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Expect a bluegrass buffet at county lake

Staff writer

Bullfrogs and cicadas won’t be the only creatures singing at the county lake come mid-June.

With six hootin’ and a-hollerin’ musical acts on the bill, a battle of the bands, and an open mic, Bluegrass at the Lake has the potential to be the biggest and most entertaining incarnation of itself at its 10-year history.

Last year, 700 to 1,000 attended the event at the rustic lakeside venue. This year the free festivity could draw even more.

“Word has gotten out,” event organizer Bob McCurdy said. “This is the first year we’ve had six bands. We’re hoping to hit about 1,500 people.”

After a free open mic June 16, performing begins at noon June 17 with a battle of the bands, the winner of which will receive $150 and a chance to perform at next year’s event. McCurdy said small prizes awarded for second and third place.

“The open mic is open to anybody and any style of music,” he said. “But to win the battle of the bands they will need to play bluegrass-style music.”

Organizer Lindsey Marshall said each band performing after the battle of bands would bring something different to this year’s sonic smorgasbord.

“While they all can be considered ‘bluegrass,’ in my opinion they offer different genres,” she said. “Hopefully they will have a little something for everybody.”

Bandid, which plays traditional around-the-campfire covers and original music, will take the swimming-area stage at 5 p.m. June 17, followed by last year’s battle-of-the-bands winner Prospect Bluegrass, at 6 p.m.

A family-friendly acoustic sextet with a few respectfully raunchy twists, The Skirts will play at 7 p.m. Originals are the group’s repertoire, but renditions of popular rock and folk songs also will be performed.

Americana roots band Five Ton Farm will play fast-paced and intense songs of sorrow and joy, murder ballads, bluegrass party music, and some plain ol’ funny stuff at 8 p.m.

Taking cues from World War II era blues bellowers, Tyler Gregory, a solo artist who sometimes shares the stage with other musicians, will strum his guitar, pick his banjo, and tramp on his tambourine-accented stomp-box while singing original steam-powered melodies at 9 p.m.

A couple of self-proclaimed “regular guys” who reportedly take pride in the their craft as mechanics, tradesmen, song-writers, and musicians, the Fast Food Junkies will blend badass with bluegrass at 10 p.m., drawing from a catalogue of more than 80 original, lively, and traditional bluegrass songs, whaling on guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica.

Multiple food vendors, a silent auction, and a corn-hole tournament will also be featured.

More information is available from the lake office at (620) 382-3240.

Last modified June 1, 2017

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