Every bluegrass festival has its surprises, and Friday at Palatka was no exception. The day started with an open stage. Two youngsters went out and played several tunes on guitar and mandolin – and very well. The boys are 11 year old Aaron Koch and his 15 year old brother Justin. Aaron has only been playing mandolin for the past 6 months! It is their very first bluegrass festival.
Aaron’s mandolin hero is Danny Roberts of the Grascals and was introduced to Roberts backstage. Danny pulled out his mandolin and jammed with Aaron for 30 minutes or so. Danny’s comment from the stage: “He’s gonna be a good one.”
Emcee, Sherry Boyd, brought Alan Sibley and the Magnolia Ramblers out to open the show. Robert Montgomery put on a little bit of the Uncle Dave Macon music with the spinning and twirling of his banjo. Audie Blaylock and Redline provided traditional bluegrass music and some memories of Jimmy Martin.
Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers were up next. They are preparing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band. The Dry Branch Fire Squad always brings the finest old time music and humor of Ron Thomason. Ron did his “hambone” routine to the delight of promotors Norman and Judy Adams. The Grascals brought a mix of their well-known music along with some selections from their new projects. The Gibson Brothers closed out the day top notch brother duets and music.
Saturday brings The Marksmen, Breaking Grass, The Little Roy and Lizzie Show, The Bluegrass Brothers, The Dry Branch Fire Squad, and The Steep Canyon Rangers.