Ralph Stanley II at the 2022 Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival – photo by Ted Lehmann
This report, with photos, is a contribution from Ted Lehmann, one of the more prolific writers and photographers in bluegrass music for many years. Now retired, he still attends festivals when he is able, and contributes commentary on occasion on his web site. We thank him for these thoughts and images.
Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival, held annually in Tunbridge, VT at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, has become an important staple, kicking off the New England bluegrass season in late June every year. Begun some years ago, the early festival outgrew its site and moved to the current one, which is highly flexible, able to contain large crowds with plenty of indoor space for special purposes. Promoter Candi Sawyer has amply fulfilled her vision with the strong support of her husband Seth, as well as two sons who have grown up with the festival.
Jenny Brook always highlights major national bands as well as focusing on the strong regional bands the region has a long history of nurturing. After a two year hiatus due the pandemic, fans were eager to get back to normal at a festival that has always presented plenty of jamming, a solid kids academy, varied food vendors, and a great sense of fellowship. This year, despite prior predictions, the weather was better than could be wished for, with not a single drop of rain.