LIVE: FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, 9/19-21/14

October 21st, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson, Bender Mellon

The fourth annual FreshGrass festival was a rousing success at MASS MoCA in North Adams last month. It’s truly amazing how quickly the festival has grown since its debut in 2011 when only a few hundred fans were in attendance.

Of course, much of its success has to do with the stellar line-up that graced the three main stages of the museum’s grounds. This year the three-day bluegrass and roots music festival featured a mind-bending amount of music, with more than 40 bands throughout the weekend, including Emmylou Harris, Railroad Earth, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Infamous Stringdusters, Valerie June, the Duhks, Alison Brown, the David Grisman Sextet, Sam Amidon, Cricket Tell the Weather, the Novel Ideas, the Flying Garbanzos and many, many more.

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The fest also highlighted the local homegrown music scene, as well, with performances by the Gibson Brothers, Ramblin Jug Stompers and Eastbound Jesus.

The fun, family festival was rounded out with plenty of other activities, including instrument- and industry-focused workshops, luthier demonstrations, Berkshire-fresh food and spirits, downtown camping, family programming.

After only three years in existence, FreshGrass was nominated earlier this year for Best Bluegrass event by the folks at the International Bluesgrass Music Association. It didn’t win, but don’t be surprised if it’s in the running again next year…

SECOND OPINIONS:
Derek Gentile’s review and photographs at The Berkshire Eagle
Glenn Weiser’s review at Metroland
Alexander Stern’s review at The Times Union
Additional Bender Mellon photographs at Sounding Stone
Suze Uttal’s review and photographs of Day Two at Suze Reviews the Blues
Suze Uttal’s review and photographs of Day Three at Suze Reviews the Blues

NOTE: If you missed ’em at FreshGrass, you’ll have another chance to catch the fabulous husband-and-wife banjo duo of Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn when they take the stage at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at 8pm on Friday (October 24). Tickets are $25, $34 & 42.

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Twisted Pine (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Twisted Pine (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Cricket Tell The Weather (photo by Bender Melon)

Cricket Tell The Weather (photo by Bender Melon)

The Pop-Up schedule (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

The Pop-Up schedule (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Ramblin Jug Stompers (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Ramblin Jug Stompers (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Sam Amidon (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Sam Amidon (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

The Duhks (photo by Bender Melon)

The Duhks (photo by Bender Melon)