Kicking off the 2014 season at the Blythe Bluegrass Festival was an awesome experience! Over 7,500 bluegrass lovers turned up and the energy was incredible. I know I sure felt charged up when I was on stage performing. And the interest in workshops was so heartwarming. I’m used to having maybe 10 or so people in a workshop, but over 25 closed ranks around my assigned area and listened in rapt attention…it was a former school teacher’s dream!
It was great to see tributes to the original host band, Colorado River Band, as well as to Flint Hill Special. One of the Barnstormers, Billy Parker, was invited to perform with Flint Hill Special and Glenn Wilburn joined us on stage for one song as well. It was great to see Ben Sandoval knocking it back on bass as well as Johnny Miller on banjo. But the highlight was having Francis Rodriguez, the last surviving member of Colorado River Band, sing along for one number. To have these local pioneers of bluegrass assembled on stage was just a dream come true for me. I never get tired of swapping stories with these guys!
I can certainly see why this festival is one of the biggest in the US. The stages were great, sound was excellent, lots of vendors, fantastic location along the Colorado River; everything was handled perfectly by the promoters and it was a real pleasure to be there. Be sure to add it to your calendar for next January!