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Attending Bluegrass First Class at the Asheville Crowne Plaza Resort is like getting to sit at the adult table for the first time

By: Erika Rasmussen
Photography by Jerry Friend


It'd be hard to go over all the highlights of the weekend, both big and small. It's the subtleties that make this such a unique experience. Just walking from the main stage to the showcase stage involves the treat of passing first floor balcony patios filled with attendees who've broken out in impromptu jam sessions, surrounded by tailgating observers. In this Bluegrass inception, the audience members become performers, and their fellow conference goers are now watching them.


Upon arriving at the showcase stage, we have the pleasure of enjoying the most gorgeous "side venue" I've ever seen. Tall walls of stone create a corner nook that's made for this high level of Bluegrass.

The main stage takes this resort to another place. The painted mountain backdrop offers the most beautiful framing for the most beautiful music I've heard in a long time.

One of the more memorable main stage performances for me was Flatt Lonesome. The twins entertain the audience with their unique brand of humor. And that's in between their songs which leave me tapping my boot and grinning. My favorite is probably their cover of Don Williams' "Lay Down Beside Me". This classic only becomes more hauntingly enchanting in this serene setting.


Another cover highlight of the weekend, for me, is Seldom Scene's version of "Sitting On Top of the World". This is one my favorite blues songs and I'm always happy to hear a Bluegrass twist on it. Seldom Scene does not disappoint. I always enjoy how hearing other bands and genres cover songs I love expands my music appreciation overall. I'm tapping my boot again and picking up lyrics and chord changes and little nuances I hadn't noticed before.

Dailey & Vincent closed Saturday night with "The Hills of Caroline", a song that was made for Asheville if ever there was one. You get so wrapped up in the song and the mountain backdrop, you forget that the mountains aren't real.

After the weekend is over, I head back to the real world and the usual shows I attend with their boisterous crowds and dirty floors. But I know that if I behave, I'll get invited back to these classy events at the grown-ups' table again.


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