Good pickin’ ahead: Travelin’ McCourys headline 2013 bluegrass festival

-A A +A
By Stephen Lega



Bluegrass fans aren’t the only ones who may be traveling for the 2013 Kentucky Bluegrass Music Kickoff.

The Travelin’ McCourys are this year’s headlining performers.

The Travelin’ McCourys include two sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo. They are joined by Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on the bass.

“It’s Del McCoury’s band minus Del,” said Brad Lanham, president of the Kentucky Fellowship of Musicians, which has hosted the kickoff since its inception in 2006.

The kickoff will be held Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26, at Marion County High School.

The Heart of Kentucky Quilt Show (see sidebar) will be held in conjunction with the bluegrass festival on Saturday morning at the high school.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 for the Friday evening show. This will include performances by Dix River Crossing, Marion County’s own Honeysuckle String Band, Bluegrass Express and the return of Flatt Lonesome.

Flatt Lonesome, which is based in Florida, performed at last year’s bluegrass festival. The following week, they won the 2012 International Bluegrass Band Championship, which was held in conjunction with the SPBGMA awards. SPBGMA is the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America.

Gary “Biscuit” Davis, who has been part of the festival since the beginning, is also back. Davis won the National Banjo Championship for the fourth time in 2012.

He will be playing with Roy Curry, the three-time national flat-picking champion.

Davis and Curry will play both Friday and Saturday evening.

Davis, Curry, Flatt Lonesome, the Kentucky Fellowship of Musicians and clogger Melanie Belfiore will also participate in the Bluegrass in the Schools program Jan. 25.

Musicians of all skill levels have the opportunity to participate in workshops Saturday morning led by Curry, Davis and members of Flatt Lonesome.

A new and free event will be held Saturday afternoon in the high school cafeteria. A singer/songwriter competition is open to anyone 15 and older either individually or in a band.

“We’re hoping we’ll get everything from bluegrass to James Taylor,” Lanham said.

The winner will receive $125 prize and have the opportunity to perform Saturday evening during the dinner show. Up to four excellence in music awards may also be awarded, Lanham said.

“We’re just trying to add more diversity to our festival,” he said.

The main event is the Saturday dinner show, and last week, Lanham said tickets are going fast.

“We’re a little over 90 percent sold out on the dinner show. If you want tickets, you better get ‘em quick,” he said.

The dinner show will include performances by Flatt Lonesome, the comedic musical duo The Moron Brothers, Flatt Lonesome, Davis and Curry, fan favorite The Hagar’s Mountain Boys, and The Travelin’ McCourys.


Ticket information

Admission to Friday evening’s performances are $10 for anyone 12 and older. Children 11 and under are admitted free. However, tickets to Saturday night’s show include admission on Friday.

A soup dinner will also be offered Friday evening for $8. This is separate from the admission price.

The doors at the high school will open at 9 a.m. for the Saturday morning workshops. The workshops will begin at 9:30 a.m. and are $20 per class.

The singer/songwriter competition at 2 p.m. Saturday in the high school cafeteria is free to enter and free to attend.

The doors to the Roby Dome will open at 6 p.m. for dinner ticket holders, with dinner to be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the Saturday evening dinner and show are $49 each.

The doors will open at 7:10 p.m. for general admission ticket holders. General admission tickets for Saturday night are $25 each.

Concessions will be available both days.

To purchase tickets call the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission at (270) 692-0021.

More information about the festival and applications for the workshops and the singer-songwriter competition can be found online at