Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Florida Bluegrass Classic - February 22 - 26, 2017: Preview

The second annual Florida Bluegrass Classic will take place from February 22 – 26, 2017 at the Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, near Brooksville, FL. Last year's initial run of this newest in Evans Media Source bluegrass offerings was both an artistic and a financial success as it moved from its previous location in Waldo, FL to a new venue, which has primarily been used in the past as a venue for large dog shows. Located on fifty acres at the top of a low, rolling hill surrounded by orange groves, the Florida Classic Park has over 250 RV water/electric hookups as well as providing a four station dump station. A restroom building provided clean, flush toilets. This year a portable shower facility will be available. The spacious and flexible pavilion seats a full crowd under cover. This year The Florida Bluegrass Classic has a proven brand, strong bands, and a Monday – Sunday program designed to encourage people to arrive early to spend an enjoyable week in the sun with plenty of activities.

The Lineup
Billy Droze - Tuesday Evening Special

According to the bio on his web site, Billy Droze, born in Lafayette, LA and raised in Alabama, has wanted to be a musician since before he could remember. We heard him as a special guest (along with Mo Pitney) at Musicians Against Childhood Cancer in Ohio a few years ago. He was impressive then. According to one reviewer, his recently released CD "The Sinin' Man" is so good she couldn't pick out a favorite track. Droze will presenting his solo show on Tuesday evening as a special for early arrivals at the festival. These feature special presentations that Ernie Evans has been presenting at several festivals for the past couple of years has proven to be quite successful. Bet this one is, too......

Marty Raybon & Full Circle

Marty Raybon has been a headliner with his bluegrass band Full Circle and with his country rock band Susquehanna, which is again on tour. Marty, a native of Florida who has sunk his roots deep in Alabama and Nashville always delivers an electric show of a mixture of traditional bluegrass and gospel, new bluegrass songs, and favorites from his years in country music. He and his able band deliver high energy enthusiasm coupled with strong singing and instrumental work. He's become  a regular at Evans' festivals, and is always welcome. 

Eddie Raven & Lorraine Jodan's Country Grass Show

Eddy Raven has had a long career as a performer and writer on country music dating back to his first release in 1973. He released his first single in 1962, when he was twenty-two years old and has continued to perform and record since then. He has had songs reach the country charts over a period of many years, from his first charted song in 1974 "Last of the sunshine Cowboys" through "Cowboys Don't Cry" in 1990. He has released fourteen albums and fifty-two singles through the years. Recently, Raven has joined forces with Lorraine Jordan to produce a CD album called "Country Grass," which includes bluegrassed versions of their songs. One customer review on Amazon.com wrote this about the recording, "This is a genius idea by Lorraine Jordan of combining traditional country music with bluegrass. There are many, many people who are wanting to hear the old traditional country music, and it's hard to find. Each traditional country singer on the CD did a great job of singing their most popular songs."

Gary Waldrep

Gary Waldrep has been seen and appreciated at bluegrass festivals throughout the south since he formed his own band in 1998 after spending some time performing with David Davis and the Warrior River Band and The Sound Mountain Boys. Wishing to share the style of bluegrass the pre-dominated in his home Sand Mountain region of northeastern Alabama, he formed the band that showcases his own style of traditional bluegrass and old time bluegrass and gospel music and features his own unique style of performing. 

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Through the years, Lorraine Jordan has championed traditional music, both bluegrass and country, while drawing together strong entertainment and a lively show. She has recently been mentoring young Garrett Newton, a promising banjo player, as a part of her show. Tommy John, has shown increasing power as a bluegrass singer, while veteran Ben Greene on banjo shines. Josh Goforth, on both fiddle and guitar, quietly stands out as a consummate professional. 

Remington Ryde

Remington Ryde has upped its game with the addition of Warren Blair on fiddle. The band combines high energy traditional bluegrass with corny humor and lots of gospel music to provide solid entertainment for its fans. Billy Lee Cox is an exceptional banjo player.

Billy Lee Cox

The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn

The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn is a three person acoustic band from the Tallahassee area billing themselves as folk, bluegrass, blues, and swing. They appear pretty regularly around their home territory. I look forward to seeing and hearing them as a clear change of pace band for this festival.

South Country Classic

South Country Classic made its debut at this festival as a live "rehearsal" on Friday at this festival last year. Ernie, along with Jr Davis and Dave O'Brien thought that they might have an IDEA with this country band singing classic country songs. The response of those who stayed through the quite chilly evening was electric. We heard lots about it the next morning, having headed to bed early. The band, with its flexible lineup is still finding a precise sound, but improves with each outing, and has lots of fun while providing fun for those who watch or who join them on stage. Look for a good show.

Ernie on the Telecaster

Swinging Bridge

Swinging Bridge, a local band from southwest Florida, around Englewood, is the first Florida band we remember seeing when we started coming to YeeHaw Junction about a dozen years ago. They're a reliable and pleasant band who enjoy delivering their stage show almost as much as they do holding the jams at their bus. They're a solid, versatile, reliable bluegrass band representing to sort of commitment that keeps bluegrass alive and thriving around the country.

Greg Bird

Greg Bird serves as a talented country karaoke entertainer, back-up emcee, and genial host for a variety of activities at Evans Media Source Events. He enjoys what he does and spreads that joy to those who attend. 

Jo Odum

We've been watching Jo as an emcee for more than ten years. Like fine wine, she just improves with age.....

Jan Ladd will lead a Sunday morning gospel jam.

The Details

The Florida Bluegrass Classic will be held in the Florida Classic Park in Brooksville, FL from February 22 - 26, 2017.  The Address is:

5360 Lockhart Road
Brooksville, FL

Tickets:   Thursday - $25.00     Friday - $25.00  Saturday - $30.00     Sunday - Free
                  Weekend at the Gate: $55.00

Seating: Bring your own chair - No High Backs!

Camping: Primitive Camping:    $11.00/Night
                  30 Amp Electric          $25.00/Night
                  50 Amp Electric          $30.00/Night
                   Camping Opens: Monday, February 20th
                   Camp for five nights, get one free

How To Get to the Florida Bluegrass Classic
Place Your Location in the O Line and Click to Create a Custom Map

The Florida Bluegrass Classic is, so far, a well run, small bluegrass festival in a site with almost unlimited room for growth, close to larger population centers in Central Florida. Hope to see YOU there. 

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