Western North Carolina has a well known reputation of aesthetic beauty, down home people, and an ever expanding culture of progressive artists and musicians. Blue Bear Mountain Campground will be hosting their 5th annual Blue Bear Music Festival on September 7-9, celebrating the bounties of the Blue Ridge. Nestled between the mountain town of Boone, North Carolina and Elk Knob State Park, they provide the perfect secluded mountain retreat for artists and music lovers alike. The intimacy of the festival offers unique collaborations and spontaneous late-night campfire sets, making for once-in-a-lifetime experiences with friends and family.
Headlining Friday night will be Blue Bear veterans Sol Driven Train, as well as The Steel Wheels, who have forged a following in the Blue Ridge with performances at MerleFest as well as hosting their own festival, Red Wing Roots Festival, that invites a similar array of artists. Fresh off their latest album Wild As We Came Here, this band is sure to be on fire.
Saturday brings the honored presence of Larry Keel, another Blue Bear veteran along with bassist Jenny Keel and mandolinist Jared Poole. As described by Boone’s own “Midnight Mayor,” John Rush, “Larry is one of the best flat pickers alive, writing songs about Blue Ridge moonshine and little green men at the same time.” Along with leading his band The Larry Keel Experience, he will be joining long time friends, Acoustic Syndicate for a unique “Cluster Pluck” set after they each play a set of their own Saturday night.
The lineup continues with the legendary Darrell Scott Bluegrass Band, Tim Carter, The Josh Daniel/Mark Schimick Project, South Hill Banks, Handlebar Betty, John Gillon and many more.
Check out the schedule and tickets at musicfestatbluebearmountain.com or by calling 828-406-4226.
Article by William Crowell