Commonwealth Journal

Columns

July 14, 2012

Master Musicians Festival, 2012 Edition

Somerset —  

Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies
And ev'ryone goes, 'cause everyone knows
— Neil Diamond
 
Well, I am teed up for another go at the annual installment of the Master Musician's Festival. I tell people that this is the only weekend of the year that I block out on my schedule. Only family can bring enough pressure to get me to forgo it. I am really excited about it this year but then I am every year. It is hard to believe that this is the last year for touring for J.D. Crowe. The first time I recall seeing him was in 1969 in the lounge at Holiday Inn North in Lexington. I was a much younger man, for you mathematically challenged I was 21, and bluegrass was not my forte in those days but one always has to be impressed with talent. I observed many playbill leaders serve an apprenticeship under J.D. then move on to stardom. In the intervening years I have broadened my music appreciation and I am happy to be able to have that memory. Shucks, a lot of you weren't even a gleam in your parent's eyes then. J.D. Is the epitome of bluegrass and it will be a wonderful treat to see him again.
Tiffany Bourne and the MMF board have done a darned good job with the lineup this year. One of the criticisms I heard from last year was that Steve Earle wasn't an energetic enough performer to end on. I have to tell you that I thought that landing Steve Earle was a coup. His prowess at writing and performing are a match for anyone in the business these days and he was in Somerset at MMF. Count yourself lucky to have been there. However, this year's selection of The Punch Brothers should get the heels hopping for a closer.

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