The River City Bluegrass Festival

The River City Bluegrass Festival

The River City Bluegrass Festival

For Pacific Northwesterners, this weekend is great way to get out of the rain and get into some of the best bluegrass around.  From Friday, January 7, through Sunday, January 9, 2011, the River City Music Festival will be jamming Portland, Oregon.

The line up, while not as luminous as Telluride, or Bean Blossom, is still impressive, considering that this festival is not held in the summer.  Topping the list of performers this year are the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Guy Clark, Tim O’Brien, the Infamous Stringdusters and festival regulars, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.  Other northwestern and Oregon native bands will also be performing.  These will include the Macrae Sisters, and the Bluegrass Regulators.

Additionally, there will be a number of workshops going on Saturday, and a full day workshop called “Chick’s School of Bluegrass.”  It runs from 9 AM to 4 PM on Friday.

This festival has moved from the downtown civic center to the Red Lion Inn on Jantzen Beach.  This proves to be a lovely venue, but be prepared to have to make choices about how you spend your time during the festival.  Performances are running neck in neck in other areas of the hotel.  Plan your day well.

This is a small festival.  Fans frequently call out favorite songs and bands will frequently banter with the folks they recognize, and those who are loud enough to garner attention.  The other great part of this festival is that artists are frequently out milling about after the play.  It is a great way to express appreciation, ask for an autograph, or, with luck have your photo taken with one of your favorite musicians.

Have a great weekend!

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