Away from the advertised barrooms and dives of the Official Bluegrass Ramble, a small hotel suite at Raleigh’s City Center Marriott was packed to the brim. It’s a good thing the local fire marshall was unaware of this gig, because those not sitting on chairs, tables, and laps were standing shoulder to shoulder.
Every year, the California Bluegrass Association hosts a nightly bluegrass showcase featuring a wide variety of topnotch bands. They also feature free snacks and drinks for all who attend. This year, in Marriott #322, Sideline kicked off the CBA’s entertainment for IBMA week 2013.
Sideline is a collaboration between bluegrass veterans, Steve Dilling, Darrell Webb, Justin Moore, Justen Haynes, and Skip Cherryholmes. Based around the Raleigh-area, this side project began a few years ago when all the members decided to pick during the bluegrass “dry spell” in the winter. They jokingly said the band should have been called the “December Mountain Boys!”
The guys’ love for the music is blatantly obvious. They were having a blast playing tunes from their new record, Sideline: Session 1, as well as a few standards. The intimate, informal setting provided a laid back approach for the band and the fans. The audience sang along with favorites such as What’s Made Milwuakee Famous and Jimmy Martin’s The Last Song, making for a rocking good time!
Although it may not be part of the official Bluegrass Ramble, I doubt you can find a showcase that is more fun than stopping by Marriott Suite #322!