Author: Varner, Mark

More about the 2013 FDF bands
Dear friends,

Hope everyone had a great time in Bakersfield at the CBAís hugely successful Great 48! Welcome back to the ďrealĒ world, where a hot jam is not just a hallway away.

Last time I wrote the 1st Monday Welcome column I was outlining and explaining the choices for acts at the CBAís 2013 Fatherís Day Bluegrass Festival. I think itís worthwhile for our members to know about the performers and why we think you will enjoy them.

So far we have discussed Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Blue Highway, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, the Larry Stephenson Band and our very exciting special guest, bluegrass pioneer Melvyn Goins and his band Windy Mountain. What a select group of performers!

Many of the groups Iíve mentioned so far have been around for a while, but few bands anywhere can claim the longevity of the next band I will describe. The Fatherís Day Festival is in its glorious 38th year and so is this band! Special Consensusí Greg Cahill has been through a few band members in that time, including Chris Jones and Ron Spears, but the current line up is stellar. They are truly one of the finest bands out there and we will welcome them to Grass Valley after too long of an absence.

The CBA has been making an effort to enhance our support of old time music, that being part of our charter. Weíve been sure to add more players of that genre in our main stage line-ups and we have added special hosted old time jams, workshops and a Saturday square dance.

Fans of old time music know Tom Sauber, Brad Leftwich and Alice Gerrard. Alice, of course was half of the immortal duet with Hazel Dickens. Tom and Brad are consummate musicians on just about any instruments you put in front of them. The excellent news is that the CBA Music Camp has contracted them as teachers for the 2013 June session, so you can both learn at their proverbial feet and then be inspired by their sets on the main stage.

Another featured old time act, the Earl White Stringband, will perform on the main stage and will be the band for our square dance. Earl White has been a prominent figure in the old-time music and dance community for more than 30 years. Earl received his first fiddle in 1974 and is one of few Black Americans reviving the music that was once an important part of rural black communities and life on plantations in the American southeast. Earl is known for his extensive repertoire of unusual tunes, and his driving, energetic, heartfelt style. Earl will be joined by Adrienne Davis (guitar), Mark Olitsky (banjo) from Cleveland, Ohio, and California fave, Martha Hawthorne on bass.

We are hosting a young, up and coming act, Front Country, which has a non-traditional take on bluegrass that has been earning them a lot of attention, such as winning the Rocky Grass Band Competition for 2012! This band played the Vernís stage last year and has graduated to a main stage slot at Grass Valley. Congrats to their mandolin player, Adam Roszkiewicz for his GRAMMY nomination for his work with the Modern Mandolin Quartet!

Lastly I will mention the CBA Emerging Artist for the 2013 festival. This is a special selection; the band is chosen by a committee of CBA folks who travel to the IBMA World of Bluegrass/Fanfest. There is so much talent under one roof at that huge convention that it makes good sense that representatives from our association learn about those acts and seek out the performers our West Coast fans would enjoy. This year the committee selected a very fine band; a band that was on the IBMAís list of nominated emerging artists as well: Della Mae. Della Mae is an all woman bluegrass band that does a mix of standards and originals. Fine show-person-ship is their hallmark and these talented young women will be sure to please the Fatherís Day Festival audience. Theyíll have a new CD on Rounder to sellÖ or sell OUT, more likely! Great choice, committee!

Thatís it! Those are the performers you will see at the 2013 Fatherís Day Bluegrass Festival, with the exception of the California Showcase acts and a set by the Music Camp instructors. There should be something to bring even the jamminest jammers outta their campsite and down to the main stage. See ya there!

Your pal,
Mark Varner
Posted:  1/7/2013

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