East Troy Bluegrass Festival captures the sound
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The Karl Shiflet Band keeps the spirit of the past alive in their performances. Shiflett, center, grew up in Texas with a love for traditional country music. The band includes, from left, C. J. Lewandowski on mandolin, Billy Hurt Jr. on fiddle, Shiflett's son Kris on bass, Dany Bureau on scrub board and Chris Hill on banjo. The band performs at 5 p.m. Saturday at East Troy's Bluegrass Festival. Submitted photo.
The sounds of bluegrass music and the fans who love it will fill East Troy’s historic village square for the 19th Annual East Troy Bluegrass Festival on Sept. 8 –9. The rain location is East Troy Middle School, 3143 Graydon Ave. Check www.easttroybluegrass.com for updates.
A full line-up of bluegrass bands and contests, plus lots of great food and East Troy Marketplace vendors, will take place from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day.
The event opens on Saturday with an open stage at 10 a.m., followed by the fiddle contest at 11:30 a.m. The bands start in the afternoon, with Spring City Grass at 1 p.m., Truman’s Ridge at 2 p.m., Band Scramble at 3 p.m., Freshwater at 4 p.m. and the national headliner The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show at 5 p.m.
Best known for their highly entertaining retro stage show, The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show have captured the irrepressible bounce and down-home, audience-pleasing, good naturedness of classic country and bluegrass acts of the 1940s and 1950s. Hailing from Texas, they have managed to insert their own unique perspective, cultivating a sound that has brought them acclaim as one of the most identifiable and recognizable names in bluegrass music.
The music resumes on Sunday with a gospel service featuring the Burie Family at 10 a.m. followed by the banjo, mandolin and guitar contests at 11:30 a.m. The bands return in the afternoon with KR Bluegrass Band at 1 p.m., Daylight in the Swamp at 2 p.m., Bluegrass Kids at 3 p.m., Brew City Drifters at 4 p.m. and national headliner Nothin’ Fancy at 5 p.m.
The Brew City Drifters, scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, are just part of the lineup at the East Troy Bluegrass Festival, running Sept. 8 and 9 in East Troy. Submitted photo.
From the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia comes one of the most entertaining bands in the bluegrass genre, Nothin’ Fancy. As a matter of fact, the group won the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s award for Entertaining Group of the Year three years in a row! The band formed in 1994 to compete in the East Coast Bluegrass Championship in Crimora, Va. After winning its auspicious debut, the group has grown in popularity. According to Bluegrass Now magazine, the band has “a unique sound that vacillates between smooth, progressive bluegrass and country-tinged Americana.”
Weekend wristbands will be sold for $5 per person to help defray the festival costs; children 15 and under will be admitted free. Bring your own lawn chairs. No alcohol is allowed at this family event. For more information or to request a festival program flier, contact the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce at (262) 642-3770 or visit www.easttroywi.org.
Spring City Grass is one of the groups at the East Troy Bluegrass Festival this weekend. Submitted photo.
East Troy Bluegrass Festival At A Glance
Saturday, September 8
10 a.m. Open Stage
11:30 a.m. Fiddle Contest
1 p.m. Spring City Grass
2 p.m. Truman’s Ridge
3 p.m. Band Scramble
4 p.m. Freshwater
5 p.m. The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
Sunday, September 9
10 a.m. Gospel Service featuring the Burie Family
11:30 a.m. Banjo, Mandolin & Guitar Contests
1 p.m. KR Bluegrass Band
2 p.m. Daylight in the Swamp
3 p.m. Bluegrass Kids
4 p.m. Brew City Drifters
5 p.m. Nothin’ Fancy
Food Court Vendors
Hometown Sausage Kitchen – Brats & Reuben Sandwiches
The Grist Mill – Hamburgers, Italian Beef & Hot Dogs
Cousins Subs – Variety of Sub Sandwiches
Loomis-Marting American Legion Post 188 – Roasted Sweet Corn
Pops Kettle Corn – Kettle Corn
East Troy Area Historical Society – Elegant Farmer Caramel Apples and Pie
East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce – Soda, Water, Coffee and Gus’s Drive-in Sprecher Root Beer Floats
Bluegrass Kids Boot Camp!
Hey kids! Want to learn a couple bluegrass tunes or a little improvisation? Play guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo or sing? Melissa Sherman, founder of the East Troy Bluegrass Festival, and Lisa Creason of CreasonStudios will conduct a boot camp for kids of all ages on Sunday, September 9. On-site registration begins at 9 a.m.; Session 1 10-11:30 a.m.; Session 2 1-2:45 p.m.; Performance at 3 p.m. (not required). For details and music, visit www.creasonstudios.com.