Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2013 | Preview


Submitted by -Stites McDaniel Mon, 06/17/2013 - 7:55 pm

Last year I wrote a preview for a festival I had never attended. This year I write a demand for anyone who considers themselves fans of bluegrass. Go to Grey Fox!For 37 years, this festival has been doing it right. It’s the total package. From the minute you arrive on the campground, you recognize the power of the premier bluegrass festival on the East Coast.  This year’s festivities, returning to the hallowed hills of the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, NY from July 18-21 are no exception.It’s a line-up that blurs the audible distinction between strict bluegrass and crossover acts from the jam and spacegrass genres, striking the perfect balance for gratefulweb readers. Keller Williams with the Travelin' McCourys, The Jerry Douglas Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Del McCoury Band, The Gibson Brothers, Chris Thile and Michael Daves and a very special collaboration appearing exclusively at Grey Fox featuring Tim O'Brien, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Noam Pikelny, Bryan Sutton, Casey Driessen, Barry Bales, Rushad Eggleston plus a gathering of guests is only a smattering of the fast pickin’, hot harmonizin’ and boot stompin’ music you’ll hear throughout the weekend.Once you setup your chair near the mainstage, you’ll have a reserved spot for all of the headlining sets. No need to break down your chairs every night- that’s not the Grey Fox way. There is a familial sense and musical camaraderie that is unlike any of the comparably sized festivals I have ever covered.Don’t neglect all of the amenities that are the icing on an already dense musical cake. Speaking of cake, the local, inexpensive and various food vendors make packing a cooler both economically and sumptuously unnecessary. Even the vendors of wares break out of the stereotypical mold you may think of when it comes to festivals. What you don’t have to worry about is anyone vending illegally, or vending anything illegal- a breath of fresh air for all of us who go to music festivals, by and large, for the music.At any time of day or night, wander through the campground to hear the dozens of impromptu jam sessions that are a trademark of Grey Fox. And don’t be surprised to find someone you saw on the mainstage playin’ right along at these lantern lit pick-a-thons. Making music happens on and off the stage at Grey Fox. Grey Fox is all about community and passing the music on to future generations. Hands-on workshops abound for adults and kids throughout the weekend. At the Kids Academy, about a hundred young players learn to pick and sing from professionals in the music world—one of the most endearing messages about the sustainability of bluegrass music I have ever seen. With the Academy, Grey Fox cements itself as a festival that is all about the fan’s experience, elevating them to performers themselves!Check out last year's coverage.