Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mineral Bluegrass Festival

My husband and I got hooked on bluegrass music when we were in college. Bluegrass was experiencing a revival, and bluegrass bands would occasionally put on outdoor concerts on campus. As married 20-somethings, we used to go to 3-day bluegrass festivals regularly. We’d camp out in our little backpacking tent and listen to music all day and late into the night. Before Saturday, the last festival we went to was when our daughter was about 2. Turned out camping with a toddler was harder than we thought, and 3 days of bluegrass music didn’t amuse her quite the way it did us.

We’ve continued to be bluegrass fans, though, and decided that now that the kids are grown, we should get back to going to the festivals. So we decided at the last minute to dip our toes back in the water by spending Saturday at the Mineral Festival. We’d done this one a couple of times back in the old days, and while it was rough camping without any frills, we loved that it was so close to home, and never overly crowded. Even though this time we were just there for the day, we had a terrific time, and were kind of sorry we didn’t have our own campsite for relaxing. We're already planning to come back and camp next year.

The lineup of bands was good, but all of the acts throughout the day were clearly eclipsed by the headliners, the Del McCoury Band. We’ve seen Del perform many times, but not lately, and his performance still excels. He’s an elder statesman of bluegrass, one of the few oldtimers of his caliber left, and a real master of the genre. He and the band played a full 90-minute set, and I could have watched him for another 90 minutes.

The scene in the concert area. Music started at noon, and didn't end till around 10:30 pm:

Food vendors, mostly selling the usual unhealthy carnival food (like deep fried Oreos)...

but I did enjoy my roasted corn (hold the butter):

Most of the campers were in RVs. Everywhere you walk, you hear the sound of generators:

The bands travel in buses, although the Grascals' bus was the only I saw with corporate sponsorship. Check out the Mayberry's Finest website for a glimpse of their "spokesgroup" singing the jingle.

This may be a crappy photo of Del McCoury, but it's MY crappy photo:

No comments: