Tacoma has an annual bluegrass festival that I haven’t missed since moving here. Much to my spouse’s chagrin, I buy festival passes for every last day of it as soon as they go on sale. His musical taste, though somewhat eclectic, runs more to what I would call “music to drool by”. (Sorry dear, it’s true.) Wintergrass starts tonight, goes tomorrow night, Saturday from about noon to midnight or whenever, then Sunday all day. I get totally bluegrassed out, even for me. I have the pocket schedule printed out from their website, and have my game plan in place. I have my bluegrass knitting picked out. I have a sock in progress, but also that King Cole Mohair stole, which I’m doing in just plain garter stitch. The last time I tried knitting a sock at Wintergrass my gauge changed a bunch. Must have been the exciting music.

Here are my favorite artists from past Wintergrass festivals:

Country Current; the Navy Bluegrass Band. The Navy only hires the best, and these guys are no exception. I will travel long distances to see these guys. Keith Arneson is the best banjo player around.
Reeltime Travelers; back again this year.
Robin and Linda Williams; folk/bluegrass, great vocal harmonies.
Doyle Lawson and his band. Pretty much straight ahead bluegrass, but a lot of fun in person.
Rhonda Vincent; supposed to be back again this year, but cancelled due to illness.
Old & In the Way, minus Jerry, of course.
Blue Highway; their dobro player Rob Ickes is one of the best
Darol Anger, one of the world’s more innovative fiddlers.
Dry Branch Fire Squad; traditional Appalachain style bluegrass, the lead singer is a hoot.
Misty River, a local Portland based girl group. With an accordion, no less. Back this year.
Seldom Scene, back again this year.
Tim O’Brien; one of the best all around musicians I’ve seen.
Waybacks; play jamgrass that is definitely NOT traditional.

Besides the folks on that list that are  back this year, I’m looking forward to David Grisman, Tony Rice, and the Bluebirds (Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur, and Laurie Lewis). But it frequently turns out to be the groups I’ve never heard of that I love the best. If you haven’t already got your tickets, you are out of luck. Weekend passes, and Saturday and Sunday are sold out. Come next year, and buy early!!

I’ll be back later, if I don’t run off with the banjo player.

About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


Wintergrass! — 10 Comments

  1. Oh my, another thing we have in common. I love BlueGrass!! All the bands you are looking forward to are favorites. We have a festival in June and another in August but they are NOTHING like that one. Enjoy!!

  2. Can I go too??? (Guess not if it’s sold out) Actually my dear hubby would like the music as well, he LOVES bluegrass. Unfortunately it’s the 2 yr old that dictates all our plans :-/

  3. Color me jealous – I love bluegrass! I don’t know if they count, but I was raised on Flat & Scruggs! I hadn’t heard of some of those bands, so I’ll check them out on iTunes.

  4. Can I tell you that I love Iris Dement (I saw her album on your sidebar.) She is my favorite and we also listen to a lot of Townes in our house. We have tickets to go see John Prine in April here in Boston. I’m super excited. I’ve never seen him before! Have fun at the festival it sounds like a pickin’ good time (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
    I’m going to go check out your Folk Alley link now…

  5. You’d get a lot of knitting done if you traveled with the band…..and a daily source of live bluegrass….and well-trained fingers…..yes, I see the temptation. 🙂

  6. I enjoy fiddling too – Mark O’Connor was my college graduation speaker and we were very disappointed he didn’t bring his instruments with him! (he’s a better musician then he is public speaker, trust me!) There’s a bluegrass festival that used to gather at one of the ski slopes in the summer, but I haven’t heard about it in several years; your post was enough for me to look into it and I’m going to plan on attending if it’s still happening. Have you ever been contra dancing? Some of the best live music I’ve heard up here is from local contra gatherings, though I haven’t had time to get to one recently. I doubt I’d get much knitting done though, as I like to dance!

  7. Hi Lorette, I too was at Wintergrass (my daughter Frankie plays in Pupville), and also am an avid knitter, mostly using a crazy mixture of yarns which produces wild scarves. I was knitting during the festival as well(when not in the lobby jamming with my bass). I found that sitting near the walls in the Pavilion gave me enough light to see what I was doing. Turns out that many of the gals who put on the festival are knitters as well. Perhaps I’ll actually meet you next year.
    Take care,

  8. As the publicist for Wintergrass, I am glad that you had enjoyed the music and were able to accomplish a project at the same time. Thank you for your kind words on your website.

  9. As the publicist for Wintergrass, I am glad that you enjoyed the music and were able to accomplish a project at the same time! Thank you for your kind words on your website.