Nothin’ Fancy at the 2019 Florida Bluegrass Classic – photo © Bill Warren
The 2019 edition of the Florida Bluegrass Classic has come to a close. Friday opened with a songwriter workshop hosted by Ohio’s Brink Brinkman. Brink and his wife became full time RV’ers two or three years ago. They travel around and Brink “drinks coffee and makes stuff up.”
The stage show was opened by a local band, Blue River Grass, made up of two Mainers and two Michiganders who have migrated to Florida. The David Church show was up next. David offers a Hank Williams Sr. tribute show which has been doing for nearly twenty years. Nothin’ Fancy exploded on to the Classic stage much as they always do. They are fine musicians and entertainers. Brian Blaylock filled in on banjo with the band for the weekend. The band is conducting auditions now to fill Mitchell Davis’ shoes. Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out rounded out the day’s show. Russell shows why he has been IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year so many times with the very first note he sings.
Saturday opened with a military tribute hosted by Larry and Jan Ladd. This has become an annual event at the Classic. MC Jo Odom broke out her “bling” hat for the day’s festivities. The first act of the day was the Swing Sisters, a trio act that throws it back to the forties and fifties swing era groups like the Andrew’s sisters. They brought tunes like Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy back to life. They also put a big smile on one audience member’s face, and recruited dancers from the crowd to help with the choreography of Stop in the Name of Love.
They were followed by the Atlantic City Boys who took the crowd back to the Doo Wop days of Frankie Valli. They have all of the songs and moves from this great era of American music. Bandana Rhythm followed. They are a new band founded by former Little Roy and Lizzie Show mandolin player, Nathan Stewart. The band consists of Nathan, his fiancé, and her two brothers. They gave the audience a full measure of traditional bluegrass music.
The Grascals graced the Classic stage for the first time. Terry Eldridge was out sick, so former and original Grascal, Jamie Johnson, filled in. It was a treat to hear him sing some familiar tunes. The infamous band Supper Break was playing next to my camper when I went for a sandwich. That makes for a very pleasant supper!
The festival was closed out by country legend, Moe Bandy. Moe has about as deep a catalog as anyone in the business and presents it well. His show was nearly two hours long, crammed full of his music.
Next stop for the Candidpix.info camera is the Spring Bluegrass Festival at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, Florida. It runs from March 20th through the 24th.
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