Hooked on Bluegrass

Deb Livermore

In 1978 I moved from Arizona to Virginia to live with my sister. She took me to a Bluegrass Festival in the summer of 1979. I don’t remember exactly where in VA, but I do know that there were lots of people there, camping under the pine trees. I got to see and hear a music that I didn’t know. And of course, I Loved It! So much so that it made me dance with an abandon I hadn’t experienced much, and it also made me smile from the inside out! I went to another festival the next summer and enjoyed it just as much.

That fall I moved to Colorado and eventually to California. I didn’t hear about that music or festivals for many, many years. Finally in 1993 I read a flyer in the window of a grocery store in Ione, CA. It was advertising a festival in Plymouth, CA. It was the original “Late Summer Bluegrass Festival”. Again I was in awe of the music and how it made me feel inside. The musicians were magical and it was the first time that I saw young, up and coming kids on bluegrass. Having a 6 year old daughter at the time made the kids playing music even more special for me. We camped in the grassy field by the pond, where I camp to this day. The atmosphere was such that I felt right at home. I was amazed that the people could play music in the sun all day and then stay up most of the night to serenade the moon. The second year I attended I brought my daughter’s little red wagon and a sheep skin. The skin lined the wagon and I pulled my daughter around Amador County Fairgrounds until 2:00 in the morning, an extraordinary event for me. My daughter slept through it all of course, and has since found other music to her liking, but I am still hoping that she will some day feel the music deep in her heart and love it as much as I do.

One of my most memorable experiences was on the Midway at Plymouth one year when there was a full moon. I was out strolling when I happened upon a couple of people playing. I stopped to listen. The man playing the guitar asked me if I sang. I said a little. He asked what songs I knew. I said, “Amazing Grace”. There under the brilliant full moon we sang together. It was wonderful!!! Thank you so much Allen Light, for making me feel like a part of the bluegrass community!

(posted 2/5/2009)

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