A big bluegrass weekend in southeastern Michigan

The Gibson Brothers at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI (9/9/16) - photo © Bill WarrenThe Gibson Brothers ushered in a big weekend of bluegrass music in southeast Michigan with a performance at the Ark in Ann Arbor on Friday evening. An appreciative audience was treated to a great show. The band spent the rest of the weekend in Remus, Michigan at the long running Wheatland Music Festival.

Saturday saw the 20th edition of the Auburn Hills Parade of Stars. Special Consensus has hosted the festival each of those years. The show was opened by Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Chris is an alum of Special C, and The Night Drivers were joined by fiddler Malia Furtado, sister of Night Drivers’ banjo player Gina Clowes. David Parmley brought the Cardinal Tradition to Michigan for the first time. Bassist Ron Spears is also a Special C alum.

A number of awards were given during the show. Brian Marzolf, organizer of the Auburn Hills event, presented Greg Cahill of Special C with a plaque honoring his 20 years of hosting the festival. Brian also presented a plaque to Tom and Barb Laing as the promoters of the festival.

David Blakney accepts his SEMBMA Hall of Honor induction at The Auburn Hills Parade of Stars (9/10/16) - photo © Bill WarrenThe Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association presented the final four 2016 inductees into their Hall of Honor. The presentations were made by president Bill Warren and Hall of Honor committee members Ron Benton and Mark Gaynier. Long time bluegrass DJ and MC David Blakney was honored, and Tom Laing was honored for his decades of promotion of bluegrass music. Gordon Lamb was honored as one of the areas “super fans.” His widow, Kathy Lamb accepted the award. Larry McDaniel, long time host of the Arkansas Traveler radio show, was also honored. Niece Sarah Jane Rayburn accepted for him.

Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out closed a great day of music.

This weekend marks the end of the outdoor festival season in southeast Michigan. Let’s all support our local indoor venues for the fall and winter months!