Guest Author - Chris Curtis
There is a ground swell of excitement around the much revered Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival coming up on July 16 – 19th. In its 33 years running, this festival is the premier summer time bluegrass festival in the northeast US.
Once again the festival will take place on the beautiful Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, New York. This is a 2nd go at the 200-acre farm in Greene County, New York and the festival organizers have listened to patron suggestions making many changes to the layout and logistics associated with the new venue. After 31 years on the Hill in Ancramdale, NY, the Grey Fox team have shown great organizational skills by pulling off a successful move to the new location last year in a very short time frame and have worked hard to make positive changes to create an even better experience for its patrons.
Before you come, you need to consider your stay arrangements. The festival itself accommodates 4,000 campers. The accommodations do not include running water and electricity – remember this is a working farm; however, there are ample porta-johns, water tanks for portable camp showers, and paid portable showers. The festival promoters have made many changes to the layout and guidelines to avoid the spatial issues that occurred at the 1st outing at this new location. Please, please follow the directions of the staff upon your arrival to insure everyone with a camping ticket is able to find their perfect home for the weekend. If camping is not your style, there are plenty of small quaint motels and bed and breakfasts in the immediate vicinity.
This year's festival is featuring one of the most robust schedules with outstanding talents drawn from the upper elements of the bluegrass circuit plus a wonderful selection of youthful virtuoso's ready to show us a new generation of tradition. This is just an unbelievable lineup.
Grey Fox also supports the youth with a family tent and the highly popular Kids Academy. Another favorite is the Master's Stage for an intimate experience with many of the artists. This year the Master's Stage will have seating provided! The dance tent will be hopping all weekend long. For the picker's, Grey Fox is known for its all night jamming but it also has established a slow jam tent, a grass roots tent and offers several classes and workshops for those who want to improve their playing skills.
Alison Brown said "it's a good time for woman in music and especially Bluegrass." The Grey Fox schedule of artists is rich with woman including the venerable Claire Lynch and Laurie Lewis, the spunky Tammy with the Steeldrivers, the celtic tinged Aioffe O'Donovan with Crooked Still including Britney Hass, the rising Maybelles, and Sarah Jaroz plus the esteemed Sierra Hull with Highway 111. The woman are clearly on the rise with deeply felt artistry.
The veterans in Bluegrass are represented by Dry Branch Fire Squad, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan and Tim O'Brien complimented by the edgy Steel Drivers, Kruger Brothers, Mountain Heart, the Waybacks and the Josh William Band (this band is on fire.)
There truly is something here for everyone with plenty of traditional bluegrass and added to that, so much "on the rise" talent being showcased throughout the schedule. What an awesome treat! Don't miss it.