40th annual Jekyll Island Bluegrass

New Year's Eve finale at the 40th Annual New Years Bluegrass Festival in Jekyll Island, GA - photo © Bill WarrenThe 40th Jekyll Island Bluegrass festival, hosted by Norman and Judy Adams, kicked off with Volume 5. This group has rapidly become a festival favorite on the bluegrass circuit. The Gary Waldrep band continued its string of consecutive appearances on the Jekyll stage. Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out are always enthusiastically welcomed to Jekyll Island, and this year was no exception.

The Gibson Brothers continue to amaze audiences with their wonderful sibling harmony. The brotherly banter between Eric and Leigh keeps the audience chuckling. The Little Roy and Lizzie show always brings high energy to the stage wherever they appear. Little Roy never slows down, and Lizzy Long is carving out her spot in the bluegrass world with some of her original music.

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage is, quite simply, indescribable. Rhonda captivates an audience in a way that is unmatched. It was a bittersweet night for Rhonda as she ended her 15 year association with the Martha White company. The Martha White company will be hard pressed to find anyone who will be a better spokesperson for them than Rhonda has been.

During her she, there was a “dance off” to determine the champion dance couple of the festival. The pictures of the two couples speak for themselves!! The New Year was brought in by all of the bands in a grand finale that filled the Jekyll Island stage.

The Larry Gillis Band brought “Swampgrass” to the second day of the festival. The Tennessee Gentlemen featuring the incomparable voice of Donny Catron brought the audience too its feet more than once during their show. Springfield Exit was next up. David and Linda Lay brought along a couple special guests, Sammy Shelor and Shayne Bartley, who were in the band this weekend.

Goldwing Express provided their own brand of music and humor to the Jekyll crowd. Blue Highway is expected to always put on a top shelf show, and they did not disappoint. New dobro player, Gaven Largent, played his first show with them. Wayne Taylor did mention that 19 year old Gaven is younger than the 22 year old Blue Highway! The legendary Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver closed out the day’s entertainment.

MC Sherry Boyd at the 40th Annual New Years Bluegrass Festival in Jekyll Island, GA - photo © Bill WarrenSherry Boyd is the top notch emcee for the Adams bluegrass festivals.

The 40th Jekyll Island Bluegrass festival closed with yet another great day of bluegrass music. The day opened with the humor and music of the Moron Brothers. Burley and Lardo kept the audience laughing from start to finish. The “Lady of Tradition,” Lorraine Jordan, brought Carolina Road to the stage. She also featured young Garrett Newton on banjo for a couple songs. The Crowe Brothers brought their unique Maggie Valley sound to Jekyll again this year.

Crowd favorites, Nothin’ Fancy, provided top notch entertainment for the audience. Lou Reid and Carolina always give the crowd full measure. Dailey and Vincent closed the festival as only Dailey and Vincent can. The show features a mix of traditional bluegrass, true southern Gospel and old time country.