The activities began on Wednesday with a corn-hole tournament, bingo, and the covered dish supper that always precedes the opening day of an Evans Media Source festival. Music was provided by Greg Bird with his mellow baritone voice and his Karaoke machine, fried chicken was provided by the promoters, and, despite a somewhat chilly day, a very satisfying day ensued.
Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road kicked off Friday with plenty of enthusiasm showcasing their hybrid country-grass style, the most recent manifestation of the Lady of Tradition. It's good to see Tommy Long becoming stronger with each performance. The addition of Matt Hooper on fiddle has enabled increased versatility by allowing Josh Goforth to concentrate on guitar and for the band to present twin fiddle pieces.
The Gibson Brothers have risen to become one of the most popular and reliable bluegrass bands on the circuit. Rather than present a spectacular show, they feature a seemingly endless catalog of their own songs sprinkled with bluegrass classics reflecting their rural heritage and farm background. They celebrate home, family, and rural life in a modern idiom eping them current and up-to-date. Their brother harmony and brotherly bickering which never slips into areas that would make an audience wince provides humor that works without ever seeming over-prepared or rehearsed. Each of their last eight CD's has reached the top of the charts and remained there for months. And they're genuinely nice people, too. The ensemble they've assembled is deeply experienced, always in tune with them, and top notch. Jesse Brock, on mandolin, is one of the top stylists in the world on his instrument.