Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Music Festival, August 4-6, 2017
Donald Teplyske | July 31, 2017
This year's edition of the Blueberry Bluegrass and Country Music Festival has snuck up on me, and goes this coming weekend August 4-6 in Stony Plain, Alberta-yes, Canada! Located about 400 miles north of the Alberta-Montana border, and a half-hour west of the provincial capital city of Edmonton, Blueberry is western Canada's largest bluegrass festival, celebrating its 32 festival this summer.
I had wanted to do a more detailed advance of the festival this summer, including an interview with one of the fest's new board members, but the days and weeks got away from me (I am in the midst of changing 'real job' locations, and have found less time for writing this summer than anticipated.) However, even from a distance, this year's Blueberry looks very different from previous editions.
Appearing at this year's edition are Blue Highway, Feller & Hill, The Spinney Brothers (who are touring their final season), David Peterson & 1946, Old Man Luedecke, Foggy Hogtown Boys, Foghorn Stringband, Caleb Klauder Country Band, Calvin Vollrath, Russell deCarle, Nomad Jones, Bix Mix Boys, Kayla and Matt Hotte, In With the Old, and Gary Glewinski. With an increased emphasis on music slightly to the left of bluegrass-string band, old-time, and country are more strongly emphasized this year-the festival has also re-examined their practices and have made additional changes that appear to be focused on expanding the appeal of the festival by including a second stage operating concurrent to the main outdoor stage, and evening country dances.
Reinvigorating the festival in this manner appears to be a deliberate plan on the part of the festival's new managing board, and should bring renewed energy to this coming weekend's event. Beyond the music, there is a lot more happening on the Blueberry site, include a pie baking contest, endless jamming, pancake breakfasts, workshops, and children's events. Visit their redesigned website for additional information including ticket information. Blueberry is always a well-organized event, and without doubt this year's festival is an opportunity to continue this tradition of excellence.