Bluegrass First Class 2012 has come and gone......we are already anticipating next year's event.
I hesitate to rave about it so much......because it's such a small venue, last minute ticket purchases are not always possible....so think ahead if this sounds like fun to you.
Besides the 'big name acts' who play in the showroom area.....other groups play in the lobby area, workshops are held in conference rooms, pickers play EVERYWHERE....hotel room doors are open, they are on the veranda, on their balconies.....if there is a banjo, guitar, fiddle within reach....someone is playing them.
Imagine this? Some folks actually wish to sleep at night!!
Bluegrass is often called 'old time music'......yet advancements in musical instruments do make their way into some groups. The bass player (left) in the Darrell Webb Band is an example.....his bass is not the typical upright style we commonly see.
Now...this was an amazing sight...this young man playing the mandolin in the James King Band is left handed. Yet....he's playing a right handed mandolin, strung for a right handed player.....he plays it upside down....and plays it very, very well!
This is how a mandolin is normally played.....(Russell Moore & 111rd Tyme Out Band).
Almost every year we are delighted to see the Seldom Scene (from the Washington DC area)....this is THE bluegrass group that won my heart way back in the 1970's. I still love them!
And....last but not least....our own Haywood County IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) award winning Bluegrass artist from the group, Balsam Range.....who won 'song of the year' for their song "Trains I Missed". His name is Buddy Melton, who lives in the same mountain valley we do.