Bluegrass for the next Generation

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2010

As the sun went down on the first day of the Appalachian Uprising festival, the sound of Bobby Osborne and his mandolin filled the air at Eden Valley Farm.

Bobby Osborne and Rocky Top Express was among the many acts to kick off the Ninth Annual Appalachian Uprising bluegrass festival in Scottown on Thursday.

The three-day event boasted performers such as Melvin Goins and Windy Mountain, Tom Clay, Drew Emmitt, Cadillac Sky, JD Crowe, John Cowan and Sam Bush.

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Scott Frasure, master of ceremonies for the festival, said they expected 7,000 people to attend this year. He also said more established names and hall of fame inductees have joined the bill.

“All the bands have been right on time,” Frasure said. “They will be playing from noon till midnight everyday.”

There was one act that everyone seemed to want to see above all others.

Sam Bush.

The Grammy-Award winning Bush headlined the show on Saturday and closed out the weekend.

The festival brought bluegrass lovers, young and old, from all over again this year. They brought their campers, tents, trailers, golf carts and set up camp. Some people had been there since Monday afternoon.

First timer Vanessa Moser from Huntington, W.Va. came with her husband, Charlie, who was working the concession grills.

“This year we brought our kids,” Moser said.

They also brought their teacup potbelly pig, Petunia, who enjoyed the sights and smells as well.

Jim and Nancy VanSeghbroeck and their dog Molly Mae drove six hours from the Toledo area. This was their third year attending the festival.

Nancy said they came “just for the good artists and to get away from everybody.”

A nine-year veteran of the festival, Nellie Coffman set up her “fairy camp” just as she has done every year. She brought homemade fairy wings to give to the children.

Having recently taken up the bass, she was playing with her Yorkshire terrier by her side, captivated by the sound.

“This is our hometown festival,” Coffman said. “We like to support it.”

While Melvin Goins sang out “I’m going back to ol’ Kentucky, where the sky is always blue,” some of the campers were having their own jam sessions.

Among the players and singers were Mary Lu and Bill Wise from North Ridgeville. They were one of three groups to arrive on Monday. They have been attending Appalachian Uprising since the first festival.

“We just like getting together,” Mary Lu said.

The Wises were joined later in the week by Rich and Sheree Krassow, Don and Paula Long, Marty Davis, John K. Victor, and Bruce Stiltner.

“The setting is a slice of paradise,” said Paula Long.

Paula said she has attended the festival since its inception also. Her and her husband drove from Holmes County.

“We love the music, the people and the jammin’,” Paula said.

The group made their camp along a wooded creek, with their campers and trailers in a huddle around a huge shade tree.

They all joined in together and played songs like “True Love Never Dies” by Del McCoury, “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show, and Pure Prairie League’s “Amie.”

There were also local vendors on site. Mark and Karen Connelly had a booth set up selling items from their West Virginia-based store, Scent From Heaven. They sell handmade hemp bracelets and necklaces, fragrant oils, incense, handmade hula hoops and a variety of other things.

Across the field there were food vendors selling everything from funnel cakes to frog legs. There were kettle cooked pork rinds of all flavors. A grill area was set up selling burgers and the like.

Troy Clark came from Lexington, Ky. to enjoy the festival. He said he has been to several and he loves the setting.

Clark said he “likes to get together with all the people who like bluegrass festivals.”

Clark, like many others, come back each year for many of the same reasons. One reason that seemed to be common among the attendees was, as Clark put it, because they are “like a big family.”