Big Lick, N.C. ‚Äì Some of the hottest bluegrass entertainers in the country are going to perform at the Big Lick Bluegrass Festival in Big Lick on June 5 and 6. But, you ask, where is Big Lick? Even though there is no town sign, you can’t miss it. Bright blue and yellow banners welcome you to what is left of the town that burned in the early 1900s ‚Äì a farm that today is called Big Lick Festival Park. You’ll find it on NC Hwy. 205 between Charlotte and Albemarle, North Carolina.
And so will Dailey & Vincent, Goldwing Express, The Bluegrass Brothers, Al Batten & The Bluegrass Reunion, and Bill Yates & Friends Country Gentlemen Tribute Show. Goldwing Express puts on a lively, fun show and has performed in the past at the Big Lick Festival. Energetic brothers Robert and Victor Dowdy, of The Bluegrass Brothers, bring a traditional mountain flair to the show.
Bluegrass fans know Al Batten, with his 5-string banjo, from his days with The Bass Mountain Boys. The "Ambassador of Bluegrass Music," Bill Yates, along with the rest of his band, round out the program.
In April, Dailey & Vincent’s CD, "Brothers From Different Mothers" debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums chart. So it was no wonder they recently performed to record-breaking, standing-room only crowds at the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Bluegrass Festival at the Denton FarmPark.
Dailey & Vincent is the pairing of well-known bluegrass performers Jamie Dailey, former lead singer and guitarist for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver; and Darrin Vincent, who most recently was guitar and mandolin player and harmony vocalist with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. The New York Times recently called them "the most celebrated new bluegrass act of the last few years." In 2008, the group won seven awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year, Emerging Artist of the Year and more.
Jeff Branch, organizer of the Big Lick Bluegrass Festival, feels fans are looking for another chance to see the dynamic duo. "They’re a powerhouse of talent and crowds love them," he said. "They no longer fit in the up-and-coming category. They’ve arrived. And everyone starts from somewhere," he said. "I anticipate we’ll see some new bluegrass performers during Open Mic. It’s a great place for new bands to play on the same stage as some the world’s top performers."
Open Mic Night will be held on Friday, June 5 from 6-9:30 p.m., followed by The Bluegrass Brothers from 9:30 ‚Äì 11 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Then from 12 noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday, the show will feature back-to-back bluegrass-music. Admission is $25 for adults, $12 for children ages 12-16 and free for kids under 12. Admission after 6 p.m. is $15 for adults.
Advance tickets are $20 for adults or $25 for both days. The deadline is June 1. Camping is available. Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food and souvenir concessions will be available. The show will be held rain or shine.<
For more information or to purchase advance tickets, call 704-485-4906 or log onto www.BigLickBluegrass.com.