Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent, & Gibson Brothers Headline Blueberry 2012
Donald Teplyske | July 24, 2012
The 27th Annual Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Music Festival goes the first weekend in August (3rd-5th) in the North-Central Alberta (yes, that's in Canada) community of Stony Plain. I've attended Blueberry several times over the years- probably around ten different fests- but haven't attended in the last five. I'm hoping to make my way there on the Saturday this year, but I've said that before!
Blueberry has long been Alberta`s premier bluegrass festival, although for a few years in the early to mid-aughts Shady Grove gave it a bit of a challenge. Over the past decade, Blueberry has consistently attracted some of the music`s biggest names and good to excellent sized audiences.
Blueberry has worked with the community to further upgrade the facilities and I`ve learned that the new facilities are a marked improvement to the site of several years ago.
This year`s lineup is quite strong with Blue Highway, the Gibson Brothers, and Rhonda Vincent headlining. Interestingly, Blue Highway are given fairly early time slots each of the three days which will benefit those of us who have to drive home in the evening.
Blueberry has usually offered country and old-time offerings within their bluegrass slate, and this year is no exception. Appearing are Michael Martin Murphey (no hint provided whether MMM will be bringing his- admittedly marginally- bluegrass performance or if he is sticking to his western and country set) and local favourites Calvin Vollrath and Colleen Rae.
Back on the bluegrass front, excellent British Columbia band Four Chords of Wood are also appearing. A couple bands that have generated considerable interest include The Roys (with buzz coming from their upcoming release that is being advanced with videos at Bluegrass Today) and The Quebe Sisters Band. I`m anticipating the appearance of Mark Phillips & IIIrd Generation Bluegrass Band; this Oklahoma-based outfit first came to my attention several years ago when we considered booking them for our local bluegrass society, and I look forward to hearing their development since then.
Blueberry has also done a fairly good job featuring area bands, and this year rounds out their schedule with a handful of Alberta bands.
Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Music Festival provides a great opportunity for Alberta, western-Canadian, and north-western US bluegrass fans to come together for a weekend of music. On site camping is available, of course, and all the information needed can be found at www.blueberrybluegrass.com.