Bluegrass music festival returns this weekend to Vista museum
By Emily Sorensen
Summergrass San Diego will celebrate 10 years of live bluegrass music this weekend, beginning Friday, Aug. 17 and continuing through Sunday, Aug. 19 at the historic Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista.
Featuring 12 live bluegrass bands, as well as music workshops and camps, vendors, kids’ activities, impromptu jam sessions and on site camping, Summergrass San Diego is the place to be this weekend for any bluegrass musician or fan.
This year, Summergrass San Diego will be headlined by Blue Highway, who return to headline the festival for a second time. The 17-year veterans of the bluegrass scene are considered one of the most influential groups in contemporary bluegrass, earning them numerous awards and two Grammy nominations.
Coming to Summergrass San Diego for the first time is Lonesome River Band. Celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, Lonesome River Band is one of the most respected names in bluegrass. Banjo player Shammy Shelor was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass award in 2011 on the David Letterman Show.
Formed this year in Nashville from a group of five “great pickers,” Chris Henry & Hardcord Grass will be performing at Summergrass San Diego, blending classic bluegrass sound with their own creativity.
Tuttle-Mailander-Witler-Karlson, made up of Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Matt Witler and Brittany Karlson, who are all studying together at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, will join together will be joining together for two sets of dynamic original and traditional music.
Local favorites Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley, who often perform in Poway, will also be performing their fresh-sounding traditional favorites as a duo at the festival.
Summergrass San Diego is also debuting some new blood to the San Diego bluegrass scene, including Flatt Lonesome, who hail from Florida, and The Tuttle Family with AJ Lee, from the Bay Area. Young local talent who will be performing at the festival include Lighthouse, Virtual Strangers, The Taildraggers, Blue Mountain Mule and Sweet Tidings Gospel Band.
In addition to listening to all the great live music, you can learn to jam at Sid Lewis’ Jamming 101 workshop, which is included in the price of your festival ticket. Pickers can learn to be at ease and confident while jamming.
Raffles will also be held, with some of the prizes including a Martin D-18 guitar, a Deering “Crow” package banjo, a Loar mandolin from The Music Link, and an Illusion guitar from Corky Shelton. Raffle tickets are one for $3, two for $5, five for $10, or 12 for $20.
Summergrass San Diego will also include vendors, family and kids activities including face painting, a model railroad village and a weavers’ barn, music workshops and food vendor booths.
Tickets are $61 at the gate (cash only) for a three-day pass, with one-day passes also available. Kids 10 and under are free with adult. Parking is $2 for the day, which funds the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum. The museum is located at 2040 N. Santa Fe Avenue, Vista. For tickets or more information, visit www.summergrass.net.
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