A BlueGrass Saturday

April 9th, 2007    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Opinion

We traveled to Clay City, Kentucky, the Saturday before Easter to hear some wonderful Bluegrass music at the Meadowgreen Park.

A new friend of John’s, a kind gentleman named Frank, who lives in that area, called and invited us down to hear J. D. Crowe and the New South and Driving Rain-the two bands playing that night.

The capacity crowd numbered over 300, according to my rough count, though John thinks it’s closer to 400 when you count all the people standing in the entryway and outside who couldn’t get seats.

J. D. Crowe’s band members once included Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Jimmy Gadreau, and Keith Whitley at various times. In 1983, the New South won a Grammy for its instrumental, Fireball. The current members of the New South are Dwight McCall (mandolin), Ronnie Stewart (fiddle), Ricky Wasson (guitar), and Harold Nixon, (upright bass). Crowe plays the banjo.

My family is composed mostly of Yankees-New Englanders by birth-so I am not real familiar with Bluegrass. Now John’s family is Kentuckians, for the most part, so it’s in their blood.

One thing that struck me is how friendly everyone was at this festival. And well-behaved! What I mean to say is there was no cussing, drinking, fighting, drugging, etc. Everyone was smiling, extending a hand to shake, laughing at lame jokes heard a million times, loving on the children, and applauding the old men who rose to dance during the music, hoofing it to beat the band.

Overall, it was one of the most pleasant Saturday’s we’ve ever had. Made me want to leave this city behind and sit on the front porch in Kentucky and wave at my neighbors while the kids and the dogs romp in the yard.

Ah well.

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