Halfway to Mansfield Jamfest in Ohio

Caney Creek performs at Halfway to Mansfield Jamfest – photo by Missy Smith

Saturday April 13th saw the presentation of the Halfway to Mansfield Jamfest show at the Richland County Fairgrounds in Mansfield, Ohio. Promoter Chris Smith put the show together in late 2018 as a fan and sponsor appreciation event, for volunteers that help at the summer festival, and also to help publicize some of the other festivals going on in Ohio.

The evening started with a few announcements from Smith on the up and coming Mansfield Jamfest, happening August 20-24 2019 at the same location. The festival is in its third year and seeing tremendous growth. Rita Small from the Bluegrass in the Valley radio show on Bluegrass Jamboree took over emceeing duties. Ottawa County Bluegrass, Caney Creek, and Acoustic Edge were on the bill for the night, and played to a packed house.

“We were able to give away tickets to upcoming festivals, door prizes between each of the bands, and promote the fire out of the festivals represented Saturday night. There were a total of 7 promoters there, and the flyers were flying off the tables,” Smith said.

It was also the official release of Caney Creeks new album, The Tale of Willie Tackett. On hand was Larry Cordle’s cousin, Don Cordle. Don served in Vietnam and had a mystical but wonderful experience while at war, sparking Smith to write the song, From the Foothills of the Bluegrass to the War in Vietnam, on the new release. Don Cordle got on stage and shared a litlle bit of the story Saturday night.

“We also ordered a backdrop for the event, an idea I kind of snagged from Sammy Karr and Rick Greene, with their permission. I thought it would be neat to have sort of a bluegrass red carpet for the event. It was a big hit. Almost everyone got in line for a picture,” Smith said. The weather was just perfect, there were 3 jam sessions going on at one point outside. In attendance was Smith’s top sponsor Graham Automall in Mansfield. Not only do they support the festival through sponsorship, they also play bluegrass. Smith got them on stage to perform Big Spike Hammer. Representing Graham automall were Tim Sexton and Scott Osburne.

Festivals in attendance for the event were Kurt Hickman from the Norwalk Music festival, Sammy Karr from SamJam, Mitch Meadors and Cindy Matheson from Mitch and Cindy’s Bluegrass Jamboree, Jim Peska from The Wayne Bluegrass Festival, Larry Efaw from First Quality Bluegrass Cruise and Maumee Bay Bluegrass in Super Class, Dewey Stevens from Poppy Mountain, and volunteers from Musicians Against Childhood Cancer.

For more information on the Mansfield Jamfest this coming August, visit www.mansfieldjamfest.com

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.