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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

"For the past nine years, Warren Hellman [local investment banker] has been giving the Bay Area a wonderful present: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

With fantastic musicians like Emmy Lou Harris, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Hazel Dickens, and countless more, Warren has put on concerts enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people. And since he pays for the event out of his own pocket, there are no corporate logos plastered on the stages or high priced tickets to contend with.

The result is an amazing three days where, I swear, everyone is smiling and happy."
Frances Dinkelspiel, San Francisco Chronicle Complete article here

Yes, indeed.

A lot of people gathered up in the Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco, to attend Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the free annual music festival featuring mostly - but not strictly - Bluegrass and Folk musicians.

Musicians such as Ricky Scazz and the Kentucky Thunders, Lyle Lovett, Emmilou Harris, and many, many others, showed up.

David Holt (left) and Doc Watson (right) (photo above), HSB 2009
Doc Watson (left) and his grandson (right) (photo above), HSB 2009
Doc Watson, (photo above) HSB 2009

And I showed up to listen to living legend Doc Watson, who has been flatpicking guitar since long before I was born. I discovered Doc Watson when I was growing up in France, and instantly fell in love with the guitar style, the voice, and the songs.

What can I say, it was a PRIVILEGE to see him in person after all these years (I can't believe he's still playing that way at age 86!) and a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Here is a little video sample of last year's performance. And here is a little documentary (3.41) including Doc's interpretation of Walk On Boy

* * * *
Additional links and resources:

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Official Website, with artists line-up and FAQ here

More photos here

(Thank you for all your comments on my previous post. I will respond in the near future)

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Blogger AphotoAday said...

Thanks for that video... Great photos too!

5:35 AM  
Blogger Patty said...

Sounds like you not only had a fun time, you captured a lot of nice photos.

Here in our little town we had our yearly Fireman's parade and chicken BBQ, which the chicken wasn't like they usually have and it wasn't good.

Then in the evening one daughter, granddaughter (9) and myself went into Dayton to the Convention Center to see When the Stars Come Out. Another daughter and her partner entered the dance contest put on for PFLAG. They had 3 judges, but the way they actually win is the one who makes the most money for the group, mainly by selling tickets. Most of the dancers did very well. They had a dance instructor show them some basic steps, and they all had to practice on their own. We were really surprised but our daughter and her partner won first place. This is the first year they have ever competed in anything like this. Our daughter and her partner have been together for 12 years this past Sept.

Happy rest of the week.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Patty said...

Also thanks for your visits and comments.

7:40 AM  
Blogger claude said...

Eh bé ! Il a les doigts encore agiles et la voix assurée pour son âge, C'est super. Mon Chéri et moi aimons bien ce genre de musique et nous nous régalons quand nous sommes aux Etats Unis.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous barbara said...

Merci, je ne connaissais pas, ça a l'air très bien comme musique, je vais faire quelques recherches pour trouver d'autres titres de ce gars, si d'autre part, tu peux m'indiquer des chanteurs ou groupes dans le même style, vas -y! j'adore découvrir et j'adore la guitare.
D'ailleurs tu dois connaitre une chanteuse de San Francisco, je crois, c'est Emily Jane White, j'ai eu la chance de la voir l'année passée dans ma petite ville de Vendôme peu de temps après avoir découvert sa musique. Merci encore, A plus.

1:51 PM  
Blogger ujima said...

Oh, THANK YOU!! How I LOVE Doc Watson! He came to Philadelphia so many times in the 60s and beyond so I've been lucky to enjoy him (and his son) performing. You know I'm going to put one of his records on when I get off of here. Thank you, Tomate!!

1:18 PM  

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