Featured bandsDALE ANN BRADLEY is from Nashville, Tenn., and she is the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association female vocalist of the year. Her voice is referred to as "gentle as a mountain song bird". If ever there was a person born to sing it is Dale Ann. With each new recording and at every concert, stories about her life, her family, the land and the people where she was raised, each one of these voices finds its listener and a new fan. Dale Ann doesn't just sing to an audience she mesmerizes them, drawing them into her sound, rich and soulful. Alison Krauss comment on Dale Ann Bradley is "that she is one of the most gifted vocalists bluegrass and country music has ever heard, she is a dream." Dale Ann gives credit to her band that is very gifted and talented.
LARRY WILDER & THE STUMPTOWN STARS play with the sparkle of the bluegrass banjo, the cry of the fiddle, the pulsating rhythm of the mandolin, guitar and bass driven tunes from sources of Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and the Stanley Brothers along with their original material is the music you will hear from this band. Audiences feel the intimacy and accessibility of their bluegrass shows, they draw the folks in with an Americana show done in bluegrass style that enraptures the whole family. Gospel solos, duos and quartets can round out the performance as needed. Lead harmony vocals, yodeler and playing banjo and guitar are Larry Bulaich Wilder. Joining him is his son, Nolan on rhythm guitar, dazzling fiddler, Andy Emert, bassist and vocalist, Gretchen Amann, and Dave Elliott on mandolin. This band will also be doing a free gospel set on Sunday along with Saturday sets.
LEE HIGHWAY is returning this year and will be even doing the free gospel service on Sunday. They have been playing all over the northwest and drawing a crowd. They are a five-piece bluegrass classic band out of Oregon that are accomplished and respected musicians, with the band sound recalling the excitement, smoothness and precision of the golden era of bluegrass. The music is a mix of tight, tuneful harmony singing, supported by sparkling and powerful instrumentals.
PRAIRIE FLYER started their run in eastern Washington a number of years ago. They believe that honest music and tight harmony will transport them just about anywhere. What folks do say about Prairie Flyer? "Head for the next festival and catch them, I've seen few bands who could move from a Stanley Brothers song to a Towns Van Zandt, from their own solid bluegrass instrumentals to Steve Erle to Fred Eaglesmith and back to traditional bluegrass with such ease and grace." You'll enjoy Jim Faddis' superb singing, Steve Blanchard on rhythm guitar, Jason Stewart on banjo along with others who make up this fine band.
CASCADE MOUTAIN BOYS are from the Seattle area performing high energy, hard driving traditional Bluegrass music. Gathering around one mic, they deliver a dynamic concert that features three part harmony and world class picking. Top notch veterans, of Mike Faast singer/songwriter, Jamie Blair on the banjo, Terry Enyeart on the guitar and Roger Ferguson on fiddle and mandolin. They love to entertain with blends of originals, Bluegrass standards, and Gospel music.
BUCKHORN MOUNTAIN BOYS were first formed in 1976 and reorganized in 2001 and play traditional bluegrass music and are based out of Nampa, in southwestern Idaho. Their traditional based but highly original sound is centered on the lead vocals of Al Jackson, who also plays guitar and mandolin. Al started playing bluegrass music in the early '70s and was the founder and leader of this band. Along with Al is Mike Bond on the banjo considered one of the pioneers of bluegrass music who also sings tenor harmony. Rue Frisbee is known as one of the most tasteful bluegrass fiddle players. Donna Bond plays stand-up bass with lots of energy and drive. The band is described as playing "traditional bluegrass music with an original flair."
BLACKRIVER BAND comes from south of the Olympia area and southern Oregon. Sisters, Libby Bigler and Joan Smith bring a beauty sound as they harmonize for this band. Libby plays guitar and Joan is on the bass. Ron Stanley comes with many years of experience with his singing and playing a superb dobra. Marv the music man plays a mean guitar and Jim Bolden delights the crowd with his banjo.
FERN HILL will be a big surprise to all coming. From the Rainier, Ore., Longview and South Bend area, Paul Smith leads this band with an influence of Jimmie Martin and many years of experience on guitar and vocals. Joining him is his son Marty on bass along with two of the best young musicians that are respected in the Northwest area and a fiddle player to delight you. Paul Smith with the original Fern Hill has a lot of influence on the Long Beach area having a bluegrass festival. This band will certainly delight the crowd.
SMALL TOWNE a new band that has just been formed by the leader, Randy Weese comes from the Astoria area with many years experience in California and even back to Nashville. The rest of the band comes from southwest Washington and this band is going to showcase on Friday afternoon to start the festival out.
THREE GENERATIONS is returning this year, as they were truly a crowd pleaser last year at the festival. They come from the Seattle area, featuring Grandpa on the dobra, which he has been playing music since he was 13-years-old. His two daughters sing and play guitars, a 16-year-old grandson plays a great fiddle, guitar and sings. Even a son-in-law who plays bass along with best friends of a mother and her son who play and sing.