Festival to welcome up-and-comersPublished 6:28pm Monday, May 30, 2011
Last year the Niles Bluegrass Festival welcomed seasoned artists in Peter Rowan and John Cowan.
But this year the festival will go in a different direction and provide listeners with up-and-comers, event organizer Tom Majerek says.
Three bands which, according to Majerek, are ready to burst onto the bluegrass scene, will be in the lineup: the Hillbenders, the Roys and the Mosier Brothers.
“All of these groups are coming out with new albums soon,” Majerek said. “It’s an exciting time right now, because it could be where you don’t know who they are this year but next year they may be so big that there might not be another opportunity to get them to Niles again.”
The Hillbenders, a five-piece acoustic bluegrass group from Nashville, released their first album last year after winning the 2009 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition. They combine elements of country, rock, blues, jazz and Americana to form a unique sound. The Hillbenders will play Sunday at the Riverfront Park Amphitheater.
The Roys, a brother-sister bluegrass/americana duo also from Nashville, are “about to break out,” according to Majerek. They will take the stage Thursday and Friday at the amphitheater.
The Mosier Brothers, who will play Sunday, feature Jeff and Johnny Mosier, who gained fame in the bluegrass scene as members of the newgrass band Blueground Undergrass in the 1990s.
“They’re really big in the south,” Majerek said. “Their fiddle player has played shows with Widespread Panic.”
The Bluegrass Festival, in its ninth year, draws people from all over the region, averaging 10,000 people in attendance each year.
“If someone is not a bluegrass fan, they’ll leave with a different impression,” he said.
For more information, visit the Niles Bluegrass Festival website at www.nilesbluegrass.com.