This report from the 2013 Outer Banks Bluegrass festival comes from Carmen Evans, with photos from our own Woody Edwards.
Well, you couldn’t visit the Wright Brothers Memorial, fish out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, or park as expected at Fort Raleigh due to the government shutdown, but you could hear and see some of the best in bluegrass music at Roanoke Island Festival Park this past weekend.
Walking into the park, it was nice to see a variety of vendors, artists, and Manteo’s finest restaurants partaking in celebrating bluegrass Music. The aroma from all the food vendors made you want to eat all day, and the artists on site had beautiful hand-crafted items, and of course hand-made hoops. There was a whole lot of hooping going on!
Just as Raleigh had the red carpet rolled out for IBMA, Manteo had a warm and welcoming one for their bluegrass fans, and for visitors who traveled along the east coast for one more weekend at the beach before Fall. A particular highlight was the Boomgrass fireworks display on Friday night, with a $30,000 pyrotechnics display synched to bluegrass music.
Despite the beautiful weather, hurricanes seemed to be on everyone’s mind, as both Banjo Island and Lorraine Jordan and her Carolina Road Boys offered great versions of their songs about those windy beasts. Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out played an outstanding set featuring many of their original songs as well as their cover of the John Hartford hit, Gentle on my Mind.
Sweet Brenda and Gary “Biscuit” Davis were a playful duo as MC’s for the show, entertaining the crowd between sets.
We caught the Isaac Brothers and could hardly believe how much they have grown up since 2007. These are outstanding young men and I see great things in there future.
Having the Banjo Island/Red Drum Pottery Bluegrass Jam Bus was the best new addition to this festival. It’s what bluegrass is all about: jamming and picking with really good friends. What a treat! There was a lot of pickin’ and grinnin’ going on till 1:00 a.m. Thursday night. And after her rollicking set, Rhonda Vincent stopped by the Jam Bus along with hundreds of other people, to share their talents.
After just two years the OBX bluegrass festival is showing signs of becoming one of the top destinations for festival goers. With the combination of terrific talent and a beautiful setting, this is one to put on the calendar for next year. Once again congratulations go out to Cory Hemilright and the Town of Manteo for being the perfect hosts and putting smiles on the faces of thousands.