Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Jumpin' Bluegrass '09" VFMA Bluegrass Festival - September 17th, 18th, 19th & 20th, 2009 - Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, Chesterfield, VA

FIVE DOLLARS A DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right, the Virginia Folk Music Association presents it's annual Bluegrass Festival, "Jumpin' Bluegrass 09" on September 17ht, 18th and 19th, 2009; followed by the VFMA Virginia State Bluegrass Championship on Sunday the 20th of September.  And it all costs only $5 per day!!!

On Thursday this $5 not only includes the great music of the bands Sleepy Hollow, East of Afton, TJ Honaker "Old Time: Folk Music Players, Tennessee Crabgrass, Donnie & Lisa and Homeward Bound; it also includes the free "Cornbread & Beans Pot Luck Supper."  Well, the supper isn't exactly free.  You're supposed to bring something to add to the supper; that's what makes it "pot luck."  As I've always said, bring something you really like, that way you know there'll be one thing there you like!

SPECIAL NOTE: Due, once again, to the generous contributions of the members of "The Virginia Bluegrass Family" there will be 60 pounds of minced pork BBQ and rolls as part of the supper. We meet on First Tuesdays at the Jahnke Road Baptist Church near Chippenham Hospital.  Join us!

Friday is a special day at "Jumpin' Bluegrass 09".  There will be music by some fine bands including The Church Sisters.  I encourage you to please set aside some time in your day on Friday to listen to The Church Sisters.  These young ladies are amazingly talented vocally.  Of there ever were twins that were less identical than Sarah & Savannah Church I don't think I've seen them.  PLEASE go hear them!  A band I like to claim as members of "The Virginia Bluegrass Family" is Copper Ridge and they'll be playing on Friday..  I believe these guys may have met at our club.  A band listed on the official flyer for "Jumpin' Bluegrass '09" is called GCH-Wings of Love will be there on Friday.  I know nothing about this group.  Code Blue will be there on Friday offering up some of that east Virginia styled Bluegrass.  Before I get to the last band to play on Friday I need to tell you about the special ceremonies that will happen.  First, a "Special Recognition Award" will be presented to Ray Pollard, the founder of "The Gospel Chicken House."  If you've ever played and sung Country or Bluegrass Gospel then you've probably played The Gospel Chicken House, and you'll know that it really was a chicken house long before being converted to Central Virginia's choice venue for Gospel Music.  Congratulations Ray!  The big event on Friday will be the induction into the VFMA Hall of Fame of Sammy Shelor, Banjo player extraordinaire. Sammy is known to us as a founding member of the Virginia Squires (For a sample of the Virginia Squires music click here.) and later as "the" Banjo player for The Lonesome River Band and now as the leader of that same fine group.  So, now I guess I can tell you that the last group to play on Friday will be the Lonesome River Band.

Saturday promises to be a big day at "Jumpin' Bluegrass 09" as there are many bands there including Easy Street.  Here is a blurb from Easy Street's web site: "In August 2008, a few seasoned bluegrass musicians from Virginia's Tidewater region got together for a little pickin'.  The sound at that first session was so exciting that a new band was soon born - Easy Street.Thunder Creek will be there on Saturday, too.  Here's a note taken from their web site: "If you like bluegrass and bluegrass gospel or the combination of the two, then Thunder Creek is just what you are
looking for!   They are as high energy as a live wire.  If it is soulful  gospel your spirit needs, their passion and harmonies will surely touch your hearts." 
A special treat will be the appearance of Michelle Nixon & Drive.  We don't get a chance to hear Michelle and the band around Central Virginia as she travels greater and greater distances singing and playing all around the country.  A favorite band of mine, Borrowed Time, will be there on Saturday.  These guys are all local folks who have banded together to play the music they love.  Gary Davis, the leader of the group, has an unending list of songs in his repertoire, many of which come from other genres of music, which he and the band perform with a Bluegrass style.  Last up on Saturday will be The James King Band.  James has one of the best traditional Bluegrass lead voices in the business.  To prove it, just click here to hear him sing "Echo Mountain."

I read in "Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine" just a few days ago the Kevin Prater had left The James King Band, to pursue other endeavors.  I wondered what that may have been and "low and behold" I see Kevin is doing the sound at "Jumpin' Bluegrass 09."

Don't forget the official "Virginia State Bluegrass Championship Contest" will be on Sunday September 20th, 2009.  Be sure to come out and support your favorite band;  they play so much better when there are fans to hear them.  The top band can win $1000!  Another important thing to consider is that this year will the 52nd year with WFLO Radio's Henry Fulcher as Emcee.  Also, last year's winner, Grit City Grass, will perform.