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Bluegrass fest kicks off new year PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Thursday, 09 January 2014 11:23
File photo. Lorraine Jordan, middle, of Carolina Road entertains at the Wintergrass Bluegrass festival at the French Quarter in Perrysburg. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - Like a classic old-time tune the annual bluegrass gathering Winterfest Bluegrass in Super Class endures.
The bluegrass festival returns this weekend to Perrysburg with performances Friday from 1 to 11:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 11:30 p.m. in the French Quarter Holiday Inn on U.S. 20.
For bluegrass fans its a chance to start the year with the rousing sounds of some of their favorite bands, including headlining and oft-described Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent with her band the Rage.
Vincent will be returning for her fourth year headlining the bill. She'll play two sets Saturday at 4:30 and 10:30 p.m.
A trouper through and through, she's been on the road since she was a child. "This festival does remind me of the many indoor festivals my family and I played as the Sally Mountain Show," she wrote in a response to an email from the Sentinel.
"I always looked forward to winter festivals. It was not only a nice break from the winter blues, but also a unique festival setting, bring(ing) the essence of a bluegrass festival indoors. I absolutely love it."
And as a surprise in the dead of winter, Vincent wrote that she'll have some advanced copies of her new project, "Only Me," on hand to sell to fans. It isn't scheduled to be released until Jan. 28.
She likes returning to Perrysburg. "The festival is made special by the people who attend. There are people we only see when we perform in Perrysburg. It makes it unique and a wonderful homecoming."
The setting inside the French Quarter also adds to the appeal. "I love the close contact. I would much rather have the audience up close, than far far away. You can see their reaction to the music, and it makes it much easier to talk to the audience, and see them acknowledge what you're saying."
Lisa Efaw said that they expect as many as 1,000 bluegrass devotees to attend the event.
This is the 24th festival to be held. It was started by musician and impresario Bob White. Lisa and Larry Efaw, who took over the event in 2009 following White's death.
Like White Larry Efaw not only produces the event, but also performs. Last January he was on stage with his father who gave him his start in the music. He started playing at age 7, and events such as the Winterfest helped shape him. At festivals he could listen and learn from his elders.
His band the Bluegrass Mountaineers will be among the Saturday acts this year.
Playing on Friday will be: Harbortown Bluegrass, Deepwater Bluegrass, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, James King Band, and Wildwood Valley Boys. Also playing on Saturday will be: Remington Ryde, Idle Tyme, and Dean Osborne as well as Vincent and the Bluegrass Mountaineers.
As always there will be rooms set aside for musicians to jam.
Tickets are $25 a day, with children 12 and under free.

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