Less than a month away, bluegrass music will be the biggest news ‘round these parts at the legendary CBA Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival.
Bluegrass was never hidden, of course – we fans know that. We know all the regular jams, and the venues that feature the music throughout the year. And beyond that, there are countless informal get-togethers where the music is played and sung.
But in mid-June, every year for the past 40+ years, Grass Valley is the nexus of the bluegrass universe for a glorious weekend. It offers everything we seek to experience all year, and much more, in a magnified, concentrated form. We will soak up bluegrass on the familiar communal level, and we’ll have a chance to see the very best players the genre has to offer, as well.
For those who like to play music in public, we get to see and hear the top pros. For some of some of those “gifted amateurs”, they’ll even get the chance to take the stage at this hallowed event, and that will be a thrill.
One of my closest friends is playing Vern’s Stage, and I can’t wait to cheer him on!
For those who prefer private jams and attending an occasional concert, the Father’s Day Festival is a chance to cram both of these endeavors into a few short days, with nonstop jamming interrupted only sporadically to view the big acts on stage, or silly, useless activities, like eating.
We’ll pluck and pick and yowl. We’ll play familiar songs and learn some new ones. We’ll talk shop, with ears bleeding from endless discussions about strings, tunings, capos, finger picks, fiddle bows and rosin choices.
We’ll show off our oldest instruments and our newest, and coo and sigh over the tones rendered. We’ll see old friends, and make new ones. For those of us who convince a friend to come to the festival for the first time, we’ll have a chance to see the event in fresh eyes, which is a lot of fun.
I’ll be there, and I will be looking for you – to jam, sip a brew (or a nip of the ol’ nasty). I’m getting excited – please forgive me for writing this with weeks left to go.