“New Generation” assembles at Grey Fox

One of the highlights of Merlefest this year was when several of the so-called “new generation” string bands jammed together in a special show hosted by The Duhks. Look for an even bigger gathering of these young bands at the upcoming Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (July 19-22, Ancramdale NY).

The Duhks at Merlefest
The festival has just released its stage schedule, and the new generation is all over it. For example, on Friday afternoon beginning at 1 pm, you can see The Duhks, The Infamous Stringdusters, Crooked Still and Uncle Earl one after the other. The last is listed as an Uncle Earl Jam, so expect to see members of all those bands playing together.

On Saturday, there’s an official Uncle Duster combination–that’s a merger Uncle Earl and The Infamous Stringdusters. Recently at Strawberry, the Dusters and Crooked Still collaborated in a set this blog dubbed as Still Infamous. Maybe there will also be a reprise of that grouping.

Besides those four acknowledged new-generation bands, lots more breakout young bands are in the Grey Fox lineup–The Wilders, Biscuit Burners, Bearfoot Bluegrass, The Greencards, The Waybacks and Red Stick Ramblers. Also, one of the most celebrated groups of young acoustic talent, Nickel Creek, closes the main stage on Friday night in one of the band’s final performances. Expect Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile to be on call for some of the other new generation sets.

Besides all the young talent, the festival also features newgrass superstars Sam Bush, Bela Fleck (with Abigail Washburn’s Sparrow Quartet) and Rowan & Rice, as well as some of the biggest names from the traditional side of the bluegrass spectrum–Marty Stuart, Mountain Heart, Claire Lynch, Doyle Alexander and Michael Cleveland. Dry Branch Fire Squad will play its accustomed role as festival host band.

This unparalleled lineup will give fans of all styles of bluegrass much to cheer about, but for those tracking the emergence of the new generation there is no better festival to attend this summer.

Dan Ruby, Festival Preview