Monday, July 28, 2014

Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (The MACC) - 2014: Friday Review

 Lynn Butler Cooking Staff Breakfast

The MACC (Musicians Against Childhood Cancer) is about the goal of raising money to donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the YMCA, which provides Hoover Y Park as a venue. It is also about family, both the extended Adkins family, who lost Mandy Adkins fifteen years ago to a brain stem cancer, and the corps of volunteers who have dedicated time and money over the years to making the event the success it has become. Without the forty or so people who use vacation time or come from near and far to work, some of them for more than a week, the MACC would not be possible. Early arrivals come to line the fields for parking RVs while others arrive a day or so before the festival to staff the gates, provide security, help clean up the mess that several thousand attendees can create, feed the staff and artists, conduct the Children's Band, and much more. All this takes place under the supervision of Darrell and Phyllis Adkins, whose clear vision and thoughtful organization keep the whole enterprise moving forward. By Friday, the staff, some of whom work eighteen hours a day, are becoming weary, but there's a spirit driving the event and the music lifting it up that keeps everyone involved while maintaining energy and keeping a positive outlook. There's almost no griping, and problems are smoothly taken care of by Darrell and his close knit group of lieutenants who've been with him for years.

Darrell Adkins Taking a Brief Respite in the Morning

Phyllis Adkins

Brenda Butler with Son Stanley

Whitley Williams  and Friend

Brenda, Phyllis & Whitley

Flatt Lonesome Rehearses w/Sub Josh Williams

While Irene Looks On...Ready to Shoot

Flatt Lonesome

Flatt Lonesome continues to improve, aided this weekend by Josh Williams highly effective substituting for the absent Buddy Robertson. The band is young, relatively inexperienced, and continues to work on developing itself.

Kelsi Robertson Harrigill

Charlie Robertson

Paul Harrigill

Dominic Illingworth

Michael Stockton

Josh Williams

Kelsi Harrigill, Dominic Illingworth, Josh Williams

Flatt Lonesome - So Far - Video

Plenty for Kids
The Fort on the Playground

Josh Williams & Fan on Basketball Court

 Kenny & Amanda Smith

Kenny and Amanda Smith are a quiet band, so quiet many people overlook their excellence.. Take one of the top flat pickers in the business, combine him with a partner possessing one of the finest voices to be found, add a charming and ongoing love story, and you have a first rate band. Their fine harmony only adds to the mix. Any festival booking this band graces itself with quality and taste as well as attractive musical performance. They're always a good choice.

Amanda Smith

Kenny Smith

Cory Pyatt

Kyle Perkins

Justin Moses 

Kenny & Amanda Smith - Blinded By You - Video

Lou Reid with Tyler Williams & Family

Lou Reid & Carolina

Lou Reid has one of the most distinctive and recognizable tenor voices in bluegrass music. He keeps busy, too, as a member of his own band of over twenty years and as tenor singer and mandolinist with Seldom Scene. A founding member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, he's paid his dues and done it all. Lou Reid & Carolina is distinguished by its combination of traditional songs with an emphasis on Bill Monroe, excellent choice of old and new gospel songs, and carefully chosen originals. The addition of Skip Cherryholmes on guitar has been a good choice. Tuneful and fun.

Lou Reid

Christy Reid

Trevor Watson

Skip Cherryholms

Josh Williams Receives His New Todd Sams Guitar
Replica of the Clarence White Martin D28

Josh Williams & Friends

One of the outstanding features of The MACC is Darrell Adkins' ability to bring musicians from various bands, a sometimes even unusual different genres, together to play. Josh Williams' career has been built largely on his ability to play like, and often substitute for, Tony Rice, when Rice can't meet a date. Much of this set featured songs from the ground breaking album Rounder OO44 in which J.D. Crowe changed the course of bluegrass history. According to Wikipedia, "This one album changed the nature and direction of bluegrass music to an extent that everything after it has to be viewed in light of this album, and today this album is considered a landmark in bluegrass music without which no collection is complete." The set featuring some of today's best bluegrass pickers was truly a delight.

Aubrey Haynie

Danny Roberts

Terry Smith

Aaron McDaris

Brent Burke

Aubrey Haynie & Danny Roberts

Josh Williams & Friends - Ginseng Sullivan - Video

Larry Stephenson Band

Larry Stephenson has been a friend of The MACC since its beginning. Each year he brings his clear, bright tenor voice and commitment to traditional bluegrass music to the audience. While the band has recently added a new bass player to replace Danny Stewart, Jr. who has joined the Navy to play in its bluegrass band and Colby Laney has moved on (this was his last performance with Larry), Kenny Ingram remains a reliable side-kick and the addition  on bass of Matt Wright, still a student at ETSU, which is rapidly becoming professional bluegrass's Triple A farm club,  hold out the promise that Larry Stephenson will be able to stay the course.

Larry Stephenson

Matt Wright

Kenny Ingram

Colby Laney

Security for the Artist/Staff Lunch Tent - Tight

Electrician Lauren Shirk and Tech Wizard Bob Kelly 
Consult with Darrell

The Grascals

The Grascals are fixtures at The MACC and also sometimes go to Memphis with Darrell and Phyllis Adkins to deliver the MACC's annual check to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The addition of Adam Haynes has re-invigorated the band in much the same way the Kristin Scott Benson's joining several years ago did. One only has to watch the interaction between Haynes and Danny Roberts to see the Grascals are having more fun than they have in years. JaeLee Roberts joined the band  to sing "How Great Thou Art" with an iron set of lungs and great pitch.

Kristin Scott Benson

Adam Haynes

Danny Roberts & Jaelee Roberts

Jamie Johnson

Terry Smith

Terry Smith & Terry Eldredge

Terry Eldredge

Seldom Scene

The Seldom Scene is living, breathing evidence that things change. When they hit the bluegrass world in 1971 they brought new, to bluegrass, material with them. Not only did they play the material from the founders and songs sounding just like them, they adapted new music to bluegrass, making it their own. Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry were suddenly bluegrass songwriters. Nadine and Lay Down Sally became part of the bluegrass repertoire, and there were fans saying, "That ain't bluegrass." Nobody says that today. This band is smooth and fun. Everywhere they appear, they're filled with the joy of performing. 

Fred Travers

Lou Reid

Dudley Connell

Ben Eldridge

Ronnie Simpkins

Seldom Scene - I'll Be No Stranger There - Video

The Ramblin Rooks

The Ramblin Rooks introduced themselves to the world as a band three years ago at IBMA's World of Bluegrass, featuring four pickers, each with busy schedules with other bands, three of whom had played together in the Lonesome River Band in the eighties. Three of the original Ramblin Rooks still are the core of the band. Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby, and Kenny Smith are the three, and they usually can choose from a variety of fine banjo pickers to fill the band out. They play some LRB covers, a selection of their individual hits, and are slowly incorporating more material they can call their own.

Kenny Smith

Don Rigsby

Ronnie Bowman

Justin Moses

The Ramblin Rooks - Coal Mining Man - Video

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out with the Centerville (OH) Alternative Strings
Me & Dad - Video

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out seem to be the ideal band for the Centerville Alternative Strings to play with at the MACC. Using music arranged and transcribed by director Doug Eyink, the blend was goose-bump raising. Russell Moore and his band clearly "got' the combination, while the Strings distinguished themselves. A fit ending tor a drizzly evening.

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