The Old Mill Bluegrass Festival has been going on every year in West Liberty, Kentucky since 1996. Before that the get together took place in Lanny Franklin’s back yard! From my understanding it was a small gathering of musicians at first who met up at Lanny Franklin’s every summer to cook out, play music and visit. After awhile the thing got so big they had to move it into town to the Old Mill Park.
This years festival took place this past weekend on July 10th and 11th. As usual I had a great time but this year I got to hang out with my wife and two of my daughters. I have a three year old who really loves the music and talks about banjos and guitars a lot. It was great to see her enjoy the live bluegrass and I trust that will be something that sticks with her as she grows up (many more bluegrass festivals yet to come!).
This year the Old Mill Bluegrass Festival we all got to enjoy:
Darrell Winkleman Band, Bartley Brothers, Roland Dunn, Merle Peyton and After Midnight, Billee Renee & Cumberland Gap, Bluegrass Online, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Kati Penn Band, Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, Clarence Kelly & Nu Cut Road, Alvin Howard, Berachah Valley, Gospel Witness, and East Kentucky Gospel Boys.
There were some folks here that I had not seen or heard before, actually I had heard them for the first time the weekend before at the Mandolin Farm Festival in Fleming County. Merle Peyton and After Midnight and Keith Prater.
Merle Peyton and After Midnight. Man! That Merle can really play that banjo. If you see Merle Peyton and After Midnight on the list anywhere try to get out and see these guys.
Keith Prater did a lot of excellent work on mandolin. He played with several different lineups over the two festivals. This guy makes the mandolin sound great and he can sing to boot. I have a CD and in fact I am listening to it as I write this. Keith sings, plays mandolin and guitar and writes some great tunes too. (Keith Prater on mandolin in above picture).
Kyle Wilson is a young guitar player who can really burn it up. That’s Kyle up there with Bluegrass Online behind Keith. He played with several different lineups at both weekends too.
If you missed the Lanny Franklin Bluegrass Festival this year try not to make the same mistake next year! There are plenty more bluegrass festivals coming up this summer and fall and I hope to see some of these folks again.
If you buy bluegrass music I would highly recommend anyone I saw at the Old Mill Bluegrass Festival. Great musicians and just down to earth friendly folks!
All the bands were great and I dig bluegrass music!
Here are just a few of the videos from the 2010 Old Mill Bluegrass Festival:
Written by D Slone, Copyright 2010
Visit the Lanny Franklin Bluegrass Festival official website
Here are some of the artists websites and profiles:
The Bartley Brothers
Billie Renee & Cumberlandgap