Sunday, June 24, 2007

Books and Bluegrass Contest, Part III

The music festival ended about midnight and became quite an experience when severe thunderstorms moved through the area in the late afternoon. There was so much lighting around that both the performers and the audience had to take shelter several times over the next few hours, and it eventually became too dangerous for the performers to use any microphones and lighting. Finally, around 10:30, those of us who had been stubborn enough to stick around despite being chilled and wet for several hours were shown to a small tent where we were well-rewarded with an impromptu jam session from the festival headliners.

These are the final contest pictures:

Brother acts are traditional in bluegrass music and, over the last six decades bluegrass music has been blessed with several great bands fronted by brothers. The man shown in the blue shirt was part of one of the greatest bluegrass brother acts of them all until his brother passed away a couple of years ago. His band now includes his grandson (standing next to him with the guitar). Who is this man and what what was the name of the act before the death of his brother?

This gentleman is the last surviving musician who actually was an influence on the musicians who developed the original bluegrass style of country music. He is 100 years old and has been married to his singing partner for 70 years. He performed for Franklin Roosevelt at the White House in 1941. Who is this man? I'll award a bonus point for the name of his wife.

This woman is another one of the pioneers. Originally from the West Virginia coal mines, she now lives in Washington D.C. and she is one of the main reasons I was so willing to drive over a 1000 miles to this festival. She did a lot of work for the coal miners' union and she sings with great love and understanding about the working people of this country. Who is she?

This picture was taken under the cover of the small tent where the two headliners on the right, and their bands, put on a once-in-a-lifetime jam session for about two hundred wet and cold fans. The man in white fronts what is, in my opinion, the best bluegrass band in the business, a band that includes his two sons. What is his name? The man in the blue jacket has been playing in bluegrass bands since he was 13 years old but is now a major recording star with his own band and style of country music; he has a museum quality collection of country music artifacts, and is a Nashville regular who is married to another country music star.

Hold your answers, everyone...keep them a secret and email your answers to me on Tuesday.


  1. Great photos! I can only come up with one, possibly two, answers in your contest (without internet assistance), but it's fun to try to figure out who these performers are. Thanks!

  2. Nice pictures. We wanted to make ROMP this year but couldn't fit it into our schedule. We blogged your posts at The Bluegrass Painter Blog on

  3. Great pictures! Looks like you had a great time. I'd email you for the contest, but bluegrass isn't really my thing! I have no clue about any of them!

  4. Gentle Reader, jump in with an email if you want might surprise yourself. The prize is a hardcover ARC of an interesting book, especially nice if your a science fiction fan, I think.

  5. Thanks for the link, Painter. I'm going to have to check out your site. I just got home this morning and I'm finally starting to feel human again after that long drive in some pretty messy weather. Thanks again.

  6. No problem Stephanie. I did have a great time. This is the second year in a row that I've driven up there and I'm already looking forward to next year...and hoping for a festival to finally happen with no rain.

    Hey, if you enjoy harmony singing and really great musicianship, bluegrass is something you need to check out...the high tenor sound rubs some people the wrong way, but an appreciation of that sound comes pretty quickly with exposure to those talented singers. Let me know if you're curious and I'll recommend a couple of bands for you to try first.


I always love hearing from you guys...that's what keeps me book-blogging. Thanks for stopping by.