Thursday at the 2019 Milan Bluegrass Festival

Nothin’ Fancy dons the tie dye at the 2019 Milan Bluegrass Festival – photo © Bill Warren

Thursday at the Milan Bluegrass Festival kicked off with breakfast prepared by the folks from the Union Street Missionary Baptist Church of Monroe, Michigan. There is no way anyone could leave the building hungry!!

Soundmen Mike Page and Jimmy Kittle were up bright and early making sure the system was ready to go. Jimmy has done the sound for all 22 years of the festival. He is retiring after this year.

Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper started the stage show in the band’s wide open style. High energy is the watch word with Michael. Then he can bring the audience to tears with a slow and sweet tune. Nothin’ Fancy rolled into town sans bus. The bus is out west being repaired. They should have it back in the next week or so. The crowd is always entertained fully by this group of guys. They made a stop at the Ol’ Hippie Radio Show onsite studio between sets and wore the proof on their second set.

Amanda Cook has burst onto the scene after paying her dues as a fairly regional band. She has put together a well rounded group of musicians. The ladies in the band were pretty happy after their second set. Carolyne hugged the band’s case of Rue Farms Potato Chips after Jeanne Rue slipped in with the chips while the band was busy! Amanda ended up with a new Paige capo – she lost hers – and a Paige Capo hat!

Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers were the fourth band of the day, but number one in many hearts. The group has become one of the most in demand on the circuit. They have received five IBMA nominations including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the year. Hammertowne closed out the day’s entertainment. Dave Carroll has become one of the top songwriters in bluegrass. His talent shines through in the band’s new project, Pictures. This is a project to add to your collection.

Friday and Saturday promise two more big days of music. Friday brings Chasin’ Steel from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and The RFD Boys from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The RFD Boys are celebrating their fiftieth year playing. Jeff Parker makes his first appearance. Trinity River and Russell Moore make return engagements. Saturday sees Dave Adkins, Detour, Special C, Rhonda Vincent, and the Gibson Brothers take the Milan stage.

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