Sunday, April 1, 2012

Your First Bluegrass Festival / Show

Remember your first bluegrass festival or show? Where was it? What year was that? How was the weather? What bands were there? What was the best / worst part about the festival or show?

OK, I'll tell you my first festival ever! The month and year? May of 1980. That sounds like the Dark Ages now! I drove probably 500+ miles to Mountain View, AR. I had never been to Mountain View, AR...I continued driving until I saw the hand-lettered sign that read "Sylamore Bluegrass Show featuring The Tennessee Gentlemen," and I knew I had hit paydirt! This was it! I was down by the Sylamore Creek in Mountain View, AR, for my very first bluegrass music festival. The weather was cold in the Ozark Mountains in May of 1980. That was back when we used to have real weather.
Beautiful hand-lettered sign pointing the way to 'today's show' at Sylamore Creek. Wonder where that sign is today? It would look great among my other memorabilia! Slower traffic? Definitely!

The Tennessee Gentlemen in 1980: Richard Bailey (banjo), Troy Castleberry (mandolin, voc.),  Donny Catron (guitar, voc.), Steve Gregory (bass and voc.)

The Tennessee Gentlemen, The Wooten Brothers, and maybe Blue Mountain Bluegrass were performing that chilly May weekend. I was there with my cassette recorder. I had never even recorded a cassette tape. I still have that tape. I must confess that my cassettes are gradually breaking down and becoming harder to play with each passing year. Bummer! Thank goodness for CDs and digital recording in the present day.

The best part of the festival was hearing this magical bluegrass sound that I had begun to love only a few short months before this first festival. The worst part of any festival is that the time flies and it doesn't last long enough.

Your turn. . . .

Pick away!

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