by Charlie Hansen
The summer music season is upon us and many festivals are in full swing. The 30th annual PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival is happening momentarily and the organizers expect a large attendance because of the top flight entertainment that has been put in place. The Lonesome River Band, The Clay Hess Band and Ned Crisp and Bottomline are the US bands and they all come with a great track record as crowd pleasers.
The weekend after the PEI Festival the folks at Abram-Village will open the gates and welcome all comers. This years lineup includes the ultra traditional bluegrass, Larry Efaw and The Bluegrass Mountaineers are composed of Edward Efaw, Larry Efaw, Stanley Efaw, Anthony Prater, Tom Isaacs, and John Bryan. The band has been a staple on the mid US bluegrass scene for many years and play that hard driving traditional bluegrass that festival attendees enjoy very much.
The other US band on the schedule is the brother sister act, The Roys. The Roys have roots in Rogersville New Brunswick but are natives of Massachusetts. Elaine and Lee are backed up by a strong band of great musicians and play a mix of traditional and contemporary bluegrass. They have charted a number of songs on the bluegrass Unlimited and Bluegrass Today chart and are on a fast track to a successful career.
The Maritime bands at Abram-Village are The Bluegrass Diamonds, Close To Home, Simply Blue, Monroe, and the Ryan Dillman Band. All your favourite local bands are there as well so the weekend is set up to be a lively one.
The Red Clay Bluegrass Festival held on August 21 to 23 in Tignish, PEI is shaping up to be a good one. The headliner this year is Travers Chandler and Avery County. The group is built around the music of the Washington/Baltimore bluegrass scene of the 50s and 60s. The set list contains songs from the many entertainers that filled the clubs in the Washington/Baltimore corridor and made that area a hub for bluegrass music. Travers travels with a very competent group which includes Ray Edwards, Merl Johnson, Adam Peindeter & Steve Block.
The second band making its way up from the US is The Burrie Family which hails from Southeastern Wisconsin. They are new to this area and I’m sure worth a listen.
The Maritime bands on the schedule include The Bluegrass Diamonds, The Douthwrights, and Bluegrass Tradition. Again all your favourite local bluegrass groups will be there.
I’ll be keeping you advised as to other country and bluegrass events as the summer rolls along so get out and support your favourite festival or take them all in if you get a chance. We’ll see you at one of the local festivals.
Until next time don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to Bluegrass Island Sunday at 9 pm on CFCY 95,1 FM and on the web at cfcy.fm.