MelonFest, a Kentucky festival dedicated to the music of neo-acid rock group Blind Melon, is incorporating Kentucky bluegrass into its 2015 offerings. Held on a 500-acre property called Hillbilly Woodstock, rock fans will enjoy performances from some of the top pickers in the Bluegrass State in addition to sets from from current Blind Melon members.
Representing the acoustic side will be Brandon Lee Adams, Megan McKamey, Hammertowne, Don Rigsby, Bo Isaacs, Dave Evans, and James King, each of whom will play a set over the July 31-August 2 weekend, along with a special Saturday performance form Wildfire featuring J.D. Crowe on banjo.
Blind Melon was a young band on the rise in the early ’90s, generating some buzz on MTV and winning fans through live shows opening for Guns N’ Roses, Neil Young, and The Rolling Stones. But just as things were breaking for them, lead singer Shannon Hoon died from a drug overdose while the group was out on tour. He was only 28 years old.
Attempts to find a new vocalist were unsuccessful, and the band lived only through the release of outtake and live albums, ultimately disbanding officially in 1999. Following a reunion tour that fizzled in 2008 with Travis Warren as the new lead singer, Blind Melon returned in 2010 and has continued to perform sporadically, though they have no plans to record.
It will be interesting to see how the rockers at MelonFest react to the bluegrass acts. They have hired several of the most soulful singers in bluegrass today. If the sound crewman generate some volume from the stage, it should be a grand time for everyone at Hillbilly Woodstock.
MelonFest will be held in Olive Hill, KY. More details can be found online.