On the Main Stage . . .
This year’s festival brings a great variety of original bluegrass, old-time, blues and country music, plus jamming and workshops. Main stage lineup is the Bill Lestock Trio; the Vicki Chew Band; Matt Watroba; the popular blues-roots-country band Rachel & the Beatnik Playboys; and noted songwriter J. Scott Franklin with blues/jazz guitarist Michael Bay. We’ll also be hearing from the student group Benjamin Franklin Strings.
Bill Lestock plays original mandolin music that is a compelling blend of bluegrass, old time, baroque and blues perhaps best defined as New Acoustic or Modern Acoustic music. Lestock, a Cleveland firefighter for 26 years, incorporates melodies and imagery from a life and culture of firefighting. His accompanying musicians are Anthony Taddeo, percussionist and Andrew Bonnis, upright bass.
Rachel & the Beatnik Playboys is Rachel Brown (vocals, piano), Bill Watson (bass), Dave Huddleston (guitar) and Roy King (drums). Rachel’s soaring voice and bold musicality pack a wonderful punch with her longtime band. You’ll get a two-fer as Dave Huddleston will also play with Vicki Chew.
At the Blue Sky, take part in twenty-plus jams, workshops and classes led by professional musicians – many also appearing on the Main Stage. Take a workshop on fiddle tunes, join a community sing, have fun with a beginning ukulele class, learn guitar maintenance, try lyric and melody writing.