Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

Make music a part of your Memorial Day Weekend 2016

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There are numerous live music festivals and venues throughout North Carolina, Virginia and beyond on tap to help you celebrate the official kick off of summer over the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. Following are a few highlights. If I’ve missed one, let me know!

Blue Ridge Music Center Summer Concert Series, Galax, Virginia

May 28

Saturday is the opening show of Summer Concert Series at the Blue Ridge Music Center featuring Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Mipso, a bluegrass, Americana favorite I discovered at MerleFest last year. The band’s evolving musical style blends classic four-part harmonies and traditional Appalachian country and folk sounds with jazz and pop to create a new musical texture and terrain. Shadowgrass, a talented group of bluegrass musicians, ages 11 to 15, opens the show. The music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are  $15. The series runs through Oct. 15 and will feature such acts as Steep Canyon Rangers, Dori Freeman, Carlene Carter, Bryan Sutton, The Church Sisters and Lonesome River Band.

Learn more at

Rooster Walk 8, Axton, Virginia

May 26-May 29

With a 151-acre music venue in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rooster Walk near Martinsville, Virginia, is a favorite with families and music lovers alike. This year’s headliners include Lettuce, Sam Bush, Perpetual Groove and The Revivalists, as well as more than 40 other bands and musicians. The multi-day festival offers food, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, camping, craft beer, wine and cider, laser tag, a six-hole disc golf course, Tuff Strutter 5K, guided float trips on the Smith River and more.

Learn more at

6th Annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival, Floyd County, Virginia

May 27-28

The sixth annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival at the beautiful Chantilly Farm in Floyd County, Virginia, has been called one of the region’s hottest bluegrass and mountain music festivals. It’s the home festival of MerleFest regular and awar- winning Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice. Other acts include Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band, The Church Sisters, Volume Five and Commonwealth Bluegrass Band. The festival features a variety of food available from vendors, RV and tent camping facilities, arts and crafts vendors, antique tractors, children’s activities, hiking trails, kite flying, jamming opportunities and more. Attendees are encourage to bring an instrument for impromptu jam sessions.

Single-day passes for Friday, May 27, are $25 advance/$30 at gate;  Saturday, May 28, $30 advance/$35 at gate; Kids 12 and younger are free. Camping charges are separate.

The Howling Craft Beer and Music Festival, Abingdon, Virginia

May 27-28

The Howling Craft Beer and Music Festival features Dave Eggar, Yarn and DJ RYZ on Friday.

Friday night’s events are at the Howling Wolf Brewery,  350 Park Street, beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday’s event is at the Southwest Virginia 4-H Educational Center, 25236 Hillman Highway. Saturday kicks off with The First Annual Wolf Hills Brewing Co.’s The Howling 5k, registration at 8, race at 9. The Overmountain Brewers Homebrew Competition will be from  11 a.m. to noon and gates open at 1 p.m. Camping is available for an additional charge.

Music on Saturday will alternate between the Crowgey Cabin side stage and the Main stage:

3-3:30: JP Parsons (Crowgey Cabin stage)
3:30-4:15: Pointer Brothers (main stage)
4:15-5: Bombadil
5-6: Backup Planet
6-6:30: Adam Bolt and Friends
6:30-7:30: Annabelle’s Curse
7:30-8: The Comet Conductors
8-9: Dangermuffin
9-9:30: Indighost
9:30-11: The Districts

Organizers say they are proud of the lineup with a mixture of genres, local acts, brewery alums and national touring artists. “In particular, we are so excited to host The Districts. Their passion for their music is contagious. They are going to rock.”

Learn more at

Ninth Annual DelFest, Cumberland, Maryland

DelFest returns to the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland MD on Memorial Day weekend. The festival runs for 4 Days/Nights with Late Night Shows, On-Site Camping, Kid’s Area/Activities, Artist Playshops, a Bluegrass Band Competition, Food & Drink, Arts & Crafts and much more!

Tickets on sale NOW:

2016 Lineup:

The Del McCoury Band
The Travelin’ McCourys
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Greensky Bluegrass
Railroad Earth
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
Sam Bush Band
Yonder Mountain String Band
The Wood Brothers
The Infamous Stringdusters feat. Nicki Bluhm
Jerry Douglas Presents The Earls of Leicester
Keller Williams
O’Connor Band feat. Mark O’Connor
Sierra Hull (Artist at Large)
Rock My Soul feat. The Fairfield Four and The McCrary Sisters
Elephant Revival
Aoife O’Donovan
Joe Craven & The Sometimers
Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers
Dale Ann Bradley
Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen
Hot Club of Cowtown
Henhouse Prowlers
Steve Poltz
The Dustbowl Revival
The Brothers Comatose
The Broomestix
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
The HillBenders
Dre and The Collective
The Lil’ Smokies
Pert’ Near Sandstone
The Railsplitters
Grand Ole’ Ditch
The McCoury Brothers

Learn more at

Gears and Guitars, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

May 21-29

“Gears and Guitars,” is being held this week and weekend in downtown Winston-Salem in conjunction with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. The festival features a variety of acts including The Band Perry, jam band O.A.R., Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra and Sister Hazel, among others. Tickets for tonight’s 7 o’clock show at Bailey Park featuring the country stars Jana Kramer and The Band Perry are $35. Better Than Ezra With Sister Hazel perform at 7 p.m.May 28  at Bailey Park and Cracker will perform with O.A.R. in Bailey Park at 7 p.m. on May 29.

Learn more at

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