When KET begins 25 hours of live coverage from the Kentucky Horse Park of the Festival of the Bluegrass on Thursday, you won’t find me pretending to be the consummate bluegrass music expert. I promise.
In fact, just like you, I’ll be more of a fan than critic or connoisseur of flat-picking guitar playing, dazzling breakdowns, and high lonesome harmony.
The Best of the Bluegrass celebration, or B.O.B., has been all over Lexington this week with great bluegrass concerts in a number of venues. To top it off, KET will present our first-ever live coverage of the Festival of the Bluegrass from the main stage at the Horse Park. You can watch online at http://www.ket.org/live/ or on TV. We start Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on KETKY, Friday at 2:30 p.m. on KET2, and Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on KET.
It’s the festival’s 40th anniversary. Craig Cornwell, KET’s director of programming and a musician himself, and I will be at the park doing interviews and introductions while the bands set up for their performances.
If you’ve never been to a music festival of any kind, this is a great opportunity. This festival will offer you a real flavor of the performers and their devotion to a form of American roots music that can trace its heritage back to the 18th century.
Along with three- and four-part harmonies that blend together like a finely aged Kentucky bourbon, you’ll find some talented amateur pickers and singers who won’t make it up on the stage. They gather around campfires at the park to jam until the wee hours, entertaining themselves and others who join in during the evening.
If you pause for a rendition of “Blue Moon of Kentucky” you might notice an outdoor grill with a chicken perched on a can of beer over the coals. Don’t be shy—ask for a bite of beer-can chicken that will melt in your mouth.
If you’re out at the Kentucky Horse Park Thursday, Friday, or Saturday for the Festival of the Bluegrass, stop by the KET interview tent and say hello. You won’t find better American music, friendlier people, or tastier beer-infused chicken anywhere. What a way to start the summer!