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HomeFeaturesArt & EntertainmentLate to the Game(s): Gearing up for bluegrass

Late to the Game(s): Gearing up for bluegrass

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

Usually this column is all about the things you do indoors. Video games. Nerdy cryptid documentaries. Podcasts. That sort of thing.

But everyone needs to get out of the house and into the sunshine every once in a while. And what better excuse could there be to get out in the sun than good music? Especially good music for a good cause.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m a big fan of this week’s column focus – the Carter County Shrine Club Bluegrass Festival. Not only do the Shriners bring three days of amazing music to Olive Hill every year, they raise thousands of dollars every year to benefit the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children; a network of hospitals that treat children for burns, spinal injuries, and orthopedic issues regardless of their ability to pay.

There’s no denying it’s a worthwhile cause, but the reason folks come out to the show is the music, which is always first class, featuring some of the finest touring bluegrass musicians around. (Though, this being Kentucky, a few of them aren’t too far from home, an added bonus for them.)

This year’s festival kicks off on Thursday, July 14, and runs through Saturday, July 16, with music from noon until late, every night of the show.

Thursday’s schedule includes Black Powder Express at noon, 7 Mile Bluegrass at 12:50, Southridge at 1:40, Lacy Creek at 2:30, and the Tommy Webb Band at 3:20 p.m. After a 4 p.m. supper break the music resumes at 4:30, with a repeat of the pre-supper lineup and Turning Ground finishing out the night, playing from 8:40 until they decide they’re done.

On Friday music kicks off at the same time, with the Kevin Prater Band (12 and 4), Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive (12:50 and 4:50), Blue Highway (1:40 and 5:40), and Lonesome River Band (2:30 and 8:05). This time the change in the after supper line-up includes the addition of Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys to the schedule at 6:30 p.m., between Blue Highway and Friday finisher the Lonesome River Band, who plays from 8 until late.

It’s a great line-up, but if you weren’t sold already, Saturday should do it. Things kick off at noon again with Fenced In, followed by Sammy Adkins and the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys (12:50), Hammertowne (1:40), Dale Ann Bradley (2:30), Dave Adkins (3:20) and Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out (4:10). This line-up repeats after a 5 – 5:30 supper break too. Only, in the second set, the seven time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year IIIrd Tyme Out doesn’t have to stop for supper. They’ll play from 9:40 p.m. until they’re ready to stop for the night.

Even then, and at supper, you’ll find folks picking around their campsites and picnic tables. It’s a wonderful weekend of good music, good food, and good folks, and well worth your time if you’re looking for a bluegrass festival this summer. For advance tickets, call 606-286-4611 (daytime) or 606-286-4075 (evenings). For more information call show manager Ryan Barker at 606-548-0833, or check them out online at shrinersbluegrassfestival.com for camping, vending, and ticketing information.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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