FOR SAVANNAH, it’s truly been a Blue Christmas. There’s been ample opportunity to catch a bluegrass/Americana show with some holiday flair this month, and there’s one more chance to get your fix after the ball drops: the annual New Year’s Bluegrass Festival at Jekyll Island.
The 39th annual fest, held at the New Convention Center on Jekyll Island, is a Lowcountry tradition, and a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and make that holiday vacay last just a little longer.
From Nova Scotia to Nashville, legends and up-and-comers of the roots music tradition will congregate with three days’ worth of entertainment. The pickin’ starts early—noon on Thursday and 11 A.M. on Friday and Saturday—and runs until 10 P.M.
Thursday’s lineup features The Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band, The James King Band, The Spinney Brothers, Springfield Exit, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage and 2010 Country Music Legend Gene Watson and The Farewell Party Band.
On Friday, catch The Tennessee Gentlemen, The Spinney Brothers, The Gary Waldrep Band, Goldwing Express, The Gibson Brothers (crowned IBMA Entertainer of the Year for two years running!), and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are certainly a treat: the group’s been named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year seven times for their stunningly perfected harmonies that will make your hair stand on end. If you’re into mandolin, make sure to see the incredible Lawson show off his incredible command of the instrument: he’s The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America’s reigning Mandolin Player of the Year.
Stick around Saturday for Bluebilly Grit, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Nothin’ Fancy, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Dailey and Vincent and Jimmy Fortune. Fortune is a former member of The Statler Brothers, who got their start singing backup for Johnny Cash and went on to become country legends in their own right. While the Statler Brothers disbanded in 2002, Fortune keeps the tradition alive, with 50 years of professional experience under his belt.