Grey Fox 2008 report

Carol BeaugardOur friend, Carol Beaugard – host of WFDU’s Lonesome Pine RFD – sent along this report (with photos) of the recent Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, the first year for this venerable event in its new home.

I totally loved Grey Fox this year and I think the new site (Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, NY) is fantastic. I really do prefer it to the old site. I’ve already congratulated Mary Doub and I think they accomplished a miracle by finding a new location and pulling together all the logistics to make the transition so easily.

The biggest highlight for me over the weekend was Hot Rize’s 30th Anniversary concert. They sounded unbelievable. The magic of Nick and Tim’s voices together and their expert MC work is the stuff that legends and the highest level of professionalism is all about. Charles was dearly missed but having Bryan Sutton in on guitar is such a treat. Don’t even get me started on how wonderful Red Knuckles was.

They were in rare form that night. Jerry Douglas was on stage as their manager gesturing to the crowds to applaud following every song. A mystery guest on fiddle who suspiciously looked like Sam Bush came out and they did a cowboy swing version of White Rabbit and Jerry pranced around the stage wearing a rabbit mask. All this and a very rare and exotic red moon emerged in the pitch black sky while they were on. It was magical. Red Knuckles did more than an hour playing for the dance tent later that night and the crowd couldn’t stop dancing and howling for more. Jay Ungar’s former wife (I forget her name) was on stage with them singing some numbers. It was something I’ll remember forever. I must say that Pete Wernick’s Red Knuckles MC work has gotten even funnier over the years – he too was in rare form.

Del McCoury at Grey Fox 2008 - photo by Carol Beaugard The Del McCoury Band at Grey Fox 2008 - photo by Carol Beaugard David Grisman Bluegrass Experience at Grey Fox 2008 (David Grisman, Keith Little, Jim Nunnaly) - photo by Carol BeaugardOther amazing highlights:

  • Abigail Washburn with Bela and the Sparrow Quartet – mindblowing!
  • The Infamous Stringdusters – unreal – they converted the unanointed
  • The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience – he’s such a master and hearing straight ahead bluegrass was awesome; Jim Nunally is a rhythm machine!
  • The Gibson Brothers – they are at the top of their game – they did a vocal workshop with Dan Paisley that was superlative

Really, all the bands were tremendous. It was broiling hot. The surrounding area by the festival is gorgeous mountain ski country in NY State and offered beautiful scenery.

WFDU was one of the sponsors for the festival this year, which was a great honor.

The IBMA offered a seminar that was attended by more than 100 fans/musicians for 2 days. The seminar was entitled “Taking Your Band to the Next Level” and offered advice for bands on how to better market and promote their bands. I was a panelist and my topic was ‘Promoting Your Band to Radio’. Other keynote panelists included Ken Irwin and Bev Paul. Nancy Cardwell of the IBMA put the seminar together.

There are already some great clips all over You Tube from the festival. It was fantastic!

  • I saw the Infamous Stringdusters at the Birchmere in Alexandria. Out of the three bands, I actually preferred Crooked Still and Chatham County Line.

    Here’s a show review link if interested.