Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival (CBB) is ready to celebrate its 5th birthday! The wintertime roots fest returns with 17 shows format spanning three weeks in January and February!CBB V is anchored in eight shows over three weeks at the newly-minted Concord Music Hall, the West Loop’s City Winery, and Evanston’s SPACE.
Halloween looms, and while most avid local music-goers are planning extravagant costumes for the Hallow’s Eve bash of their choice; last weekend the Fox Theatre hosted a rousing 2-night stand by growing “newgrass” favorites Greensky Bluegrass. Hailing from Michigan, these guys throw a range of soulful bluegrass originals, standards, and playful classic covers out on any given night.
The peak at this weekend’s Hangtown Halloween Ball came during Saturday’s late-night set when Greensky Bluegrass hit the stage, as the festival hosts, Railroad Earth.Music and costumes blended when Railroad Earth drummer Carey Harmon appeared behind the kit with the costumed Michigan quintet as they kicked things off with the RRE classic “Long Way to Go”. Fans were treated to a set of Greensky Bluegrass completely and fantastically donned with Railroad Earth’s members’ trademark garb.
Saturday was a wonderful day! It started with sunshine, birds and bluegrass and ended with stars, hippies and bluegrass. The day promised to be a great one just because of the fact it was the last day of the festival. The lineup was just as good as the other days, leaving nobody disappointed. I think the only person who was sad about Saturday was the nearly-legally-blind dude I met this morning who lost his glasses. Bummer.
Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival is the best that Mulberry Mountain has to offer. While Wakarusa pulses to the vibrant beat of youth culture and features many of today’s top acts across varying musical genres, Harvest offers an entirely different experience that has a way of twiddling itself into one’s heart.
Kalamazoo’s Greensky Bluegrass announce today their plans to ring in 2014 with a New Year’s Eve performance at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The NYE celebration will mark an exclamation to a banner year that was bookended by two international festival performances, with Jam Cruise in January and Strings & Sol in December. Another Mitten State band, The Crane Wives, offer support on December 31.
Sometimes I find it truly incredible how different each festival is. Sure, when you poke around in different genres you’re going to have a different vibe, but even within the realm of strings and grass, you’ll find the good and you’ll find the bad. Northwest String Summit at Horning’s Hideout in Oregon doesn’t exactly make it into either category. I think it stands alone in the “this is the most amazing, beautiful, compelling, warming, etc.
I’ve read Treasure Island, Last of the Mohicans, Wizard of the Oz, Lord of the Rings, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Tarzan and my all-time favorite, Of Mice and Men. All these stories do not compare with the living story book of Electric Forest 2013. There was a hole in a tree and I fell in. Tumbling down the black hole there was voice that told a story. It went like this: Once upon a time at a grand ranch in Michigan there was a magical forest. In that forest lived the happy