Friday at the 2016 Milan Bluegrass Festival saw a brief rain shower in the morning, but the sun was shining brightly by the time the first band took the stage. The Crowe Brothers made their first appearance at Milan in many years. They brought the unique sounds of Maggie Valley that many thoroughly enjoy.
Adkins and Loudermilk took the Milan stage and provided the music that is their special blend. Edgar spent the sets on a stool as he shattered his knee cap last Saturday and had surgery on Sunday, proving once again that bluegrass musicians are hardy troopers. Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers have become Milan favorites providing everything from the most traditional bluegrass to the very best gospel music.
The Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association inducted two more members into their new Hall of Honor. The inductees are the late Michael Adams and Bobby Hutch. Michael’s widow and his granddaughter accepted on his behalf.
Becky Buller made her first appearance at Milan. I found Becky, Dan Boner, and Jason Barie practicing triple fiddles for the presentation of Southern Flavor. Joe Mullins and Blake Williams joined Becky’s band in doing a special rendition of the award winning song. Publicist Kimberly Williams had her hands full making videos of the song! Dailey & Vincent closed out the show as only they can. Michigan native Shaun Richardson made his home debut as the newest member of D&V.
Saturday saw three bands make their Milan debuts. Hammertowne was up first bringing Kentucky bluegrass to Michigan. The Trinity River Band features the sibling harmonies of Josh, Brianna, and Sarah Harris, and are riding the success of their newly released album Things We Do For Dreams. Breaking Grass gave new but traditional sounding bluegrass to an enthusiastic audience.
Rhonda Vincent and the Rage are perennial performers at the Milan festival. Many people look forward to her annual appearance. Rhonda’s mother, Carolyn, surprised her by being at the festival. She joined Rhonda on stage for a couple of songs.
The late Jim and Faye Wilder and the late Nick Mladjan were inducted into the SMBMA Hall of Honor. Faye Wilder accepted for them and Nick’s daughter Judy Assenmacher accepted on his behalf.
Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out made their 15th appearance in the 19 year run of the festival. Festival promoter Mark Gaynier presented Russell with a 25 year old bottle of scotch to commemorate the 25 anniversary of IIIrd Tyme Out.
Next year’s dates are August 3-5.