Houstonfest is a small but growing festival now in its third year, dedicated to the memory and example of banjo prodigy Houston Caldwell, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 18. Caldwell dedicated his life to song and service, and that’s what Houstonfest is all about.
The three stages offer a blend of oldtime and bluegrass acts, with talent both young and old. Friday highlights for me were young trio Dogwood & Holly, who flat knocked me out, especially with their cranked up version of Wayfaring Stranger, the Snyder Family Band who are getting better by leaps and bounds each time I see them, and the exemplary musicianship, statesmanship and harmonies of Russell Moore and IIIrd Time Out.
Also a delight to witness: the amazing dancing of Martha Spencer from the White Top Mountaineers, who conveys so much joy whenever she’s on stage, especially when she’s kicking up her heels, but also when she’s singing songs like Ruby.
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