Saturday’s event in Whirlpool Centennial Park dodged the rain for a growing crowd that cheered YMSB, Cummings, LaFarge, Appleseed Collective and The Grascals. Get the recap, photos at Local Spins.
Despite concerns throughout the week, the rain held off at the sixth annual BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival at Whirlpool Centennial Park in St. Joseph on Saturday, leaving a healthy-sized crowd happy and dry.
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After opening sets by bluesman Albert Cummings, legendary Tennesseepickers The Grascals and Ann Arbor’s genre-spanning Appleseed Collective, the crowd was treated to the eclectic sounds of swinging Americana phenom Pokey LaFarge, who with his riverboat sound seemed right at home on the shores of Lake Michigan.
“I don’t know if they told you I was bluegrass,” the charismatic LaFarge exclaimed between tunes at one point. “I mean I’ll be about anything for you, but I’m not bluegrass!”
The charming artist kissed a female fan’s hand mid-song, played with his full band and then went solo toward the end of his set.
And while LaFarge might not epitomize bluegrass, Saturday’s headliner, Yonder Mountain String Band, most definitely fit that bill, delighting the crowd by reaching deep back into their bag for classic cuts such as “High on a Hilltop” and “Left me in a hole” while also pulling out newer routinely played songs like “Black Sheep.”
The Colorado band was playing without the services of fiddle player Allie Kral — who was on maternity leave after giving birth two weeks ago — and were joined for the set by Grascals’ fiddle player Adam Gaines.
PHOTO GALLERY: BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival
Photos by Ryan Boldrey