Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2010 – Down to the Wire
The stages are being built and final preparations made for the tenth consecutive Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. The weather gods have been appeased and our mini heatwave is rapidly abating to bless the fest with near perfect weather.
Two recent interviews with Warren Hellman shed light on the beloved and enigmatic character who puts on this mind blowing exercise in generosity.
As usual the festival sprawls all over the map to challenge and delight the open minded listener. This year, the Friday session has become essential. Warren buses in scores of school children for a morning of traditional music with local string freak band Poor Man’s Whiskey and the singular MC Hammer.
Later in the day, three of the six stages crank up the music starting off with the outstanding trio of Jerry Douglas, Omar Hakim and Viktor Krauss at the Rooster Stage. This group has only performed once before at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and if that performance is any indication, the Friday morning crowd will be very pleased.
T Bone Burnett will play later on in the afternoon with a fascinating revue which includes Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers and the jaw dropping goth-i-cana of newcomer Karen Elson
From there, the rest of the weekend dissolves into an embarrassment of riches.
Miscellaneous stuff. Dawn Holliday, HSB booker, basically announced that Robert Plant will be there. Likely guesting with Patty Griffin and/or Buddy Miller. Joan Baez’ band includes local bassist Todd Phillips, celtic guitar master John Doyle and the great Dirk Powell on anything that moves.
Some tips and pleas from a grizzled veteran:
1 Get there early. Parking is non-existent after the show starts. With crowds upward of 250,000 per day, even the massive park is stretched to capacity.
2 Please don’t lay down a tarp the size of Rhode Island for your friends who are coming “later”.
3 Be extra courteous and considerate of your neighbors and friends you haven’t met yet.
4 Bring lots of refreshment and please don’t buy alcohol from the park denizens who set up shop.
5 Pick a stage and hang there, don’t try to see it all. Especially later in the day when movement becomes nearly impossible.
6 Say thanks to Warren when you see him.
7 Treat the park with TLC.
8 Bring your own plate, cup and utensils to cut down on trash.
9 Say thanks to Warren when you see him.
10 Pay it forward.