegrass bands seen anywhere, bringing Nashville to life at even smaller festivals like Jenny Brook. This will be his debut experience here. 

Sugar House – Rickey Wasson

Kelly John Gibson

Kelly John Gibson has earned the opening slot on Saturday morning through his appearances on the gazebo stage. He's following in his Dad's footsteps as a song writer of sensitivity and talent while establishing himself as a musician to watch. 

Mile Twelve

Mile Twelve has added a mandolin player to its lineup, filling a much needed spot. They're a Boston-based band with rich harmonies, fine song writing, and the first class musicianship you'd expect with their Berkley-bred musical heritage. They're always tuneful and fun. 

Seth Sawyer Band

The Sawyers are the promoters of the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival and the Seth Sawyer Band the host band. Seth is well known as a songwriter. His song Green Mountain Girl stands as the unofficial theme song of the festival.

Candi Sawyer

Special Consensus
Greg Cahill

Special Consensus has been a busy, popular bluegrass band for over forty years, and leader Greg Cahill also served a couple of terms as President of the Board of IBMA. In addition to their continual popularity as a touring and recording band, Greg has been active in efforts to bring bluegrass to the schools across the nation. The band is also quite frequently seen in Europe. It's a delight to see them coming to Jenny Brook. 

David Parmley

David Parmley has returned to active performing, to the delight of his many fans. A long-time member of his father's famous California band The Bluegrass Cardinals, Parmley also toured as David Parmley and Continental Divide. He now returns as David Parmley & the Cardinal Tradition, reprising many of the bands songs while adding newer material. Make him welcome. 

Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers' latest release, In the Ground stands among the best of their work, ever. With all the songs written by the two brothers from northern New York, the album tells their life story in fresh new songs, all of which they wrote. Always popular at Jenny Brook, the Gibson Brothers have hardly missed a year there since the festival's beginning. 

Sugar House – Sideline

Michelle Canning

Like Aaron Foster, Michelle Canning grew up at Jenny Brook. Now a graduate of Moorehead State University in Kentucky, where she majored in bluegrass music, she fronts her own band and serves as a substitute MC at some regional festivals. 

Katahdin Valley Boys

The Katahdin Valley Boys, based in Maine, play traditional bluegrass at festivals and other events in the region.

Jenny Brook Kid's Academy

The Jenny Brook Kids Academy has been rebuilt by Aaron Foster over the last four years, becoming a musical force to be reckoned with on Sunday. Through two days of enjoyable practice and learning about bluegrass music, the kids academy puts together a show while enjoying themselves and learning to play bluegrass. You can sign your young musician up here

Marteka & William

Marteka & William Lake are a duo that's played a good deal in the middle Atlantic states and had some television exposure. They are making their debut at Jenny Brook. 


New York-based Big Apple'achia will close out the festival with a set of high lonesome traditional bluegrass. Many of the performers are familiar to Jenny Brook fans in other conformations, and their show should be worth staying till the end to enjoy. 

Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival is unusual in its complexity and comprehensiveness. Because of our travel schedule over the past month, I've fallen behind, not getting this preview up until too close to the event. Therefore, I've decided to highlight the other elements of the festival with links to where you can find further information in the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival web site. I hope this works for you.

Although Jenny Brook is a four day festival, a tradition has evolved that includes a pot luck supper and country music barn dance featuring the Clem Hawkins Revival Band. This is always fun and tasty. Here's the link.

The Artists Stage, located behind the main stage and up a small hill, is used for artist workshops and interviews. Interested people can often learn more about their instruments and the people who play them by attending these events.

The Weston Stage, formerly known as the gazebo stage, offers performances by some of the regional and national touring bands also appearing on the main stage at other times. Also, look for a highlighted dramatic performance called the Life and Times of Carter Stanley being offered on Friday afternoon.

The Sugar House Stage allows interested musicians the chance to play with some of the top bands at the festival in an after hours jam setting. This has become a highlight of the festival for many people.

The Jenny Brook University, offers instrument instruction in small groups for interested novice musicians taught by well known New England musicians. Often, private lessons can be arranged with members of the staff at other opportunities. The University is available at a number of New England festivals. Scheduling and other information is available at the link.

The Kids Fun Zone offers a number of activities in the daytime and evening for children to enjoy wholesome entertainment together while freeing their parents for a few hours of listening to music, jamming, or resting.

You can find Ticketing Information Here and Camping Information Here.

The Jenny Brook Web Site also contains a Frequently Asked Questions section, Rules & Etiquette and much more. I urge you to spend some time there to make yourself thoroughly aware of how this festival works.

How to Get to the Jenny Brook Location 
The Tunbridge World's Fair Grounds
Place Your Location in the Space Marked O and Click

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