Superstar phenom Billy Strings returns as Artist-in-Residence, joining 40+ award-winning bluegrass acts including the Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, Tommy Emmanuel and many more at the 2019 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival from July 18-21.
Always a deep and wide mix of Grammy, IBMA, CMA, and AMA winners and nominees, Grey Fox presents the best of bluegrass and acoustic music. In its 35th year, Grey Fox is the largest and most-established bluegrass festival in the Northeast, featuring traditional, contemporary, and progressive bluegrass to old-time, Americana, jamgrass, Celtic, and dance music.
The festival is a homecoming every summer for campers from more than 30 states and at least a dozen countries. Held on the Walsh Farm in the bucolic Catskill Mountains, the festival has six stages, with shaded performance venues and workshop stages, along with entertainment for children and families. In all, more than 175 performances are scheduled over the festival’s four days, from Thursday through Sunday (camping gates open early on Wednesday, July 17).
The lineup is always eclectic and on the cutting edge, a “Who’s Who of Bluegrass” that offers something for everyone. Bands this year also include the Earls of Leicester, I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan), Tim O’Brien, Balsam Range, Steep Canyon Rangers, Molly Tuttle, the Gibson Brothers, Sierra Hull, and host band Dry Branch Fire Squad. The Travelin’ McCourys will present “A Grateful Ball,” a collaboration of the music of The Grateful Dead.
Over the past few years, Billy Strings has made his mark on the Grey Fox faithful, with dynamic performances that have left audiences spellbound. The young guitarist has been turning the dyed-in-the-wool bluegrass world on its head. Rolling Stone magazine says that Strings sounds like “The head-banging speed of a thrash metal band channeled through flat-picked guitar and mandolin, with a touch of end-of-the-world psychedelia.” As Artist-in-Residence, Strings will be performing with his own band and with other bands from Thursday through Saturday.
In addition to the main stages, there are impressive Emerging Artist Showcases of young bands hailing from around the country, music and dance workshops, a much-loved Open-Mic Night, red-hot jam sessions around the campgrounds, ethnic and festive foods, unique vendors, Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids, (now in its 21st year) and a stage entirely devoted to children’s activities. Everyone from music fans to foodies, beginning pickers to serious players, singles to multi-generational families will find something to capture their imagination and heart.
GIVING BACK: Sunday is unique at Grey Fox. Admission is free with a donation to local food banks upon arrival. ‘A Taste of Grey Fox’ starts with Dry Branch Fire Squad and ends with the 21st Annual Grey Fox Bluegrass Academy for Kids bookending performances by some of the festival’s top artists. Donations of non-perishable pantry items or cash go to Community Action of Greene County who distributes food and supplies to area food banks. Grey Fox invites residents and visitors alike to enjoy Sunday’s musical performances and help feed needy local families. Acceptable pantry items are listed at https://cagcny.org/food-donations.
For tickets, information and a complete list of all the bands, visit the Grey Fox website at http://greyfoxbluegrass.com.