The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is pleased to continue its tradition of bringing some of the finest talent in Bluegrass to the stage of the Shenandoah Ford Bluegrass Festival, held this year on Sunday, May 4th, 2014, at 10:00am, at the Festival’s Sprint Event Tent, on the campus of the Winchester Medical Center. In fact, with this year’s line-up featuring Rhonda Vincent, Balsam Range, Country Current and local favorites, Bud’s Collective, the Festival has actually upped the ante and is presenting one of its strongest line-ups ever.
Rhonda Vincent is a fiery vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter who has been dubbed “the new Queen of Bluegrass” by The Wall Street Journal. She is currently on tour in support of her latest release, the two-disc album Only Me, which came out on January 28th of this year. In addition to receiving seven consecutive “Female Vocalist of the Year” awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), Rhonda was also named the IBMA’s 2001 “Entertainer of the Year;” and, was honored as Co-Writer of the 2004 IBMA “Song of the Year” for Kentucky Borderline. Vincent was also nominated for a 2006 Grammy award for “Best Bluegrass Album” for Ragin’ Live, as well as a double nomination in 2007 for “Best Bluegrass Album” for All American Bluegrass Girl. She has also been Grammy-nominated for “Best Country Collaboration with Vocals” for Midnight Angel featuring Bobby Osborne. Rhonda Vincent continues to reside at the top of her genre!
Balsam Range consists of five outstanding acoustic musicians and singers from Haywood County, North Carolina. Their band name was adopted from the range of mountains that surround part of their home county where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge. Tim Surrett plays bass and resonator guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals. Buddy Melton sings tenor and plays the fiddle. Caleb Smith sings and plays guitar. Darren Nicholson is a gifted mandolin player and harmony singer. Marc Pruett plays traditional three-finger banjo. In 2010, the band was an IBMA “Emerging Artist of the Year” nominee. In 2011, they were once again nominated for “Emerging Artist of the Year,” were nominated for “Album of the Year” for Trains I Missed; and, won “Song of the Year” for Trains I Missed. In 2013, they won the IBMA “Album of the Year” for Papertown.
And, as the Creoles would say, for some lagniappe, for that “little something extra;” [or, roughly in English, a bonus]: the U. S. Navy’s premiere country-bluegrass ensemble, Country Current, was set to appear at the 2013 Festival; but, the appearance was cancelled due to the “sequestration blues” of last spring. The Rhonda Vincent/Balsam Range line-up was already in place for this year when the Festival learned that, for this spring, it would be possible to add Country Current back into an already spectacular line-up! The seven members of Country Current return to the Festival under the direction of Senior Chief Musician Keith Arneson. The ensemble employs musicians from diverse backgrounds with extensive recording and touring experience.
Opening the Festival will be Bud’s Collective which was officially formed in December of 2012. The lead singer and guitar player, Buddy Dunlap, has been “collecting” his band mates for the last eight years. With his brother, Jack, on mandolin, they play a mix of original material, traditional bluegrass, and other favorites.
Scheduled Order of Bands: 10:00am: Bud’s Collective; 11:00am: Balsam Range; 12:00noon: Rhonda Vincent; 1:00pm: Country Current; 2:00pm: Balsam Range [2nd set]; and, 3:00pm: Rhonda Vincent [2nd set].
Ticket cost is $25.00, available for purchase at the Official Souvenir Store & Ticket Outlet, opening Monday, March 31st at 10am, located at the Railroad District at 302 North Cameron Street, Winchester, VA. Or, on our web site at the Official Online Store.