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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Bluegrass festival scheduled

  • — One of bluegrass music’s most popular bands, Dry Branch Fire Squad, takes the stage on Saturday, July 27.
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    — One of bluegrass music’s most popular bands, Dry Branch Fire Squad, takes the stage on Saturday, July 27.
    The performance, which begins at 6 p.m., will be held at the Wildflower Amphitheater on the grounds of the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, White Mills.
    With a career spanning over 25 years and a baker’s dozen albums, Rounder recording artists Dry Branch Fire Squad have become an institution in American acoustic music, renowned for its spry mix of front-porch standards, modern ballads, and the old-time sounds from which bluegrass first sprang.
    Inspired by a fierce and uncompromising loyalty to the most traditional aspects of bluegrass and southern gospel music, Dry Branch Fire Squad is fueled by the musical vision and cultural commentary of Ron Thomason.
    There is another side to this band that must be heard and this other side is humor. While all participate in the humor in one way or another, the master is Thomason. His ability to direct an audience is amazing. Under his direction full barrooms grow so quiet you can hear the soda in your glass fizz or audiences become so convulsed with laughter that minutes pass before the show can continue,” writes Joe Wilson, chairman of the National Council for Traditional Arts.
    A native of southwest Virginia, Thomason founded the Dry Branch Fire Squad in 1976.
    To date, the band has recorded over 21 projects and performed at the most prestigious acoustic music venues and festivals in North America. Most bluegrass observers agree that Dry Branch’s current line-up is one of its strongest ever. In addition to Ron Thomason on mandolin, guitar and lead vocals; other group members are Brian Aldridge on guitar, mandolin and harmony vocals; Tom Boyd on banjo, Dobro and harmony vocals; and Danny Russell on bass and harmony vocals.
    Dry Branch Fire Squad tours from coast to coast, appearing at some of the most prestigious music events in North America including the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in Gettysburg; the Strawberry Park Festival in Preston, Conn.; and the Festival of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Ky.
    Page 2 of 2 - The group also hosts the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (formerly the Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival), the largest bluegrass festival in the Northeast as well as the High Mountain Hay Fever Festival in Westcliffe, Colo., one of the fastest growing all acoustic festivals in the U.S.
    The Honesdale National Bank sponsors this concert.
    General admission tickets are $22; students 6 to 18 years are $11. There is no charge for children under six.
    The general admission performance begins at 6 p.m. at the Wildflower Amphitheater on the grounds of the beautiful Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary in White Mills, between Hawley and Honesdale.
    Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and pack a picnic to enjoy the pristine setting. Light beverages will be for sale on the Sanctuary grounds.
    Upcoming concerts in the Wildflower concert series include: Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul (special $29 ticket), Tizer, and Susan Winters.
    In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be held at the air-conditioned auditorium at the Wallenpaupack Area High School.
    All performers and programs are subject to change. Tickets can be purchased at the gate the evening of the performance and in advance at www.wildflowermusic.org or by phone, 570-253-5500. For additional information and directions, call 570-253-5500 (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), email music01@ptd.net, or visit online at www.wildflowermusic.org.
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