Author: Campbell, Bruce

It's Nearly Spring in Sebastopol

Hey, just a little more than a week to this yearís Sonoma Bluegrass and Folk Festival (March 12). This will be the 11th edition of this event, and itís a fine kickoff to festival season. I have a lot of fine memories of this festival, and I look forward to it every year. Thereís a sense of urgency in the air Ė bluegrass fans are anxious to shake of the torpor of winter and get back to the business of festival life.

I exaggerate, of course, about the torpor of winter. This being California, most of us have NOT been trapped in our homes or towns by deep snowdrifts or ice storms. We got together for regular jams, concerts and the like to feed our bluegrass jones.

But nothing beats the sheer kinetics of a festival. Itís a three ring circus, bluegrass style. There are the acts on the main stage, and this yearís lineup is typical of the variety that has come to define the style of the Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival. Thereís straight ahead bluegrass from the likes of Jim Hurst and Susie Glaze and Hilonesome. Thereís the folk music of Sarah Campbell and Nina Gerber, and thereís good old fashioned music from Euphonia and the Black Crown String Band - a full day of musical delights.

But this circus has other moving parts too. It wouldnít be a festival without jamming, and the venue for this event (The Sebastopol Community Center) has plenty of nooks and crannies for jamming. Add in workshops and that makes three rings!

If the weatherís nice, thatís great, but the event goes on rain or shine, and the venue can accommodate the stage acts, the jamming and the workshops regardless of the weather. Iíve been to this festival in varying weather (you just never know in mid March!), and thereís no such thing as a rain out here, and last year, it was a gloriously bright pre-spring day.

All in all, thereís a real ďupĒ feeling at this Festival. Itís a harbinger of the fun weíre going to have all year at a bunch of festivals, jams and concerts, and we might as well start the year off right, and maintain the momentum we started at the Great 48 Jam! Iíll see you there!

Posted:  3/2/2011

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