Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Brightness and crispness dominated the weather and the music Sunday at the Chickahominy campground near Williamsburg where about 2,000 people were gathered for the second day of a bluegrass festival.
The Country Gentlemen, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, the Seldom Scene and Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass each did four shows in the two days. Jimmy Martin and Sunny Mountain Boys arrived late Saturday because of bus trouble and did a double show Saturday night.
Each group performed excellently, mixing their old and new material well. They answered many requests, properly made before they went on stage, and the sets all moved well, leaving the audience screaming for more.
To the credit of the festival management, there were encores and the shows stayed on schedule.
John Duffey and crew were in rare form and the crowd came to its feet with a roar as the show ended. Emcee Gary Henderson of WAMU-FM could not deny that one, and the scene came back for one more.
For many who had not seen Flatt this festival season, it was a shock to see him sitting throughout his show, looking frail and at times detached. Reportedly fully recovered from open heart surgery, Flatt now has an inner ear disorder that makes him dizzy when he stands. But his voice was strong and he did many of his classics this weekend.
Winners of Saturday night's contest were Both Sides of Grass from Waverly, Va., first; Swamp Grass from the Newport News area, second; and the Conestoga Valley Boys from Pennsyvania, third.
This first-time festival should be repeated in the same way next year. I was well-booked and well-run, a fine place for both bluegrass families and field pickers to spend a weekend.