Day 1 at ’23 Fall Industrial Strength Bluegrass Festival

Rhonda Vincent at the Industrial Strength Bluegrass Festival (11/9/23) – photo © Laci Mack

This report is a contribution from Autumn A. Watson, mandolinist and vocalist with Carley Arrowood. Autumn is also her sister. Photographs are courtesy of Laci Mack.

The Industrial Strength Bluegrass Festival kicked off with a bang, complete with a hall filled to the brim with unique vendors, an eager crowd, and an amazing lineup!

Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, set the stage for an electrifying evening. The crowd was pumped, and you could practically feel the energy pulsating through the ballroom from the first downbeat.

After Joe’s high-energy performance, Ralph Stanley II took the spotlight, serenading the audience with classic favorites like Rank Stranger and It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song. Ralph II’s set was like personal conversation, creating an intimate connection with each listener.

Closing out the first night of Industrial Strength Bluegrass Festival was none other than the queen herself, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. That voice fills up the whole stage and audience. Her sweet spirit and charm had us on a hook from start to finish and The Rage, as always, gave an outstanding performance that left us wanting about ten encores.

With a start like this, it makes you wonder how the vibes could get any better as the weekend progresses.

If you walk by me laying on the floor, I probably couldn’t handle all the energy. Don’t worry, I’m fine.

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About the Author

Laci Mack

Laci Mack is a songwriter who found her passion for photojournalism in the bluegrass community. As a native of East Tennessee, Laci grew up playing bluegrass music and now passes on her love for the genre to her two children. With a passion for supporting artists, she started photo documenting the East Tennessee music scene. This led to working with Pluck It! Music Brand as their Marketing Director. This role allows her to work at music festivals nationwide selling the brand's bluegrass-themed merchandise while capturing photos of the artists performing. Some achievements including album covers such as Carley Arrowood and Dave Adkins. Check out for more info.