Photographs by Courtesy Photo
Ricky Skaggs headlines a May 27 concert as part of Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ, which continues through May 28. Daily tickets are $63-$65 at 800-888-7277.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Silver Dollar City's Bluegrass & BBQ has won accolades for presenting the top bluegrass acts in the world. So it's funny when noted promoter D.A. Callaway, who is busy booking more than 60 bands on six stages across 24 days, says: "We don't make any attempt to define it."
"Bluegrass is a big umbrella," he says of the musical genre. "It could be music like Flatt and Scruggs played or Celtic or folk or even gypsy jazz sneaks in sometimes."
Bluegrass & BBQ
WHEN — Through May 28
WHERE — Silver Dollar City
COST — $63-$65
INFO — 800-888-7277
Callaway, who has been honored five times by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America as Bluegrass Promoter of the Year, says "bluegrass" is different from West Coast to East Coast to Florida to Minnesota. Bluegrass & BBQ was part of an evolution of music festivals at Silver Dollar City, he explains, and when it clicked with both local fans and travelers, the theme park knew it had found a winning combination. "Our basic job is to try to present something people will like."
Add a bluegrass competition for young musicians -- Youth In Bluegrass Band Contest, in its 17th year on May 26 -- and it just gets better.
"It draws a huge crowd," Callaway says. "We've got 19 bands scheduled representing 12 states, and I'll tell you what, some of the best, most accomplished players these days are young folks.
"Today's young folks growing up don't want to sing about plowing behind a mule or living in a log cabin. Today's songwriters are writing about subject matter relevant to today's young people. That's the great thing about all forms of art: Art is constantly evolving to suit the age that it sits in."
-- Becca Martin-Brown
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