There's probably not too many indoor bluegrass festivals in the United States. Part of the charm of the old-style fests is sitting in your lawn chair, seeing and hearing the various acts come and go on the stage, and sampling whatever wafts by the on the breeze - your neighbor's barbeque, the odd conversation, pickin' around the campfire. Holding a bluegrass festival inside a big concrete building, it could be argued, defeats the purpose. Indoors, you kind of have to pay attention.
Don't tell that to Adams and Anderson, LLC, the company that's putting on this week's New Year's Bluegrass Festival inside the Jekyll Island Convention Center. These folks have been doing it this way for 34 years now, so they must be doing something right.
Headlining this year (the dates are Dec. 31-Jan. 2) is the queen of the bluegrass festivals, Missouri-born Rhonda Vincent. The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) named this mandolin-picking fireball Female Vocalist of the Year for seven years running, starting in 2000, and the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) awarded her Entertainer of the Year from 2002 to 2006.
Vincent literally grew up at bluegrass festivals. At the age of 5, she became the drummer for her family's touring band, the Sally Mountain Show. By 10, she was an accomplished mandolin and fiddle player.
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage (that's the name of her longtime backing band) are known for their spirited, high-energy shows, featuring crack musicianship, stirring vocals, humor and a young and vibrant approach to traditional and contemporary bluegrass.
Vincent closes the three-day show, with a 9:30 p.m. performance Jan. 2.
Rhonda's younger brother Darrin was once a member of Sally Mountain, too. The singer, guitarist and mandolinist went on to spend 10 years with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder before starting the duo Daily & Vincent with Jamie Dailey, the former lead vocalist for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.
Daily & Vincent were named Entertainer of the Year at the IBMA awards in 2008, winning a total of seven trophies. At the 2009 SPBGMA awards, the twosome won six awards, including Bluegrass Band of the Year.
You might have seen Daily & Vincent earlier this year, onstage at Randy Wood's Pickin' Parlor out in Bloomingdale.
They have three shows at the Jekyll Island festival - at 3:25 and 9 p.m. Jan. 1, and at 8:45 p.m. Jan. 2 (just before Darrin's sister takes the stage with the Rage).
The weekend's frivolities also include performances by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Little Roy Lewis & Lizzie Long, the Grascals, Bobby Osborme & Rocky Top X-Press, Nothin' Fancy, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, the Travelin' McCourys, Jess McReynolds & the VA Boys, and a whole lot more (there are three days to fill, after all!)
Listen & learn: www.rhondavincent.com, www.daileyvincent.musiccitynetworks.com.
Starts at noon Thursday, Dec. 31 at Jekyll Island Convention Center, I N. Beachview Dr., Jekyll Island. Ticket prices vary. Call (706) 864-7203, or see www.andabluegrass.com for a full schedule and ticket information.
WHO'S BAD - THE ULTIMATE MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE
If you're bad, and you know it, there's no better place to be on New Year's Eve than Hilton Head's Shoreline Ballroom, where this Chapel Hill, N.C.-based music ‘n' moonwalking revue will be touching down.
Yep, Who's Bad is a tribute band.
This show debuted five years ago, when M.J. was very much alive (if not the happiest camper on the planet), and it's an aural and visual recap of all phases of his career, from Afro-topped Jackson Five frontman to Thriller-era pop monster to ... well, to the later stuff.
Joseph Bell and Taalib York handle the vocals and the dance moves. The others are Darion Alexander on bass, Nyk Baglio on drums, Patrick Cross on guitar, Ray McCall on trumpet and Vamsi Tadepelli on saxophone and synthesizer.
Mike may be gone from this place, as they say, but his music lives ... and it's all about positive energy, love and life. Good reason to celebrate. Listen & learn: www.whosbadmusic.com. At 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31 at Shoreline Ballroom, 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head. Tickets are $18 advance, $23 day of show at www.shorelineballroom.com.
A NEW YEAR’S SOUNDBOARD RESOLUTION
As part of our continuing resolve to make Connect the very best it can be, we implore, once again, club owners, talent bookers and musical artists to let us know who’s playing — where and when — every week. We’re here for you!