Thursday was the official opening of the 18th Marshall Bluegrass Festival held on the Calhoun County Fairgrounds in Marshall, Michigan. Local favorites and Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association member band, Out of the Blue, opened the show. They return Friday for two big sets.
Relatively new area band, Uncle Betty, provided a set of traditional bluegrass, followed by host band, Harbourtown, who performed their first set of the weekend. Festival promoter, Jeremie Cole, is a member of Harbourtown. Long time Michigan musicians and brothers, Randy and Lanny Blankenship, have teamed up with their sons and a nephew to form the Blankenships. They bring the music of patriarch, Ed Blankenship to the stage. Blue Mafia closed out the evening with a really good set of bluegrass music. Dara and Tony Wray are putting out a fresh sound that is enjoyed by all.
Friday brings Out of the Blue, The Blankenships, and Harbourtown back to the stage. Ottawa County, Out of Mind, The Bluegrass Mountaineers, and New Outlook also appear.
The Marshall festival is home to one of the best band scrambles around. The scramble is a Saturday feature.