The 2017 edition of the Marshall Bluegrass festival kicked off on Thursday evening with four Michigan based bands and one from Ohio. The festival is held on the Calhoun County Fairgrounds in Marshall, Michigan.
First up were the Bluewater Ramblers, a long established Michigan band who play a combination of traditional bluegrass and folk music. Calabogie Road is a fairly new name for a west Michigan group that had been around for a number of years as Patchwork. They play newer traditional sounding bluegrass music.
Harbourtown is the host band at Marshall, based in Ohio. But they have deep Michigan roots with promoter Jeremie Cole and guitarist John Coffey. Harbourtown also hosts the Norwalk Music Festival where band leader Kurt Hickman is the promoter.
The Michigan Mafia String Band gives an audience an eclectic blend of grassed up modern music. They are a west Michigan based band that has a good following. Thursday was closed out by the Local Mash. We Michiganders now claim Jennifer Strickland-Zapolnik as our own. She and her husband Tony formed the band a little over a year ago.
Friday brings The Michigan Mafia String Band back, Ottawa County, Harbourtown, Out of the Blue, New Outlook, Out of Mind, and the Bluegrass Mountaineers to the Marshall stage. Saturday features Out of Mind, Lonesome Meadow, the Kevin Prater Band, Kenny and Amanda Smith, and Sideline along with Jan Green’s Band Scramble starting at 11:00 a.m.. The Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association will make two inductions into their Hall of Honor following the band scramble.