DelFest band competition 2011

And the winner is ……..

Congratulations to the winner of the 4th DelFest Annual Bluegrass Band Competition, the Mon River Ramblers!    Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA this 5 piece band  may look like the traditional line up but it was their cover of Guns and Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine that really caught the judges’ attention. “That was DEFINITELY original,” said judge Chuck Gibben who was among the small but very enthusiastic crowd that came out to watch the Ramblers open up Sunday’s festivities.

The Ramblers definitely met all of the judging criteria, with strong instrumentation, upbeat arrangements, great lyrics and accompanying vocals, this band was a lot of fun.

Having played together for five years, this is the third competition the band has entered. “We competed here last year” explained bassist Robin  “and at Telluride, which taught us a lot. This year, instead of coming out and trying to play what we thought the judges were looking for, we decided to just play what we play.” Clearly, this was a winning strategy.

When I asked what the win meant to them, guitarist Jim explained “it’s such a great opportunity to reach many more people.” “Yeah,” quipped Luke, the mandolin player “and for a little while, at least, we can say that the only two bands already booked for next year’s DelFest are us and Del McCoury!”

Kudos gentlemen!

The Mon River Ramblers play currently mostly in the tri-state area (PA,NY, NJ) area, but with a little more exposure, who knows, they may be coming to a festival near you.

For more information (I love their band t-shirt!) see them at

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About the Author

Diane Farineau

Diane Farineau, her husband, photographer, Milo and their friend, photographer, Chester Simpson, hatched a brilliant plan last year to write a book about music festivals. Somewhere along the way The Festival Project, as it has now become, turned into a website and a blog and an amazing journey into the world of today's bluegrass and Americana artists and festival scene. When not listening to or writing about music, Diane has a day job as a hospital administrator, is a mom of two musical teenagers, and writes about life's never ending stream of ironies.