A Preview for DelFest
Allegany County Fairgrounds – Cumberland, MD
May 26th – 29th, 2016
Written by Sydney Morris
Roll call to all my barefoot bluegrass two-steppers! If you haven’t yet felt that tingle in your bones calling you to the effervescent DelFest, then hop on it now while the gettin’s good. DelFest returns for their 9th year, nestled beneath the towering cliffs of Knobley Mountain at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland. Stretching across one hundred acres along the Potomac River, the Fairgrounds have welcomed visitors since 1924, becoming a hub for all activities and an integral part of Allegany County.
If that doesn’t toot your horn then feast your eyes on the musical talent gracing the stages this Memorial Day weekend. We’ll give a big Del-Yeah for The Del McCoury Band (and the big boss himself, Mr. Del McCoury) who will be playing multiple tasty sets throughout the weekend, and also for keeping this gal excited for a Sunday Sendoff of The Travelin’ McCourys featuring Keller Williams. You best believe I’ll be there with bells on. Other bigwigs include The Infamous Stringdusters, Railroad Earth, and Yonder Mountain String Band, to name a few favorites. The Infamous Stringdusters will be sure to set the stage ablaze with Nicki Bluhm and the latest release of their new album Ladies & Gentlemen, which dazzles with a fresh take on the classic while boasting the future of bluegrass. With two chances to catch them before they continue on their hot tour this season, they are definitely a must-see, friends!
As always, the sweet sounds of Railroad Earth will be sure to take us away and bring us all together again as one big, sweaty, ground stompin’ family in the foothills of Knobley. Last but certainly never least, Yonder Mountain String Band (this gal’s favorite) is always something to look forward to. Following the absence of Jeff Austin, the band has made strides in perfecting their progressive bluegrass sound as Jake Joliff and Allie Kral have been deemed official members of the band as of last May. If you haven’t seen them since, I urge you – you won’t be disappointed. I’ve been chasing their sweet sounds since I first heard their cover of “Amie” by Pure Prairie League, and I can never say no to a mind-melting fiddle! If my excited rantings aren’t enough for ya there’s still plenty more. You can expect to see Mr. Keller Williams, Sam Bush Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Greensky Bluegrass, Elephant Revival, and many many more at DelFest this May.
Aside from the stacked lineup, the real selling point is the wonderful community and presence that DelFest offers. You really feel like a part of the McCoury family, and don’t just take my word for it. Although the deadline has passed, Dré Anders of Dré and The Collective has come up with a great way to unite the DelFest community. She posted a video last month urging everyone to sing along to the chorus of “Get Together” by The Youngbloods. Videos will be put into a collaborative montage, giving those participants the chance to be a part of the DelFest choir! From the post: “Please take a minute and watch the video below then sing along and join us in spreading goodwill and unity among this amazing family—because you all really ARE one big happy extension of the McCoury family!” Del YEAH! You can check out all the awesome entries on the event page and keep your eyes peeled for familiar voices on Dré’s upcoming album!
Don’t fret friends, tickets are still a steal at only $199.50 for all four days. Single day and three day passes are also available for those of you who can’t swing all four. From all of us here at Sparkleberry Lane, we hope to see you there! Safe travels, and see you soon!
Photos by Sam Burch and Dan Gutberlet
Cover photo courtesy of DelFest
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