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Bluegrass To Fill 4-H Camp

By Staff | Aug 20, 2014

Those pining for some toe-tapping bluegrass this weekend will need to look no further than the Wetzel County 4-H Camp, as the ninth annual Veterans Bluegrass Festival takes over the grounds Aug. 22-23.

Friday’s lineup is as follows: 3:30 p.m., opening ceremony; 4 p.m., Matt Efaw and RFD; 5:10 p.m., Blue Dawning; 6:20 p.m., Backwoods Boogiegrass; 7:30 p.m. Wills Creek; 8:40 p.m., Blue Dawning; and 9:50 p.m., Backwoods Boogiegrass.

Saturday’s lineup begins with an opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m.. The picking will get going at 1 p.m. with Joe Williams and Deep Water, who will also perform at 8:30 p.m.

Joe Williams & Deep Water’s signature is their “smooth, drivin'” bluegrass style of great classic favorites coupled with many original songs. The band’s current four-piece configuration has been performing together since 2010. Their first CD consists of all originally written material. Members are: Joe Williams, guitar and lead vocals; Connie Williams, mandolin and harmony and lead vocals; Rich Smith, banjo and vocals; and Carol Smith, upright bass. Joe is also a great song writer and has written or co-written all but one song on the CD “Grip On the Night”.

As you may tell from the band member’s names, Deep Water is comprised of two married couples which makes a convenient traveling situation and easy coordination of show scheduling and rehearsals. Joe and Connie are from the Seneca Lake area and Rich and Carol are from Bethesda, Ohio. Their show schedule continues to grow each year, as well as their geographic range.

On the stage at 2:10 p.m. and then again to close out the weekend, from 9:40-10:40 p.m., will be the National Pike Pickers.

The National Pike Pickers are a four-member group, including John Angius, guitar; Dave Visnic, fiddle; Jim Simpson, mandolin, and Jeff Strautmann, doghouse bass.

Former Short Crick Flatpickers-Angius, Visnic, and Jeff Strautmann-have performed together in the Wheeling area for over 30 years. In 2011, the three joined with Simpson, who has performed in several Philadelphia area bands and recently in the local favorite, The Cabin Fever Band.

The Pickers bring a traditional bluegrass style mixed with a few surprises to the greater Ohio valley. Their fresh sets include songs by as diverse a group of writers and performers as the Bee Gees and John Prine, Flatt and Scruggs, and Johnny Cash. Bill Cheatham, Big Scioty, The Orange Blossom Special, and Ragtime Annie are represented in new arrangements, too.

At 3:20 p.m. Matt Efaw and RFD will perform. The band consists of Efaw, guitar and vocals; Jim Wetzel, upright bass and vocals; Keith Beaver, banjo and vocals; and Buck Hawkins. mandolin/fiddle and vocals.

Bookending the dinner break will be bluegrass staples Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, playing from 4:30-5:30 and 6:10-7:10 p.m.

Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys have received many accolades for their music, as Staats has a distinctive style, not only in his playing, but also in his original compositions. “I use a lot of pull-offs,” he said, “because instead of just hitting a bunch of notes, pull-offs add more flavor to it.” Despite his musical success, Staats has no intention of giving up his regular job as a UPS deliveryman. The rather unique combination of music and package delivery is where his band, The Delivery Boys, got their name.

In addition to the music, there will be lots of food and refreshments, along with a 50/50 drawing and door prizes. Another part of the festival that enhances the ambiance is camping, available with full hook-up for $15 per night. No pets are allowed near the stage area.

For more information contact 304-775-5061, 304-775-7212 or 304-775-4250. The Wetzel County 4-H Camp is located just east of New Martinsville on state Route 7.