I don’t think many of us realized just how much bluegrass music festivals have been such an important part of our lives until they were taken away. Many Charlotte Bluegrass festival goers spent Thursday morning visiting with old friends and making new ones. The stage show kicked off in the afternoon with the bubbly personality of MC Terri Grannis, who makes sure that everyone knows what is going to happen, and keeps all of us in line. Promoter Wes Pettinger welcomed everyone to the festival and thanked the audience for continued support.
Local band, Out of the Blue, kicked things off with top notch, straight-ahead bluegrass. The band features Dave Conley Sr. who is one of Michigan’s finest guitar players. The band can be seen at numerous festivals across the state.
Pettinger and some friends billing, themselves as Charlotte 48/49 with a nod towards 2021 serving as both the 48th and 49th edition of the festival, presented a set of bluegrass and classic country music that was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Host band, Harbourtown, is a festival favorite. The band is comprised of seasoned Michigan and Ohio musicians including former Bluegrass Boy Dana Cupp. Band leader, Kurt Hickman, is the promoter of the Norwalk Music Festival in Ohio. Guitar player, Jeremie Cole, promotes the Marshall Bluegrass Festival in Michigan.
The Little Roy and Lizzy Show exploded onto the stage. Roy has more energy at 79 years young than most people less than half his age. He has spent the past year creating what we would call a museum. Roy calls it his “stuff.” The band is celebrating ten years of great music and shenanigans.
Blue Highway closed out the day’s entertainment with their first show since January of 2020, kicking off the 27th year of touring. One of the amazing things is that all but dobro player, Gary Hultman, are original members of the band. There truly one of the “must see” bands in the bluegrass world.
Two more days of top flight music are on tap at the Eaton County fairgrounds in Charlotte, MI. Come and join in on the fun.
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