Situated in the heart of bluegrass country in Owensboro, Kentucky, the annual ROMP festival had a fantastic line up of traditional and progressive bluegrass and even some country. We caught two days (and were sad to miss the last day) and heard several favorites: the Stringdusters, Town Mountain and Del McCoury Band.
LeeAnn Womack brought the country, with some traditional folk mixed in.
Bryan Sutton’s band is a tight and talented group. Put him on your must see list.
Earls of Leicester were a trip and also a must see for any fan of 1950s and 60s bluegrass. Their cover of all things Flatt and Scruggs featured songs I grew up with. When they broke into Fox on the Run, almost everyone in the crowd sang along and knew all the words. We used to sing it on bus trips in high school.
Town Mountain was heading to the Grand Ole Opry the next night for their Opry debut! Congratulations guys!
A quick note to say Robert Greer, the guitarist and lead singer for Town Mountain, is the brother of my friend William Greer. Great to watch his career doing so well!
Del McCoury and his talented band was fun as usual. Del always has a smile and a good time. I especially love the request portion of his show. He laughs, claims not to remember songs and then dives into a fan favorite or a little nugget from the archives.
I always love the Infamous Stringdusters and their late night set had the crowd dancing and having a great time! Andy Falco’s guitar work is phenomenal.
Travis Book’s vocals are smooth as silk. Jeremy Garrett can rip the fiddle and bring the high lonesome sound. Andy Hall’s dobro is sometimes psychedelic while honoring the old school. Chris Pandolfi’s banjo is precise and creative at the same time. Combined their mastery comes together for an energetic show like few others.
Audience at their show is a mix of dedicated fans and those who were just exposed – and saying “wow!” they are soon to be dedicated fans too.
In addition to the festival Owensboro is home to the International Bluegrass Music Museum. All the history of bluegrass, plus a great gift shop/music shop. Admission is free with the festival ticket too!
There was so much more! I was fortunate to cover the festival for Bluegrass Today so check out my full review over there.