Day one at the 2023 Florida Classic

Sideline at the 2023 Florida Classic Music Fest & Car Show – photo © Bill Warren

There have been years at the Florida Classic where mittens, boots, and heavy coats were in order. Not this year. The temperature was close to 90 on day one, and promises more of the same for the rest of the festival. This puts a smile on promoters Ernie and Debi Evans’ faces.

The sunshine even put a hat on MC Sherry Boyd’s head!

Justin Mason and Blue Night kicked off the weekend. They are a highly sought-after Florida band. Justin is the face and voice of Florida bluegrass. He keeps everyone abreast of statewide happenings, and is joined by EMS sound tech, Josh Griffin, on banjo, Mary Kate Brennan on lead vocals, Lester Canada on fiddle, and Nico on bass.

Sideline made their next to last Florida appearance. Matt Flake filled in on fiddle. Steve Dilling announced that Jamie Harper is auditioning with the Grascals this weekend, so we will see him Saturday.

Dennis Lee is a comedian/country singer who is doing the Florida winter circuit. He was joined by fiddler, Stephanie Ann. Ron Cornett had the opportunity to interview them on his radio show.

The Malpass Brothers closed out the day’s stage show. One of their show highlights is keeping the memories of the Louvin Brothers alive. Chris has Charlie’s guitar and Taylor has Ira’s mandolin. They do several Louvin songs using those instruments.

Friday sees the return of Blue Night and Dennis Lee, along with Don Rigsby, Swinging Bridge, and the Atlantic City Boys.

Saturday features Remedy Tree, Swinging Bridge, The Grascals, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, and country legend Gene Watson. Gene is doing his farewell tour, so get out to see him if you can.

Support your local music venues.