Bluegrass Corner

It’s Summergrass Time!

The annual Summergrass Bluegrass Festival will be held August 16-18. Plan to come out and join the festivities at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista. There will be top concerts featuring national recording artists as well as a great selection of the top local and regional Bluegrass bands.

The Line Up: The Grascals, David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition, High Fidelity, The Old Blue Band, Chris Cerna & The Bluegrass Republic, Sheri Lee & Blue Heart, Front Porch Music Preservation Society, Prairie Sky, Vulcan Mountain Boys, LeRoy Mack & Gloryland, MohaviSoul, and the Tom Cunningham Band will all take the stage. Check www.summergrass.net for the daily schedule, tickets, and other info.

Kids Camp: For youngsters 6-16. A chance to learn bluegrass playing with the High Fidelity band members as instructors. Participants will receive hands-on instruction in learning to play the traditional bluegrass instruments of fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass, plus stage performance classes. Students will be placed in an instrument class appropriate to their level of experience. Whether they are an advanced musician or a beginner, they’ll learn something and have fun no matter what their level. Learn more at: www.summergrass.net/kids-camp.

The Adult Bluegrass Boot Camp: This fun-filled three-hour workshop is an instrument class for adult intermediate to advanced players. It’s a chance to learn from skilled, professional instructors in a casual atmosphere. Classes are offered for the main instruments of banjo, lead guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and bass. For details and to register, see at: www.summergrass.net/bluegrass-boot-camp.
Camping, Vendors, Workshops, Raffle: There is plenty of dry camping for tents and RVs. Summergrass has a wonderful vendor village where attendees can shop and find many unique items. There will also be free music workshops, an instructed slow jam, and a fabulous instrument raffle. Check it all out at: www.summergrass.net.

Jamming: In addition to watching the great bands at Summergrass, you just may want to jump in and participate. There will be jamming all weekend, so bring your instrument and plan to join in. The campground is a great place to head for some jamming. You will find many impromptu jams happening, especially in the evening.

Summergrass is a great way to spend your weekend. Plan to come for just a day, or for all three days. Visit www.summergrass.net for info and to get your tickets.
Bluegrass Day at the Fair was held on Saturday, June 29 at the beautiful Paddock Stage at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. It was a full day of Bluegrass music from 11m to 8pm. The day started with youth performances, which were followed by a group of Old Time fiddlers.

Next was the popular event, the Band Scramble. This is a fun and challenging event where musicians put their name in an envelope that corresponds to the instrument they are playing. There are categories for guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and specialty instruments. The coordinators pull one name from each instrument/envelope to form a band. This is repeated until all names are pulled from the envelopes. Then the band member names are announced 15 minutes before their newly-formed band will perform on stage. It can be nerve-wracking to come up with two or three songs to perform with people who could be complete strangers. But it is a fun and rewarding experience.

In addition to these activities, were the seven great local Bluegrass bands who performed throughout the day. We were lucky to have perfect weather, a fun crowd of listeners, and a rainbow in the sky during the last band’s performance.

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