Come Thursday, “six of the finest bluegrass bands in Texas” will be “rosining” up the bow and “picking” on the banjo with the start of the seventh annual Texas Bluegrass Celebration.
The three-night celebration will begin for bluegrass aficionados who want a taste of what’s to come at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with free beans and cornbread at the Depot Plaza and for dessert, there’s gonna be a free-for-all jam session at the Brownwood Coliseum. Following will be two of the weekend’s six bands, Triple L and Digger Davis and Tombstone.
The Bluegrass Celebration will continue at 5:30 p.m. on Friday with the previous night’s two bands along with three others; Saltgrass, Tennessee Valley Authority, and IIIrd Generation. The sixth band, Clear River will join the rest in Saturday’s activities which start at 10 a.m. All three evenings’ events will end at 10 p.m.
Costs for the weekend are one- day tickets for $5 on Thursday, $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. Fans also have the option of a three-day ticket for $25, available only on Thursday evening.
Triple L Band, around since it began at a local amateur country music show in 2000, is a hard driving, traditional, bluegrass band made up of the Miller family which includes Len and Amy Miller and their sons Lance, Landon and Levi Miller. The band will perform 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, 7:25 p.m. on Friday, and 1:10 p.m. and 4:55 p.m on Saturday.
Digger Davis is a former State of Texas Banjo Champion and played professionally for 18 years until August 2004 when his wife Jeannie and their now 17-year-old son Jonathon and 14-year-old daughter Jamie formed Digger Davis and Tombstone. The band will perform 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, 5:45 p.m. on Friday and 1:55 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. on Saturday.
Based in Lake Jackson, Saltgrass plays traditional and conetemporary bluegrass and tries to include both traditional and contemporary elements in every performance. Saltgrass will perform 6:35 p.m. on Friday and 3:25 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. on Saturday.
In 1972, Hank Harrison and his brothers Jeff and Scott founded the Tennessee Valley Authority Bluegrass band which has won numerous awards including the prestigious National Bluegrass Band Championship in Louisville, Ky. Tennessee Valley Authority will perform 8:15 p.m. on Friday and 4:10 p.m. and 8:35 p.m. on Saturday.
Mark Phillips and his father Wayne Phillips formed IIIrd Generation band in 1995 and evolved it into an award-winning young and energetic bluegrass and bluegrass-gospel band which has performed all over the United States and Canada. IIIrd Generation will perform 9:05 p.m. on Friday and 12:25 p.m. and 9:25 p.m. on Saturday.
The final band of the weekend will be Clear River which formed in October 2005 and features tight lead and harmony volcals along with hard driving instrumentation and a warm, friendly stage presence. Clear River will perform 2:40 p.m. and 7:05 p.m on Saturday.
The Texas Bluegrass Celebration began as a fund-raiser to save the Brownwood State Park at Lake Brownwood more than five years ago and has continued with the help of the Early Chamber of Commerce, as an annual tradition and celebration for the Brownwood/Early area residents with a portion of the proceeds still benefitting Lake Brownwood and the Brownwood State Park.