Americana fest hits the streets

July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Having tuned in to the music scene a little more closely this year, I am glad to report my astonishment at the caliber of the new bluegrass and Americana musicians. This is not you grandma’s old front porch rocking chair music anymore – this is serious.

Well, this weekend, I had the pleasure of listening and playing with a whole slew of fantastic musicians from Reno and elsewhere, at the Americana Music Festival in Virginia City, Nevada.

I was excited to see this festival again, after Darrell Scott and his three brothers tore up the Piper Opera house last year. I bought tickets right away, which are a value at $20 for the whole three days. This is the first year that the Traditional American Music Project, or TRAMP, which promotes the festival, has elected to charge for general attendance. The event drew more people than any other year, according to organizer Cindy Gray.

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The weather was gorgeous – just walking around the silver boom town that is now America’s largest Historic Landmark, once the richest city in the world and the beginning of Mark Twain’s journalist career, was a treat in itself. However, staying at the bottom of the hill, at the Silverland Hotel, required a little leg strength! I suppose I could have jumped on a shuttle, but I was just too impatient to get back to the sounds of the Central Valley Boys, who played at the Piper, and cruise over to C street for a parking lot jam with members of the Reno-based Six Mule Pile Up

Later in the evening, the honey-dripped tunes of the Novelists inspired reflection and emotion, and finally, Rose’s Pawn Shop got the crowd all roused up, stomping feet, shaking hips, and clapping hands.

A festival that has only a few years under its belt, it may, until now, have been the best kept secret in bluegrass festivals. You must add it to the list next year – the festival is held the second weekend in July. I plan to be there again!

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