Instrument petting zoo for kids at the Norwalk Music Festival – photo © Bill Warren
Friday saw bright sunshine and comfortable temperatures for the second day of stage shows at the Norwalk Music Festival. Bingo was the first order of business in the morning.
The stage show opened with Crabgrass, headed by veteran musician Andy Crabtree. They provide a broad range of bluegrass music. Host band, Harbourtown was up next. They have become festival favorites throughout the region.
New Outlook is another Ohio band that has gained a lot of attention throughout the region. Band leaders brad and Lori Lambert are also the owners of Park Street Music. They bring the traveling portion of the store to many festivals. Brad spends quite a bit of time doing some setup work for instruments that need attention. He has helped keep the Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association’s “Instrument Petting Zoo” in good order. The Caleb Daugherty Band is a new band that gives an audience full measure of bluegrass and classic country music. Acoustic Edge has graced the Norwalk stage for a least the past three years. They provide classic country music to an appreciative audience.
Saturday at Norwalk can only be described as being a day of perfect weather for both the audience and the performers. The morning started with the Fiddlin’ Dixie and Little Friends program. Dixie provides many activities for kids from “1 to 101.” She includes the SMBMA instrument petting zoo in her program. Kids get a chance handle all of the instruments that are in a bluegrass band. Promoter and “Big Kid,” Kurt Hickman, joined the kids for a picture.
Breakline returned to the stage to open the stage show. Traditional, Stanley style band, Caney Creek, hit the stage with their high energy show. Caney Creek is the host band for the Mansfield Jamfest in late August. Band member, Mitch Meadors, is starting a new festival called Mitch and Cindy’s Jamboree in Cortland, Ohio on the weekend of July 20th. The Kevin Prater Band followed. Kevin is a long time veteran of bluegrass music. He has brought together a very strong band that leaves the crowd wanting more. Volume Five made it’s first appearance at Norwalk. They are the current IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year. Glen Harrell put this band together after a stint with Marty Raybon.
A lot of fun started before the supper break. The special program called Pickin’ on Alzheimer’s began. The program is the brainchild of Lori Lambert. Two bands were put together from groups at the festival. Glen Harrell, Kevin Prater, and members of their bands participated. Ottawa County, Crabgrass, New Outlook, and Harbourtown were also represented. Lori and her helpers spent the festival getting a list of “Stump the Band” songs for a donation of five dollars. The band members were going to pay a dollar for each “Stump.” Teri Grannis, a bubbly MC from Michigan managed the event. The first song pulled stumped the band. She set the tone for the program by paying the bands fee. The audience jumped into this and started paying the band fees. Both bands took the stage and gave a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace. They were joined by Terry Lee Goffee who does a Johnny Cash Tribute. Promoter, Kurt Hickman and his wife Betty Jo, wrote a check to the Alzheimer’s Association for over $1,600 from this effort!!
Terry Lee Goffee closed out the festival with an excellent set of Johnny Cash music.
The Norwalk Music Festival is one that should go on every picker’s list.
The Candidpix cameras will spend the last week of July at the Marshall Bluegrass Festival and the first week of August at the Milan Bluegrass Festival. Come and visit with us!