Saturday, September 18, 2010
Bluegrass at Scarecrow
Even though the skies were cloudy Saturday the Preston City, CT. "ScareCrow Festival" was wall to wall people and the parking lots were filled when I arrived, I found a spot about 1/4 mile from the gate and made it to the music tent in time to catch the opening song by "The John Stey and Sam Tidwell Band." The band was made up of seasoned veterans of the Bluegrass scene: John Stey singing lead and playing rhythm guitar, Sam Tidwell on the banjo and harmony vocals, Howie Tarnower playing mandolin and singing lead and harmony and Matt Bolles on bass and lead vocals as well as harmony. The guys played solid traditional grass with some fine solo's from Howie and Sam, they were tight and right and I hope the mostly non-Bluegrass audience was impressed by our music, judging from the smiles and foot stomping I'm guessing they were.
John has put together several bands both in Michigan and New England and now plays with the "Boston City Limits" group. Both Sam and his wife Edie are members of Bluegrass music's "First Generation," a group of 232 artists who contributed to the establishment and growth of this unique music. The International Bluegrass Music Museum's "Video Oral Project" which seeks to interview and film the members of this elite group has already completed Sam and Edie's interview and when the project is finished it will be available to members of the IBMM at their website and at some point to the general public. Howie is a well known multi-instrumentalist in the northeast, he's performed on a bunch of recording projects and with other bands in the region, he fronts the "Boston City Limits" band and has been an instructor with the Joe Val Kid's Academy and other organisations.