Sunday is still a rockin’ day at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival with some great bluegrass legends taking the Main Stage, and fresh new faces and regional faces being spotlighted on the Showcase Stage. Workshops and jams, of course, continue pulling people in and the Kids Academy takes over the stage letting folks see the next crop of up-and-coming bluegrass stars. The Academy has a team of devoted teachers who spend the weekend working with kids of varying ages and levels, culminating with their main stage show in the middle of the day on Sunday. They took the stage between The Surly Gentlemen and Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass.
The Kids Academy instructors rotate some of the kids up to the front of the stage as the advanced group is showcased, then the larger academy takes the spotlight with kids working their way up to the mics for their big solos. Soundman Al Garvin along with the whole sound crew team did a great job all weekend with great sound. They didn’t even flinch as the horde of youngsters took over the entire stage for their set. The Kids who do the Kids Academies at Joe Val, or at some of the other festivals throughout the year, tend to really get excited about the music, and inspired to work hard to become better musicians. Anyone who knows some young people who might be interested in learning to play music might want to consider one of these great opportunities offered at some of the bluegrass festivals like Joe Val.
The last show on the Main Stage was an extended set of the Earls of Leicester to a packed house of excited fans. Then the evening ended with a dance on the lower level called the “Wind-Up Hoe-Down” attended by fans, teachers, students, and performers, all relaxing and having one last hurrah before final goodbyes.
The Joe Val festival really breeds a sense of friendliness and community as it welcomes the fans, pickers, and performers every year. One sees smiles, hugs, handshakes, and excitement in the hallways, the audience areas, and all around the hotel. There is no mistaking why The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival is a highlight on the bluegrass calendar for the northeast region every year. Hope to see lots of you there next year!
Here’s The Surly Gentlemen with Toy Heart…
Blue Highway with Bluebird Days…
and The Earls Of Leicester with Big Black Train.