Deadwood at the 2018 Marshall Bluegrass Festival – photo © Bill Warren
Friday at the Marshall Bluegrass Festival brought the band Deadwood to the stage, now celebrating their 40th anniversary. Larry Efaw brought the Bluegrass Mountaineers back to the Marshall stage for a second day. New Outlook also made a second day appearance. They were joined by little Miss Abbey in their evening set for a rousing rendition of Blue Moon of Kentucky. New County Grass is one of Michigan’s top bluegrass bands. They are primarily a family group with Duane Estep and his two sons. Duane’s grandson and aspiring bass player, Preston, joined the band for a couple tunes in their evening set. Crabgrass closed out the day’s show. Brad and Lori Lambert joined the band and presented bluegrass Gospel in four part harmony.
Saturday kicked off with the “Fiddlin’ Dixie and L’il Friends” kids program. Something over twenty kids participated in the activities. One of the highlights of the program was that each child entered to win a new guitar package. It was awarded to young Jameson Yennoir. His father told us that that he didn’t put it down all afternoon! Charlotte Bluegrass Festival promoters provided the guitar, and announced that a banjo would be the prize for the kids at next year’s Charlotte Festival.
Jan Green once again hosted the Marshall Band Scramble. Jan assembled six bands through a blind draw. This is always an audience favorite at Marshall. Promoter Jeremie Cole presented a Lifetime Dedication award to Louie “Papaw” Obanion. Louie has provided shuttle service at a number of festivals for many years.
The stage show on Saturday kicked off with Nightflyer, who have become one of the favorite bands at Marshal. Caleb Daugherty has formed his own band to present his original classic style country and bluegrass music. Caleb has a daughter who was born with major vision issues. The Marshall audience contributed nearly $3,000 for her expenses. Way to go bluegrass fans! Volume Five put in its first appearance at Marshall to the delight of the audience. Hammertowne closed out the festival with great music and high energy.