More from Big Hillbilly Bluegrass in Oman

Here’s another report from Bob Perilla, who is in Oman with the better part of his Big Hillbilly Bluegrass. They will be performing in the northeast African nation for two weeks for the US State Department, and sharing stories of their travels with us at Bluegrass Today.

Piper performs at the Khareef Festival in Salalah, OmanBig Hillbilly Bluegrass has been performing for the last two days at the Khareef Festival in Salalah, Oman.

This festival is a little hard to understand much less explain. It is very wet and misty here since the province gets a touch of monsoon unlike the torrid heat of the high summer season on the rest of the Arabian peninsula.

Jon Glik with Big Hillbilly Bluegras relaxes at the Khareef Festival in Salalah, OmanAnyhow thousands of people come to celebrate the cooler weather in the wet mistiness. It isn’t exactly raining or even drizzling but if you are outside for 10 minutes you are soaked. This has caused no end of fiddle bow aggravation, but it is a good thing virtuoso Jon Glik is fearless as well as gifted.

Jen Larson with Big Hillbilly Bluegrass at the Khareef Festival in Salalah, OmanVocalist Jen Larson has proved to be a real hit on every stop. We were honored to have US ambassador Greta Holtz in attendance last night. In a culture in which women’s roles are still somewhat sadly limited, ambassador Holtz stands as a beacon to guide the way for equality amongst all people. And Jen Larson is making lots of friends, too.

Merl Johnson is playing both mandolin and fiddle in the absence of Ira Gitlin, Claude Arthur is laying down the bottom.

Me, I’m just trying to tune my poor guitar in this wetness!


Video of traditional Omani Sword Dance with song, at the Khareef Festival Dhofar Province, Sultanate of Oman.