Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival report

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out at the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival – photo by Kimberly Williams

Joe Mullins and his family have put together a festival series that has become the benchmark for bluegrass music shows. This past weekend was another top flight show at the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival. It started with Blake Williams bringing out Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars youth spokesman, Dreydon Gordon. Dreydon played and sang a couple tunes and then MC’d for the rest of the performances. First up was nine year old fiddle player, Cheyenne Grantham and Friends. Ohio’s own family band, Sugarcreek followed. Ashlyn Smith and Kentucky Borderline was up next. Cash and Cutter Singleton, aka Classy and Grassy, wowed the audience. All of the youngsters took the stage for a grand finale. Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars has over 300 youngsters participating. Go to to learn more about this great program.

David Parmley brought the Cardinal Tradition to the SOIMF stage for the first time. David takes his audience for a trip through time with songs from the early days of the Bluegrass Cardinals, right up to some of his own music. Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys followed. Donna has rapidly become sought after by many promoters and fans. Fellow songwriter, Jerry Salley, joined Donna in presenting their song, It Could Have Been The Mandolin, during the evening set.

Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers presented the first of their three sets for the weekend. The weekend was all the more special for the band as they used it for the release of their first Billy Blue Records project, For The Record. The project covers emotion from the sobering A Folded Flag, to the raucous Bacon in My Beans. Chosen Road closed out the afternoon show with a set of moving Gospel music. Dailey and Vincent closed out the Friday show in typical D&V fashion. They provide a great combination of bluegrass, Gospel, and classic country music.

Joe Mullins opened the Saturday activities with a session for folks who are interested in bluegrass cruising. Joe answered questions and offered tips to the group.

The Po Ramblin’ Boys opened the stage show. They are becoming one of the bridges between the new and old. Seek these guys out. Tommy Brown of Countyline Grass mentored both Jereme Brown and Josh Rinkel in their younger days. He joined them for a song during their evening set. Jasper Lorentzen’s young son joined his Dad on stage working on playing bass.

High Fidelity is another of the new groups that is spanning the gap between eras, paying tribute to the artists that came before them. Daniel Mullins said, “You have to see High Fidelity!” He is right. Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out is in its 28th year of the best in bluegrass music entertainment. This highly awarded band continues to be the yardstick that other bands are measured against.

MC Blake Williams presented flowers to Tammy Mullins for all of her hard work in organizing SOIMF from its early days. IBMA executive director, Paul Schminger, was on hand for the festival and the Radio Ramblers release party. He gave brief remarks about the mission of IBMA and encouraged support. The Malpass Brothers closed out the festival giving the audience a full helping of classic country music. The brothers have become one of the most in-demand non-bluegrass acts on the festival circuit. They were called back for a second encore in the evening.

November 8-9 are the dates for the fall edition of SOIMF.

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