Dispatch from NEPA, where mountain music and the Endless Mountains combined for a fine weekend

You know you are headed the right way for good bluegrass music when you pass a sign like we did a few miles from the site of the NEPA Bluegrass Festival. The sign was an advertisement for the local volunteer fire company’s big summer fundraising event. Some fire companies hold a carnival. Not these folks. The sign advertised their upcoming “Rattlesnake Roundup.” You see a sign like that, you know you are in the mountains.[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest: Nobody was resting on Sunday, including the rain

The emcee was on his way. He was doing double duty, covering two stages, so he may have been tied up over at the Potomac when Serene Green was ready to hit the stage in the Music Hall next door. Or maybe his watch was slow, or whomever’s Serene was going by was fast. For sure they were not in sync. We didn’t bother to check to see what time it was when the boys[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest, where, for some, dreams came true on Saturday

A lot of folks got up festival early to come out and see The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers and The Plate Scrapers on Saturday morning. Festival early is a term we think we just made up. It is inspired by the phrase “hiker midnight,” which Appalachian Trail hikers will tell you is 9 p.m. That is late at night if you walked 10 miles the day before and plan to do it again the next day.[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest, where Bloody Mary mornings turn into red hot Friday nights

Even though he is a Grand Ole Opry member, enshrined in every hall of fame that exists for the music he plays, and widely acknowledged as the reigning king of bluegrass, it seems like Del McCoury is still surprised by his success. Friday evening he stepped on to the stage and his eyes got wide as he looked out and saw the crowd gathered for the festival he hosts. His smile got wide, too. It[…]

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Dispatch from DelFest: 2019 edition of Memorial Day weekend classic off to fine start

DelFest 2019 started a day early this year, at least for us. We rolled into Cumberland on Wednesday in time to get to DelFest Academy in time for Bluegrass Karaoke, one of the highlights of the three-day, pre-festival, music camp for all ages that Rob McCoury’s wife, Lisa, runs each year. Bluegrass Karaoke is the final event of the academy, save the Thursday night opportunity for the Academy’s band scramble winners to play a song[…]

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Friday’s Dispatch from Gettysburg: The one where we learn all about Weston, W Va.

Wikipedia may not be the most authoritative source in the world, but where else are you going to go to find out a little about Weston, W. Va.? There is an official site for this “city” of 4,110 people. But it mostly deals with the local government. Wikipedia, though, tells us a little more about the town. For instance, Weston, which is about an hour south of Morgantown, was founded in 1818. Stonewall Jackson was[…]

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Dispatch from Gettysburg: Only thing better than Thursday’s weather was the music

Seems like it was just last year. Probably because it was. It seemed to rain every weekend in the spring and summer of 2018. We called it “Festival Season,” but truth be told, it was more like monsoon season. Looking back, it seemed like there was only one truly perfect weather day — the Saturday of Grey Fox, when it was bright, sunny, dry, and perfect shirtsleeves weather. It was a Goldilocks day — not[…]

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Five Great Festivals for Tourists Visiting the Metropolitan Northeast Corridor

EDITOR’S NOTE: This travel guide to festivals in the Middle Atlantic States was written with British bluegrass fans in mind who might want a sidetrip to experience American bluegrass in a festival setting while visiting the cities in the NYC-Philly-D.C. corridor. It is not inclusive. There are a plethora of other fine festivals in the region. We looked for larger festivals with artists with names that a fan from across the pond would recognize. I[…]

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