Things start early at the 2018 Marshall Bluegrass Festival

Jamming underway early in the week at the Marshall Bluegrass Festival – photo © Bill Warren

Bluegrass fans began arriving last Sunday at the Marshall Bluegrass Festival in Marshall, MI with activities beginning on Monday with bingo. Tuesday was the day for a euchre tournament, and then Wednesday brought an auction, a poker tournament, and a jam hosted by the Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association. Thursday had a closest to the pin competition and a cornhole tournament.

Friday and Saturday will have instrumental workshops and the Fiddlin’ Dixie and Lil Friends kids program.

The stage show opened Thursday evening with a new local band called Bridge. The band is comprised of veterans of Michigan bluegrass who have decided that they needed a bigger presence in Michigan bluegrass circles. Another new band followed, who call themselves Crossfire. They are a group of youngsters who are well seasoned in the music. They do have an “older youngster” on mandolin, Duane Estep, who is one of Michigan’s premier mandolin players. The rest of the band belong to the Blankenship family.

New Outlook from Wapakoneta, Ohio was up next. They are one of the most popular regional bands.

Host band, Harbourtown, played their only set of the weekend. They have developed a large following in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

Larry Efaw and the Bluegrass Mountaineers closed out the evening with their mountain sounds in the tradition of Ralph Stanley.