LONG BEACH - A weekend filled with the down home sounds and rhythms of roots music will take place from March 31 to April 2 with the Long Beach Bluegrass Festival. This knee-slapping, ticketed event will be held at the Chautauqua Lodge on the Long Beach Peninsula, a classic Northwest coastal destination, and will include performances, workshops, a band scramble, and an open mike session. The festival will end on Sunday at noon with a gospel service, which starts at 10 a.m. and is free to the public.
Nine bands have been selected to perform. They include the following headliners:
Chris Stuart and Backcountry, a California band just returning from a tour in Oman, that plays original bluegrass and Americana music
Zach Driscoll and Three Quarter Time, a bluegrass gospel band from Stayton, Ore., which has been called "one of the best traditional bluegrass bands in the Northwest"
Prairie Flyer, originating from Eastern Washington, plays bluegrass, folk and Americana. The versatile band features vocals by Jim Faddis, Steve Blanchard on rhythm guitar, and Jason Stewart on banjo.
Joining the line up will be Fern Hill, a traditional, five-piece bluegrass band from Rainier, Ore.; Lee Highway, with a sound that recalls the gold era of bluegrass with its excitement, smoothness and precision; Black River Bluegrass; Silver City Bluegrass from Montana; The Round Mountain Bluegrass Band; and The Wright Family, who will be joined by Zach Driscoll and Three Quarter Time at Sunday's gospel service.
Festival tickets are $15 for Friday evening, which includes the open mike session that takes place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and seven sets that will be performed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and $20 for Saturday which includes workshops from 10 a.m. to noon, a band scramble from noon to 2 p.m. performances of six sets from 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., and another six sets performed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Again, Sunday's gospel service is free.
For event and visitor information, please call the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau at 642-2400, toll-free at (800) 451-2542 or access www.funbeach.com.