Lots of great live bluegrass this weekend, in person and online

This is a big weekend for bluegrass fans, especially lovers of bluegrass festivals!

After six months of no live music pretty much anywhere, there are two major festivals being held in person. Down in North Carolina, at the site of the original Carlton Haney festivals, the Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival is underway. And in southern Ohio, SamJam is going full tilt. Both shows feature top touring acts on stage again, and reports from on site indicate that people are so grateful to be outdoors with friends, listening to great bluegrass again.

We have correspondents at both festivals, and hope to have reports early next week.

The folks behind the Earl Scruggs Music Festival, which was to have been held for the first time this weekend, are instead hosting a live, drive-in concert on Saturday, September 5. It will be part of WNCW’s Summer Outback Opry held on the Isothermal Community College’s campus in Spindale, North Carolina. Featured performers include Chatham County Line, Jim Lauderdale, and Dom Flemons. Attendees will drive up to the show, and enjoy the music from the isolation of their vehicles with music amplified from the stage.

The actual debut Earl Scruggs Music Festival has been moved to September of 2021, and they have quite a lineup of superstar talent on offer. Full details can be found online.

Ernie Evans and his Evans Media Source are hosting a live stream from SamJam 2020, where you can see all the music for only $9.99. That gets you all the stage shows this weekend from Piketon, OH live in your living room. All the details can be found at Ernie’s site.

Also on Saturday, the Floyd Radio Show from Floyd, VA is holding a virtual festival to benefit the venerable Floyd Country Store. Music lovers in southwestern Virginia know the Country Store for its sponsorship and welcoming of bluegrass pickers for many years now. Regular live shows are held at the store, as well as music lessons and workshops, and it’s a real gem for the people in this tiny little town.

To open the show’s 10th season, which is available as a podcast, they will hold a bluegrass and old time extravaganza, with a top lineup of area artists.

Scheduled for tomorrow night are:

  • Sammy Shelor & Jesse Smathers (Lonesome River Band)
  • Gene Parker & Allen Mills (Lost & Found)
  • Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms (Foghorn Stringband)
  • Jeremy Stephens and Corrina Rose Logston (High Fidelity)
  • Redd Volkeart (Merle Haggard)
  • Elizabeth LaPrelle
  • Alice Gerrard
  • Dori Freeman & Nick Falk
  • Bill & The Belles
  • Andrew Small & Ash Watkins
  • Twin Creeks Stringband
  • Mac Traynham & Friends

The show will be streamed on Facebook September 5 starting at 7:30 p.m. (EDT), and on the Country Store YouTube channel. There is no charge to watch the show live, but donations will be requested to support the store, which has a tough time weathering the shutdowns. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched with that end in mind.

We hope you all get to hear some live music this weekend, and look forward to seeing our regular summer bluegrass scene back in full next year.

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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.