Monday, September 25, 2017

Delaware Valley 2017 - Sunday

Sunday at Delaware Valley presents a full schedule of four touring bands, a local bluegrass band, and two groups of kids bands usually ending around 5:00 PM all allowing a relaxed getaway for some, really good bluegrass for others, and a last gasp of jamming for diehards in the field. Unlike many bluegrass festivals, the Sunday bands are not there to merely stretch out another day as everyone leaves. They're very good bands staying completely within the design of this wonderful festival. So lets take a look at them.

Cab Calloway School of the Arts

The Cab Calloway School of the Arts is an arts magnet school located in nearby Wilmngton, DE. Their bluegrass band is a club effort spearheaded by Stephen Field who also acts as emcee. As always, they presented a delightful show with kids of a variety of skills but no shortage of enthusiasm.

Delaware Valley Kids Academy

Kids Academies at bluegrass festivals provide young musicians to get to know each other and to begin to grow into the music under the supervision of skilled and able musician/teachers. Here some pictures of the Delaware Valley Academy, and this link provides you with access to a larger portfolio of photos from this year's group. Enjoy them!

Tuesday Mountain Boys

The Tuesday Mountain Boys are a local band of members of Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music who play covers of classic bluegrass and a few of their own songs. Just right for an early Sunday appearance. Apologies to guitarist Jeff Spencer. 

Carvel Boyd

Brian Duffy 

Don Breed

Jeff ?

Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing
Bob Amos

Bob Amos has staged a regional comeback after the disbanding of Front Range, a fine band which toured in the 1990's and early 2000's. Based in far northern Vermont, this band has the discipline, fine writing, and taste that Amos is known for. Furthermore, his daughter Sarah adds vocal color and a winsome personality to the band. It was a delight to see this fine band out of its usual New England haunts. It deserves wider national attention. 

Steve Wright

Sarah Amos

Freeman Corey

Chris Kruger

Gary Darling

The Vocal Trio
Amos, Amos & Wright

Paul & Maria

Big Country Bluegrass

Big Country Bluegrass, from western Virginia and founded during the 1980's serves up hard driving traditional bluegrass without a lot of frills but with plenty of quality. Their name is a reference to Jimmy Martin. Founders Tommy and Teresa Sells, as well as the other members of the band, come from the Blue Ridge region. Singer Eddie Gill has the characteristic high lonesome tenor voice of old-time bluegrass. 

Tommy Sells

Teresa Sells 

Eddie Gill

Tim Laughlin

John Treadway

Tony King

Lapp's Cafeteria - Good Food

The Foghorn Stringband Arrives

Foghorn Stingband

The Foghorn String Band comes from Oregon, where it has established itself as the gold standard for old time string band music, while not sounding or appearing old fashioned. While celebrating old-time music, Foghorn is uniquely contemporary in its look and feel. They received a standing ovation.

Caleb Klauder

Stephen Lind

Reeb Williams

Nadine Landry

Flatt Lonesome
Buddy & Charli Robertson 

With Kelsi Harrigill on a brief maternity leave, twins Charli & Buddy Robertson have had to carry more of the responsibility for fronting the band. Charli, particularly, has come into her own serving as band emcee. Already noted for her singing, and showing marked improvement in her fiddle play, Charli has stepped up and proved herself to be able and personable at the job. Buddy and Charli each took a stronger solo responsibility in addition to their brother/sister  harmony songs. Charli's rendition of Darrell Scott's "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive," haunts a listener long after the last plaintive note has faded. 

Charli Robertson

Buddy Robertson 

Michael Stockton 

Dominic Illingworth

Devon Avery

Labor Day weekend provides a huge feast of events. Two premier ones, Delaware Valley and Thomas Point Beach lie a seven and half hour drive (461 Miles) apart, and several bands played both venues, in addition to Junior Sisk's going even further to get to Fort Fairfield in far northern Maine. Because of a breakdown, some members of Blue Highway, a band which travels in separate vehicles, was forced to be late. However, rescue was at hand when Danny Paisley and his band, augmented by Eddie Gill from Big Country Bluegrass, stepped up for an impromptu set, really a jam, to more than adequately fill the time, allowing Blue Highway to arrive and organize for their excellent closing performance, at many festivals often presented to a vastly diminished audience, but not at Delaware Valley.

Blue Highway

For over twenty years Blue Highway has been at the forefront of contemporary bluegrass bands. As their new CD puts it, they are both traditional and original. With three talented singer/song writers and every member able to hold his own vocally, the band delivers a variety of combinations creating unique and pleasing sound. From traditional a capella sacred harp music through new songs written by Tim Stafford, Shawn Lane, and Wayne Taylor examining bluegrass music's big themes, Blue Highway stands out. Gaven Largent, the newest and youngest member has taken on the almost impossible job of replacing Rob Ickes on Dobro and is establishing his own independent instrumental voice and physical presence. Blue Highway continues its high standards and continues to explore new ground. 

Tim Stafford

Jason Burleson

Shawn Lane

Wayne Taylor

Gaven Largent

And so a magical holiday weekend ends with excitement and wonderful music. Next year's Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival will run from August 31 - September 2, 2018. Don't miss it!