Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wintergrass gets an early jump

There is so much competition for festival attendees that some festivals have taken to making earlier and earlier lineup announcements, possibly intending to discourage regular festival attendees from sampling competitive fests.

At least that's my best guess for why Wintergrass put out its preliminary February 2009 lineup yesterday, at least three months earlier than usual. In past years, I have run into the Wintergrass producing team at the IBMA conference in September or October, where they would be dropping hints but not publishing a full list.

It's just the beginning of June, but, hey, who's complaining. The festival is off to a great start with the following names attached: Tim O'Brien, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, The Steeldrivers, Alison Brown & Joe Craven,
Tony Trischka Territory, Adrienne Young, Blue Highway, Missy Raines, 3 Ring Circle, The McCoury Boys, Bearfoot Bluegrass, Hot Buttered Rum, Scythian and Monroe Crossing.

One item of interest is the appearance of The McCoury Boys, which is presumably the name of the Del McCoury Band when Del stays home. Or when the band plays a late-night show after a main stage appearance, as with the upcoming Telluride Bluegrass Festival, in which the full band plays on Thursday afternoon and The McCoury Boys & Friends play the Sheriden Opera House that night.

In our interview with Del several months back he talked of his future retirement. I doubt this is it, but the Telluride and Wintergrass bookings suggest that sons Ronnie and Robbie are getting ready to step into the vacuum that Del will leave behind him when he does decide to hang it up.

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