The ballrooms are emptied, the stages struck, and the musicians headed for far flung locales. The ripples of Wintergrass however have yet to subside. I’m new to indoor festivals, all the ones I usually hit involve grass, trees, dust and hopefully mountains. So when I walked into the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, it struck me as a little cold. But for many of the musicians, the hotel scene actually enhances their experience. The jamming scene goes non stop and whole suites are setup by the California Bluegrass Association and Oregon Bluegrass Association to foster the picking pollination.
By far the most outstanding new musicians I got to hear were the Kruger Brothers. Jens and Uwe (Oovay) are originally from Switzerland, but pulled up stakes and headed for Apallachian North Carolina several years back. Jen’s banjo compositions had folks up in a rapturous standing ovation at the very first piece. Hard to describe, so I won’t even try. Doc Watson is their neighbor and has included them in the Merlefest lineup again this year.
Their repertoire stretches far beyond classical with Dylan covers and funky jams. Can’t say enough about these guys, give them a listen.
And thanks to Acoustic Sound and all the hard working volunteers who made this year’s event a success.