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Bluegrass by the Bay Festival


by Larry Chowning

Foot-stompin’ bluegrass music will take center stage when the 7th Annual Bluegrass by the Bay Festival returns to Thousand Trails Campground in Gloucester on Friday and Saturday, September 20-21.

On Friday at 7 p.m., the East Coast Bluegrass Band Competition will begin the festivities. The winners will be determined by audience vote.

Code Blue Bluegrass Band

A main competitor in this event will be the Glenville State College Bluegrass Band coming all the way from West Virginia. There also will be seven other bands competing and the winner will play Saturday with four other professional bands.

Three of the more well-known professional bands playing Saturday will be the Bluegrass Brothers Band, Willis River Bluegrass Band, and Code Blue Bluegrass Band.

The Bluegrass Brothers band features Robert and Victor Dowdy, longtime performers who were inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2011. Band members also include Steven Dowdy and Chris Hart. The Dowdys grew up in bluegrass music families in Virginia and have performed across the country.

The nationally-recognized Bluegrass Brothers will perform at Thousand Trails Campgound in Gloucester on September 20-21.

The Willis River Band recently released a CD titled “Willis River Bluegrass Band-A Boy Called Lonesome.” Members of the band are Joe Currence, lead guitar and lead vocal; Charlie Llewellyn, banjo and tenor vocal; Randy Carlton, bass and baritone vocal; and Whitney Perkins, resonator guitar.

Code Blue Bluegrass Band is another high-energy band that plays music ranging from traditional bluegrass to performing their own arrangements. The band is based in Tidewater. Band member Bud Finch said Code Blue is a “fun loving band and is looking forward to playing in Gloucester.” Finch plays the guitar and sings; E.T. Firth, mandolin, guitar, fiddle and vocals; Paul Anderson, fiddle; Michael Beaver, banjo and vocals; and George Thomas, bass and vocals.

There will be food, craft, shirt and speciality vendors at the festival. Field picking will be allowed on Friday and Saturday nights. For more information, contact Sandy Corker at 504-894-844.

Things to know:
Friday September 20, 7-11 p.m. 
Saturday September 21, noon-11 p.m.
Field picking both nights.

Thousand Trails Campground off Route 198 at 12014 Trails Lane, Gloucester, 5 miles east of Routes 17/33.

Friday $15, gate opens at 6 p.m.; Saturday, $30; a two-day ticket can be purchased for $40 at the gate on Friday. On Saturday there will be a break from 5-6 p.m. for supper.

posted 08.29.2013

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