The 47th Charlotte Bluegrass Festival kicked off with some early arrivals jamming between the drops of liquid sunshine. The festival is held at the Eaton County fairgrounds in Charlotte, Michigan. It is pronounced somewhat differently than most folks expect – Shar-lot. Everyone says: it always rains at Charlotte! This year started out no differently.
We had over two inches of rain Wednesday night and the weatherman was calling for more all day Thursday. He was wrong! GBS sound did set up a temporary stage in the seating pavilion for the Thursday shows, but was able to return to the main stage at the supper break. The sun is shining this morning!
New Outlook from Wapakoneta, Ohio opened the show. Brad and Lori Lambert are top notch performers. The Michigan Mafia String Band followed. They provide an eclectic, high energy show. Promoter Wes Pettinger joined them on banjo in the evening set. Harbourtown was up next. They are an Ohio/Michigan band that are in demand at many of the regional festivals. Two of the members promote their own festivals: Kurt Hickman promotes the Norwalk Music Festival in Norwalk, Ohio and Jeremy Cole promotes the Marshall Bluegrass Festival in Marshall, Michigan. Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver closed out the show. Doyle is performing on Friday. It will be a big day with Vernon McIntyre, Sugarcreek Bluegrass, and Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out.
Saturday brings local bands Full Cord, The Journeymen, and New County Grass to the festival stage. The Clay Hess Band and The Lonesome River Band round out the day. New County Grass will debut their new project, Sing Me A Song with a CD release party in the afternoon.
Support your local music venues.