2020 Florida Bluegrass Classic report

Remedy Tree bundled up for the cold at the 2020 Florida Bluegrass Classic – photo © Bill Warren

A cold front rolled across Florida on Thursday night, and Friday dawned with a chilly north wind. Florida Bluegrass Classic fans bundled up, and the show went on. Weather doesn’t keep us down!

Jo Odom dressed for the occasion and let everyone know, “We can handle this.”

Every festival has its surprises. Remedy Tree from St. Augustine was a pleasant surprise. I had not seen this band before. They bill themselves as a mix of bluegrass, old time, and Americana with a progressive edge. They are all of this and more, but are far more traditional sounding than they give themselves credit for. Give this band a listen when you get the chance.

Zink and Company was up next. They provide a full measure of bluegrass and vintage country music. Corey Zink has moved from the northeast to Pigeon Forge to forward his music career.

Keith Bass and the Florida Bluegrass Express followed. Keith has headed this band for over twenty years and they are one of Florida’s top bands. They have a strong following of traditional music fans. Keith is a true cowboy. He manages a 2,000 head cattle ranch in the Okeechobee area. He told me that playing music and raising cattle is about all he knows how to do, and wouldn’t want to do anything else. See them if you are in Florida.

Teea Goans is a young singer from Nashville that does traditional country music. “Come to Florida they said. The weather is always nice they said.” Well she bundled up and put on a good show. She is one of the up-and-comers in country music.

The Atlantic City Boys closed out the Friday show. They do pop music from the ’50s and ’60s. They run the gamut from the Four Seasons to the Beach Boys. They always pick an audience member to sing to. Connie Harper was “it”. Connie cooks for many of the festival volunteers and bands and had fun with the Boys.

Saturday at the Classic always opens with the National Anthem. This year it was sung by Connie Harper, Bev Jaeger, Marilee Martinson, and Jan Ladd. They did a great job.

Remedy Tree started the day out right. Again, see them if you can.

Kenny And Amanda Smith followed up as a duo. When you combine an IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year and an IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, it is “knock-your-socks off” good.

The Grascals drove fifteen hours from Ohio, Jumped out of the van, tuned up instruments, pulled on caps, and hit the stage with tremendous energy. They put on a great show. Chris Davis has a back issue that kept him seated through most of both sets. He still had a smile and sang and played his heart out! He was offering his kingdom for a chiropractor!

Then came Nothin’ Fancy. There is not much left to say about them. They have you laughing one minute and in tears the next. Their new project, Undeniable, is all band written music. It shines.

Country star Doug Stone closed out the festival with a number of his hits. He has been on the country music scene since 1990.

Evans Media Source next festival is at the Sertoma Youth Ranch beginning on March 26th.

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