Hooked on Bluegrass

Patricia Simmons

My very first music festival was the original Woodstock festival. I traded-in S&H green stamps to get a new sleeping bag for the occasion.

Well, after that weekend I didn't want the music to stop. Only 2 weeks later I saw an advertisement for a music festival closer to my home in Pittsburgh. It was a 4 day Bluegrass festival in West Virginia at Aunt Minnie's and Uncle Frank's Farm. I didn't know anything about Bluegrass music, but what attracted me to this venue were the closing acts: The New Riders of the Purple Sage and Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. I heard so many other great shows by artists who changed my life. Artists like The "Storyteller" Tom T. Hall, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements, and countless others.

I fell in love with the music, singing, and the atmosphere of loving kindness shown by performers and fans. A new love for my roots in Appalachia sprouted and I am grateful for this. My life was forever changed with this discovery of a "new" kind of music in 1969.

(posted 7/31/2012)

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