Grey Fox is the signature Northeastern bluegrass festival, but last week a new contender came on the scene. The Saddleback Mountain Bluegrass Festival may lack in size and history, but it compensated impressively with beautiful scenery and a stellar lineup. The festival was held in scenic Rangeley, in western Maine, and the mountains provided a backdrop for the stage through the show.
The bands were a nice mix of big national acts (The Del McCoury Band, David Grisman, Infamous Stringdusters) and bands with Maine ties (Jerks of Grass and the Stowaways), with Darol Anger bridging the two worlds. The schedule only ran one day and ended at 8 PM, but it was perfect for a fine day of bluegrass music.
Best act: Del McCoury brought out the big guns, playing an extra half-hour. David "Dawg" Grisman and Darol Anger joined the band for some crazy jamming late, including three different harmony mandolin breaks between Grisman and Ronnie McCoury. Nearly as impressive was a haunting version of gospel classic "Get On Your Knees and Pray," featuring stark music and four-part harmonies.
Saddleback Mountain Bluegrass Festival official site
Del McCoury official site
David Grisman official site
Infamous Stringdusters official site
Darol Anger official site
Jerks of Grass official site