Saturday was a larger-than-life day at the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival. The morning started with a Kids Corner event sponsored by Festival promoter Wes Pettinger and the Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association. The kids built shoe box guitars, colored instrument drawings, wrote music, and were handling real musical instruments. Both Paige Capo and GHS Strings have been a big help to furthering our “instrument petting zoo”.
The first band of the day was a last minute creation of promoter Wes Pettinger, owing to a late band cancellation. It consisted of some great Michigan and Ohio musicians including Luke Gitchel, Isaac Smith, Lloyd Douglas and his brother Chris, Mark Zickafoose, and Wes. The second band of the day was Full Cord. They cover a broad spectrum of music from traditional bluegrass to folk to grassed-up rock.
The Edgar Loudermilk band appeared for a second day. The band will be at the Norwalk Music Festival in about two weeks. Rhonda Vincent and the Rage graced the Charlotte stage for the first time in a number of years. She and her band completely transport an audience to a wonderful place in the musical world. Then The Bankesters made their first appearance at Charlotte. They are an award winning family band that provides full measure on any stage.
There was another special event after the Bankesters first set. The Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association inducted the first three members of the 2017 class of its Hall of Honor. Inducted by President Bill Warren and Hall committee members Jerry Eicher and Ron Benton were Ford Nix, Mitch Manns, and Virgil Shouse. More inductions will be made later in the summer at other Michigan Festivals.
Volume Five closed out both the afternoon and evening shows. This group has become a band-in-demand on the bluegrass circuit.
Jennifer Strickland-Zapolnik joined Rhonda Vincent to sing a song that Jennifer wrote for Rhonda.
The festival closed with the second annual Midnight Moonlight Jam held in the campground with as many of the band musicians and campground pickers as could stay and participate.