Monday, December 16, 2019

Yee Haw Music Fest 2020 - Preview

The YeeHaw Music Fest will run from January 14 - 19, 2020 at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center in Okeechobee, Florida featuring the unique Evans Media Source program of bluegrass and classic country that has become a popular brand throughout the state. With gates opening for campers at noon on Monday, January 13th, the festivities will begin on Tuesday, featuring Eric Ellison as Gordon Lightfoot, and extend through Saturday evening. Camping is nearly sold out, so be sure to get a reservation (call (904) 886-8378 and plan to enjoy all the offerings.

Eric Ellison as Gordon Lightfoot - If I Could Read Your Mind

Eric Ellison's portrayal of Gordon Lightfoot is important in this context because of the huge influence Lightfoot, who turned 81 in November, has had on American music in general and, more specifically, on bluegrass. His songs have been frequently covered by major bluegrass artists from Tony Rice and J.D. Crowe to Dale Ann Bradley and Claire Lynch. This appearance is also intended as a nod to our Canadian visitors who winter in Florida and support bluegrass music. 

These Tuesday evening concerts, free for campers and ticket holders, have become a much-loved feature of Ernie Evans productions, along with the enthusiastic jams, Wednesday's Pot Luck Supper, and the evening production made up of camper bands and jammers. By Thursday. attendees will be wound up and ready for three days of music and fun, emceed by the ever popular Jo Odum.

Jo Odum
Image result for Jo Odum Ted Lehmann

The Lineup
Bands Appearing More Than One Day are Only Previewed Once!
Listed in Order of Appearance

Swinging Bridge

Swinging Bridge comes from southwest Florida, where they have been a popular and welcome band at festivals, concerts, and jams for many years. The membership has shown few changes through the years, and exhibited a remarkable longevity. They obviously enjoy each other on stage and bring their audiences into the show. A strong, reliable band to be opening the festival. 

Swinging Bridge - County Fool

Bandana Rhythm

Bandana Rhythm is a newcomer to the bluegrass stage, merging the talents of Nathan Stewart, veteran mandolin player with The Little Roy and Lizzie Show, and his new wife, Rachel, along with her two brothers, into a tuneful, lively bluegrass band beginning to make waves in the world of bluegrass. You'll enjoy this band, as well as being able to say, "I knew them when!"

Bandana Rhythm - There Is a Time

Nothin' Fancy

Nothin' Fancy performs its novel combination of sparkling originals, Country Gentlemen covers, and lively good humor to bluegrass audiences at festivals across the nation. As they've matured, so has their music. With only two of their original members in the present band, they have, nevertheless, established a brand name which is valued to their huge national fan base. 

Nothin' Fancy - Simon Crutchfield's Grave

Lonesome River Band 

The Lonesome River Band, LRB to its friends, has been a major force in bluegrass since its founding in 1982, before the time when many of its fans were born. The band's leader, banjo great Sammy Shelor, has a pedigree going back to the early twentieth century, when Charlie Poole taught Sammy's grandfather to play the banjo. Shelor received his first banjo at age four, and performed locally by the time he was ten. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious Steve Martin Prize of Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo. Sammy joined LRB in 1990 and has led it since 2000. During its forty years in existence, many of bluegrass music's most prominent musicians have moved through the band, adding to its reputation for excellence, before leaving to head their own bands or to reach out in other directions. This is truly a distinguished band with a long and storied history. 

Lonesome River Band - Little Magnolia

Po' Ramblin' Boys

John Lawless, editor of Bluegrass Today, has written, "When I hear The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys I’m taken back to when I first fell in love with this music. Each is a master of their craft, but it’s the special joy they take in playing it “the old time way” that commands your attention. This music hails from a time before people saw bluegrass and country music as separate things, and the band accomplishes that most difficult of musical tasks by capturing the manic energy of their live shows in the studio." The Po' Ramblin Boys, strongly influenced by first generation band The Stanley Brothers, has generated genuine excitement among traditional bluegrass fans for their adherence to tradition, while they continue to write and perform new songs in the traditional sound and manner of presentation.

Po' Ramblin' Boys - Late Last Night

Deeper Shade of Blue

We first saw Deeper Shade of Blue at the Rivertown Bluegrass Society monthly show in Conway, SC, opening for Alan Bibey. This may have been one of their earliest paid gigs. Since then, we've watched the band develop and grow, always learning, improving, becoming more professional, while remaining friendly and fun to see. Their latest iteration can be seen from Florida to Virginia, and west to Kentucky and Tennessee. Deeper Shade of Blue is a professional bluegrass band, and always fun to see and hear. Find out for yourself. 

Deeper Shade of Blue - Peaceful, Easy Feeling

Penny Creek

In the four or five years we've been watching and enjoying Penny Creek, we've seen them develop from a local Melbourne-based bar band into a solid recording and festival band seen as widely away as Tennessee and Georgia. Leader Susan Pounds has consistently improved the band at every position while broadening its repertoire. The recent addition of veteran Florida banjo player John Apfelthaler is a good example. This band can be relied upon to present an entertaining and wide ranging musical performance. 

Penny Creek Band - Ginseng Sullivan

Keith Bass and the Florida Bluegrass Express
Image result for Keith Bass Ted Lehmann

Keith Bass is the real deal, living in Okeechobee and managing a nearby cattle ranch, he's a genuine cowboy who loves the banjo. With his ever-changing band, The Florida Bluegrass Express, he plays at festivals and other events throughout Florida, and is a fixture in the bluegrass community. 

Florida Bluegrass Express - Matterhorn

Zink & Company

Corey Zink has built his career from his beginnings in New England as a country and bluegrass singer with bands like Accoustic Blue more than a decade ago. Gradually, developing the sound and style he was in search of, he began spreading his wings as he built his bluegrass chops, finding his musical core, using his strong baritone voice, always improving fusion of country and bluegrass, and pleasing stage personality. With his recent move to Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, TN, he has established himself as a strong musical presence, and is making his first appearance at YeeHaw. appears here as Zinc & Company, a band with deep roots in both bluegrass and country music.  Don't miss his performance. 

Zink & Company - Yellow Roses

IIIrd Tyme Out

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out is one of the most storied and awarded bands in bluegrass history. Founded in 1991, two original members remain, Russell Moore and Wayne Benson. Nearly three decades of almost ceaseless touring and constant building have resulted in seven IBMA Vocal Group of the Year awards for the band, and three Male Vocalist of the Year awards for Moore. Benson is recognized as one of bluegrass music's great mandolin stylists as well as a fine teacher, often teaching via Skype around the world. From their award winning "Erase the Miles" to their Cracker Barrel album, which won them a new and wider audience, they have consistently been a standout band.

IIIrd Tyme Out - Poison Cove

Urban Cowboy Reunion

Mickey Gilley, a cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, grew up in Mississippi, becoming a professional singer when Lewis began getting major hits. Gilley came to prominence when his bar, in Pasadena, TX, became famous because it was featured in the John Travolta film Urban Cowboy. Popular in rock, pop, and country, he has charted 42 singles on the US Country chart. Johnny Lee, emerged with his song Lookin' for Love, which charted on the Country, Pop, and Adult Contemporary charts. Now, Gilley and Lee have combined to offer a reunion show in major venues across the country. Gilley commented, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to tour once again with my good friend. The Urban Cowboy craze kept my career alive for all of these years, and every night when I go to bed, I thank John Travolta for my amazing career. At 81, I am still rockin’.”

Urban Cowboy Reunion with Mickey Gilley & Johnny Lee

Sunday Gospel Sing with Jan Ladd

Spotify Playlist of Bands at YeeHaw Music Fest

The Details

The Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center is conveniently located on the north-eastern edge of the agricultural and retirement town of Okeechobee, Florida, just off the Route 70 highway across south-central Florida. This modern facility offers extensive camping facilities for large and small rigs, hot showers and flush toilets, and a covered amphitheater with plenty of seating spaces. Attendees should bring their own folding chairs, although there's also plenty of grandstand seating. The entire space is enclosed with many vendors under cover, as well as at convenient exits. Attendees should remember that the vendors pay fees that help to keep festival prices low, and consider patronizing them.

Tickets: Three day tickets cost $75.00 in advance or $85.00 at the gate. 
               Daily Tickets:
                               Thursday: $30.00
                                Friday:     $35.00
                                Saturday:  $35.00
                                Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult

Remember: No high back chairs or rocking chairs are permitted.

Camping: There's a limited number of electric/water camping sights, so be sure to sign up soon.  
                   Primitive Camping:                   $15,00 per night
                   20 Amp Electric                         $20.00 per night
                   30 Amp Electric                         $30.00 per night
                   50 Amp Electric                         $35.00 per night 

To arrange for campsites and/or reserved seating call: (386)385-3500

How to Get There:
Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center
Okeechobee, FL
4601 FL 710
Okeechobee, FL 34974

Deb & Ernie Evans - Promoters