Scott Vickery’s personal history of bluegrass

I can actually attribute a lot of my bluegrass history to Grey Fox.

Kim & Scott VickeryAs a kid I definitely loved seeing the Dillards on Andy Griffith and Flatt and Scruggs on the Bev Hillbillies but as a musician I started with folk – got my first guitar when I was about 12 and loved to play and sing Dylan, John Sebastian, Simon and Garfunkel, Beatles, etc., through my teenage years. I lived in Santa Cruz California for several years in the late 70’s and got heavy into jazz at a small college in Aptos, CA called Cabrillo. From there I moved to New Hampshire with my California girl and got involved in a few bands – mostly jazz, classic rock, and blues.

A small theater in Keene, NH had live music and one night my wife and I went to see Seldom Scene (I think this is what happened). We really enjoyed it and they mentioned they would be playing at a festival in New York called Winterhawk – I think a friend mentioned it a well.

1989 was our first festival. Kim and I fell in love with Winterhawk and the Rothvoss Farm that first year – my memory is a little flaky and I’m sure I’m combining a few early fests.. but I remember seeing Alison Krauss singing Midnight Rider and celebrating her 18th birthday, New Grass Revival, Hot Rize and Red Knuckles, Tony Rice with Norman Blake, Peter Rowan. Oh man I loved that hill!

Bluegrass remained a once a year thing for several years. One festival, probably around 1999 I happened to catch the guys from Buddy Merriam’s band jamming near our camp. They really knew their stuff – picking and vocal harmony – it was that year I decided to seriously learn to play bluegrass and participate in the field picking.

I figured that since I knew jazz, bluegrass would be easy to nail – I was mistaken. I have been consumed by bluegrass ever since. I’ve been in a couple of bluegrass bands and go to a bunch of festivals every year. Grey Fox is definitely the highlight of my family’s summer – actually our year. My kids were weaned on it and wouldn’t think of missing it.

We start a list each year at the festival and plan the whole year for the next one.

Only 51 days till the liner party and then the festival. Can’t wait!!

— Scott