Festival of Flowers Brings Bluegrass Show to Uptown
June 19, 2008
By JAMIE MADEWELL
Index-Journal Staff Writer
Greenwood, SC - The Festival of Flowers Bluegrass Festival is Saturday, and along with two local bands, two nationally recognized bands will take the stage.
OverDrive, featuring Bob Jennings, his two oldest sons Matt and Zac, Jeff Barnett and Jim Wingate, will kick off the show at 6 p.m.
- "We are going to play more traditional bluegrass this year," Bob Jennings said. "We usually do a good mix of bluegrass and what we call 'new grass,' but with Jeff and Jim we are going to keep it more traditional."
- The Bluegrass Festival will be beside the Inn on the Square, but is going to be different from the Live After 5 shows.
- "We're going to pull the stage onto South Court Street next to the Inn on the Square side entrance," Jennings said. "This way, we'll have more room for a lot more people to come and enjoy the music."
Jennings advises guests to bring their own chairs or blankets. Not only will the restaurants in Uptown Greenwood by open, but Stump's BBQ will be serving barbecue plates and Coca-Cola will be providing soft drinks and water.
- "We really encourage people to come early and admire the topiary displays and just enjoy themselves," Jennings said.
- Overdrive will play for about 45 minutes and then New Dixie Storm will start at 7 p.m..
The Dan Tyminski Band 9:30 PM
Ronnie Bowman 8 PM
New Dixie Storm 7 PM
"Our group is made up of people all over the Upstate of South Carolina," said Trey Ward, of New Dixie Storm. "We have been together for eight years and we were the official Bluegrass Band of South Carolina in 2006. We're also on ETV all the time on the 'Bluegrass Express' program."
New Dixie Storm plays traditional and contemporary bluegrass music and is composed of dobro player Glen Crain, Scott Hawkins on banjo, bassist Jeff Hayes, rhythm guitar player Jeremy McCollum and Ward on mandolin.
“We used to be the only entertainment as far as the bluegrass part goes, for the past five years or so,” Ward said. “With Bob’s (Jennings) help, we have been able to turn it into a big event.”
The cost to put on the Bluegrass Festival is more than $18,000, and it is raised by sponsors and private donors. The money raised is to keep the event free to the public, and Ward said, “we want to keep it that way.”
“We expanded it some last year and had a great response,” Jennings said. “So they asked us if we could do it again and we have expanded more. We’re hoping to have a lot of people there.”
New Dixie Storm recently played at Blue Bird Cafe in May and was invited back. Also, a song Ward wrote has been recorded by Randy Cohrs and the Lites, who played at last year’s Bluegrass Festival.
“He just recorded a song I wrote and it is being used for the soundtrack of a PBS documentary on the Savannah River site,” Ward said.
Following New Dixie Storm is Ronnie Bowman at 8 p.m.
“He is known as bluegrass’s most tender voice,” Jennings said. “He is an icon in the bluegrass industry and has written two number one hit songs.”
The songs are “It’s Getting Better All The Time,” sung by Brooks & Dunn, and “Never Wanted Nothing More,” sung by Kenny Chesney.
“He is an act out of Nashville and has won a Male Vocalist award through the International Bluegrass Music Association, or IBMA,” Jennings said. “He is a phenomenal writer and a great performer onstage.”
The final act will be the Dan Tyminski Band at 9:30 p.m. Dan Tyminski is a member of the most successful bluegrass group of the modern era, Grammy-award winning Alison Krauss and Union Station, and was the singing voice of George Clooney in the acclaimed “O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?” movie. In 2000, Tyminski accumulated awards from the Country Music Association for single of the year, as well as a Grammy for album of the year.
His band consists of Adam Steffey on mandolin, Barry Bales on bass, Ron Stewart on banjo/fiddle, Justin Moses on dobro/banjo/fiddle and Dan on guitar.
“His single of the year was 'Man of Constant Sorrow’ from the movie 'O’Brother, Where Art Thou?’ where his band was known as the Soggy Bottom Boys,” Jennings said. “And most of his band now is what makes up Union Station. He has won either 10 or 11 Grammys and is just an amazing musician.”