Over the weekend I attended a bluegrass festival at the Pickers' Paradise Park up near Ocklocknee GA; the usual north Florida-south Georgia suspects were there. I have to admit they all kinda sound the same to me anyway...okay, I’m not really a big fan of bluegrass – I feel it over-emphasizes instrumental flash at the expense of the songs – but it was an okay way to spend a Saturday afternoon and evening. And the people involved are a friendly bunch; I ended up sitting late around the campfires and decided to throw a blanket on the ground and stay there overnight.
Ran into an acquaintance from the Florida folkie circles I more normally frequent, Carrie Hamby, who fronts the Tallahassee-based group Singing Biscuit (those who grew up in Indiana might know the origin of the name). Ms Hamby was playing bass with Fifth Gear. I don't know why so many bluegrass groups have women on them big ol' standup basses! I liked FG; they were certainly the most entertaining/energetic bunch to get on stage. Incidentally, their site is www.fifthgearbluegrass.com . I noted what sounded (to me) like a surf music influence in some of their songs -- sort of Dick Dale plays bluegrass.
But I still prefer Carrie's more folk-oriented group, which performs some of her originals. Incidentally, a cut of theirs was used on the Car Talk show on public radio a while back between segments. Might as well give her site too: www.singingbiscuit.com .