The popularity of bluegrass music has experienced a recent resurgence thanks to the likes of Allison Kraus and the George Clooney movie O Brother, Where Art Thou - who have lent their talents to spread the old-time music to the masses.
But in Brackendale, bluegrass is all about having a good time with close friends. At this year's Brackendale Blues Festival on Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, bluegrass fans will be treated to plenty of guitar-pickin', banjo-playin' musical talent.
"Bluegrass is a very energetic form of music with roots in early blues and old time music," said festival organizer and Brackendale local Cam Salay.
To kick off the festival on Friday night, Salay will be joined by a handful of friends to get the crowd stoked for two full days and nights of the kind of music that puts a smile on your face and a jump in your step.
"Bluegrass is good, happy music," said BAG jack-of-all-trades Thor Froslev.
"Everybody's smiling, nobody gets outta hand - they all come and have a great time."
After the crowd gets a taste of what bluegrass is all about, things get kicked up a notch when Vancouver bluegrass gurus the Mountain Bluebirds take the stage. As the headliners for Friday night, the Mountain Bluebirds feature a sextet of three talented ladies and three gentlemen.
"The girls can really sing harmony vocals - they're amazing to hear," said Salay. "And the guys are all great pickers. It's going to be an awesome show."
Now in its second year, the festival also features Saturday afternoon music workshops. You can bring your instruments and jam all day while learning bluegrass from the masters - at 1 p.m., vocal harmony with the Mountain Bluebirds followed by banjo with Don Dirksen at 2:30. Guitar guru Gary Stevenson will teach the many fine nuances of the guitar at 4 p.m. Salay encourages people to come jam with the musicians.
To kick off the live entertainment Saturday evening, Five on a String, a musical collaboration of five veterans in the bluegrass scene, will get the crowd jumping. To round out the festival entertainment, Don and Theresa Dirksen will join Gary Stevenson on Saturday night.
Tickets for the festival are $15/ day or $25 for both days.