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Brackendale Bluegrass Festival goes for three

Five On A String, Mountain Bluebirds returning

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By Shelley Arnusch

What: 3 rd Annual Brackendale Bluegrass Festival

Where: Brackendale Art Gallery

When: Friday, May 13 & Saturday, May 14

Tickets: $15/day, $25/weekend pass

The grass will be bluer in Brackendale next weekend.

The venerable Brackendale Art Gallery will once again open its doors to the Brackendale Bluegrass Festival.

The three-year-old event wonÕt be fixing what ainÕt broke. Perennial pickers Five On A String, personal favourite of B.A.G. owner Thor Froslev, will be back to headline on Friday, May 13, along with The Still Blue.

And Saturday night features the return of VancouverÕs Mountain Bluebirds, who will be supported by The Courageous Mountain Rangers, a band formerly known around these parts as The Tragically Hick.

The festival is once again being captained by BrackendaleÕs own Cam Salay, a veteran musician for the last 20 years with groups such as The Bowen Boys, The Paperboys and Farmhouse.

Salay deems this yearÕs lineup Òa nice contrast.Ó

ÒFive on a String are old professionals and the Bluebirds are an up and coming young band,Ó he explained. ÒIÕm having them back this year because I think in a year or two I wonÕt be able to afford them.Ó

In addition to the evening performances, the festival will host instrumental and singing workshops. Current workshops planned include banjo with The Still BlueÕs Dave Sohn and vocal harmony with Mountain BluebirdsÕ Connie Jean Thiessen and Lorraine Cobb. There will also be an open jam on Saturday afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m.

All events will take place at the B.A.G., naturally. The character-laden venue practically deserves equal billing with the talent.

ÒItÕs really in tune with acoustic music,Ó Salay said. ÒIt just sounds so good because itÕs an old wooden building. The lighting is beautiful... You hardly have to do anything. ItÕs just a really good-sounding venue.Ó

Tickets for the Brackendale Bluegrass Festival are $15 for single night concerts, or $25 for both nights. Workshops will be extra with participants paying the instructor directly.

Advance tickets are available at the B.A.G. as well as at Mostly Books and Spectrum Landscaping in Squamish, or directly from Salay by calling 604-898-2338.

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