The first night of Fresh Grass featured the weather: Brrrrrrr! Cold!
More than a couple thousand intrepid New Englanders and other Bluegrass lovers braved the elements and connected to something warmer -music in community. Oh, and they also got a helpful boost from multiple full bars, cannabis and, my favorite, hot food! My choices included fiery hot grilled cheese and sandwich with ham and hot miso soup!
The evening began with three new pieces dubbed “Bluegrass Concertos”. These featured three artists, Cornerstone, Sierra Hull and, finally, the always-wonderful, Jerry Douglas. Sierra Hull is “one of the best mandolin players on earth,” according to many and her playing was agile and precise. My favorite pieces were those offered by the other players, though. Cornerstone is made up of Berklee alums who killed it with their new concerto and dobro player, Jerry Douglas, is always entertaining and pleasant to my ears.
On the MainStage, I enjoyed Miko Marks, a great Bay Area singer who connected with the audience not just with her soulful voice, but with her sincere, vulnerable and electrifying stage presence.
The Old Crow Medicine Show was on next. These guys are real pros and their 20+ years of playing together showed up in their performance. Their show is circus-lik, extremely high energy and choreographed, something that turned me off at Merlefest, but I saw them in a better light this night. Part of it is their great sound and lights and, again, their willingness to connect with the crowd between songs.
Returning home to the camper, we greeted Bradley who now appears to be over his upset tummy. This morning, the two of us took a long walk in the healing Berkshire woods. He found an old baseball to pull part just as he did in his puppy years. And me – I found my easeful joy among the trees