Parkfield Bluegrass Festival lineup announced

Special Consensus is one of the headliners of the 2019 Parkfield Bluegrass Festival May 9-12. (Contributed photo)

The picturesque hamlet of Parkfield will once again transform into bluegrass heaven when the Bluegrass Music Society of the Central Coast presents the 21st Annual Parkfield Bluegrass Festival. Known as the “Earthquake Capital of the World,” Parkfield springs to life every Mother’s Day weekend with toe-tapping bluegrass, old-time, traditional and gospel music.

Music fans take over this small country village for four days of concerts, workshops, children’s activities, camping and around-the-clock music jams. Music lovers are welcome to come for the weekend or for the day with multi-day passes that include camping or single-day admissions.

The Festival is a great day-trip outing from almost anywhere in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo or Monterey counties.

Headlining Parkfield’s 2019 lineup are Special Consensus, Central Coast favorites The Cache Valley Drifters, Canadian band The Slocan Ramblers, and the ever-popular Phil Salazar & The Kinfolk.

Ten additional bands will perform including Rebekah Longout of Georgia, Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players, and Amber Cross, fresh from her first European Tour, and the lively SLO County Stumblers.

Special Consensus is a superb bluegrass outfit in a classic vein but with more than enough modern sensibilities to attract every ear in this genre, according to organizers. The vocal are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass. Special Consensus approaches this hallowed American musical form with boundless energy and an aesthetic reverence that tickles the ribs, tugs at the heart, and puts a restless two-step in boots and bare feet.

Central Coast favorites The Cache Valley Drifters have been pushing the boundaries of American Acoustic music for over four decades. Their sound is a blend of a wide range of musical styles and influences with a focus on song arrangements and rich vocal harmonies. While their music sits on a solid foundation of bluegrass and folk, they create a collective alchemy of musical interests. Each member of the trio is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.

The Slocan Ramblers are Canada’s bluegrass band to watch. Rooted in tradition, fearlessly creative and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, the Slocans have become a leading light of today’s acoustic music scene. With a reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan, the Slocans have been winning over audiences from Merlfest to RockyGrass and everywhere in between.

Rebekah Longis a fresh face in the bluegrass world. Her music is unique yet pure and authentic. When she writes songs about life the countryside in her native Georgia, she’s lived it.  When she sings about “Fishin’ On The Cumberland,” she’s really out there on her boat on the Cumberland River throwing lures and setting trotlines.

One of the most popular bluegrass bands in Southern California, Phil Salazar and The Kinfolk, mix traditional and original music with bluegrass, rock, blues, country, jazz, Irish and pop. Together for 33 years, they bring flawless skills to the stage and a camaraderie that makes for easy listening.

Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players return to Parkfield with their award-winning blend of Americana, bluegrass, soul and old-time music. Hailing from Stockton this quartet brings a unique, fresh and energetic sound to the stage.

Fresh from her first European tour, Amber Cross will bring her latest album, “Savage on the Downhill,” with it’s authentic and deeply visual songs to Parkfield.

One of the liveliest new local bands, the SLO County Stumblers, will bring their high energy and red hot fiddle tunes to the mix. Band members are Casy Meikle: fiddle, Daniel Bohlman: banjo, Stuart Mason: guitar, and Jerry James: bass fiddle.

Kids up to 16 years of age are welcome in the free Kids Bluegrass Program. Under the direction of Gerry Higbie, Joy Williams Blue Summit and kids will receive instruction in fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, dobro and singing. Loaner instruments are available. Students will perform on the Main Stage on Sunday.  On Saturday, kids can create a Mothers Day gift at the free crafts class. Check here for further Kids and Teens program information https://parkfieldbluegrass.org/kids-corner/.

Camping tickets are limited. The festival has grown substantially over the past few years and while organizers are grateful for the success they didn’t want to lose the relaxed atmosphere and neighborly character of the event. Multi-day tickets are limited and Saturday single-day tickets are limited.

Camping is included in all multi-day tickets and acres of flat, grassy, tree-shaded “boondocks” campsites are available for tents or RVs. The Cowboy Shower Trailer features private stalls with hot water and horseshoes to hold your towel and gear.

Tickets and full details available at www.parkfieldbluegrass.org/. Early bird tickets are available through April 7.

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