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Gig Stories

Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival

Good Old Fashioned                        

 Bluegrass Festival

 

                                                                Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival 

Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival

There I said it. More on this later in the blog. 

So why am I such a huge fan of the Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival? Cause, even at my advanced years, I still enjoy camping, picking my guitar, and of course... beer. This festival is family friendly, affordable, and well organized. A seriously a good time with some seriously fun loving people. I been to the GOF about last 4 years straight. This year was really my favorite, because I was asked to be the MC for the first stage. For a person that is truly a ham at heart... M.C.ing is a great gig. I packed my gear a few days in advance,  so on the road all I had to do was stop at a few stores for supplies like beer, coffee, food and beer. I also stopped at my good friends, sometimes bandmates and fellow festivalers, (I just made that word up) Cactus Bob and The Prairie Flower.Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival 

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We left the central valleys hot weather, encountered some "road rage" and other traveling challenges and happily still managed to "endeavored to preserver" through it all and reach our destination in San Benito County Fairgrounds near Hollister, California and even nearer to Tres Pinos, California on a road that eventually finds it way to Pinnacles National Park. We set up camp, ate dinner, started to jam and well, drink beer. The bestest parts of any acoustic festival. I've always found the weather at the GOF to be very good. Sometimes the afternoons can get a little hot but this year was weird as a large thunderstorm passed through with some rain. I slept through most of it, but in the morning it was quite the topic of conversation with most agreeing that it was weird. Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival Next day was mine. M.C. at the first stage. Part of the fun of being M.C is getting to know the entertainers. Turns out the First Stage got a pretty great little turnout for the three acoustic acts, Banjer Dan, Old Belle and Eric Antrim with Scott Gateas  iGood Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival 

 

Banjer Dan is a unique individual whose show included  expert banjo, and guitar playing, solid vocals and a great stage presense and sense of humor. He told me of his biggest influence, the classic Bluegrass group, Seldom Scene and even bragged that he had fans in Nebraska.  id="att<a href="http://alexmuddysmith.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/old-belle.jpg">Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival Old Belle[/caption]

 

Three lovely ladies showed up for the next show. This band based in San Francisco writes most of it's own material. Old Belle's  strong vocals, tight harmonies, unique song writing brought plenty of emotion to the extremely attentive audience.                                                         

Lastly, one of my favorite performers of Bluegrass arrived with his mandolin and seemingly always smiling face. Scott Gates accompanied by Eric Antrim notably from Snap Jackson Band. Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival Scott Gates[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1029" align="alignright" width="300"] Eric Antrim[/caption]   This duo was one of the many highlights of my weekend in San Benito County. Why? I guess...an outstanding pouring of love of music and energy.

Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival

I  love this festival. I respect the practice, dedication, love, and tradition of the music, In addition to the traditional Bluegrass bands, this festival has some acoustic band exceptions, like the one pictured below, Spur of the Moment which offered some non-tradtional acoustic, original tunes, written by and sung by Joe Tomaselli and joined up by, Cactus Bob, The Prairie Flower, and Ken Cawley.  For me, these type's of string bands really and unique diversity to the festival.   Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival Spur of the Moment  

Another departure from traditional was provided by the Carolyn Sills Combo. Patsy Cline type Classic Country mixed with original tunes in the same bag, outstanding harmony, writing and musicianship. They headquarter in Santa Cruz, California. I suggest you make sure make a note to attend one of their shows. Like me, you'l love em. Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival Carol Sills Combo

There is something very unique and a fun part of the GOF which I would like to see at other festivals...the 'Tweener Stage. The GOF, runs two stages, the main and the 'Tweener Stage. What the 'Tweener Stage is...is a place where.. when the main stage changes act, musicians who are not booked at the festival, can come up and show there skills for 15 to 20 minutes. Kind of like an open mike. It really makes the festival attendees feel like they are part of the big picture. No need to leave when a show ends because the 'Tweener Stage is gonna rock and you just might miss some great acts. Singles, Old-time Music, Jazz, Classic Rock acoustic style and much more.Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival Oh yea, one last note and maybe most importantly...the GOF  is "Kid Friendly." [caption Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival

Kids On Stage[/caption] Young inspired and nutured kids are taught bango, fiddle, singing and encouraged to go onto the main and 'Tweener Stage. What a great opportunity to learn team work, and music. It is almost impossible not to be moved by there many performances. Let me say this, there are many music festivals in the world and I have to admit, I haven't been to most...however...I have been to The Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival...and I intend to return for many years to come...hope to see you there...ask for Muddy. Feel Free to Comment and share below.

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