It has become a tradition for my brother and myself to attend the Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival in Morganton, North Carolina. Morganton is a small town in the Appalachian Mountains and only 1.5 hours from Charlotte. It is worth recognizing that North Carolina has a vibrant bluegrass scene, featuring Steep Canyon Rangers from Asheville and Mandolin Orange from Chapel Hill, among others.
With the pine trees waiving and the rolling hills rolling, the park in Morganton is an ideal location for a bluegrass festival, even though it is among the (relatively) smaller festivals in the larger bluegrass circuit. It is routinely praised by the performers, which has included living legends like Rhonda Vincent. I am not normally a fan of outdoor concerts. The acoustics suffer for obvious reasons. But the equipment and the sound crew at Morganton are top notch. The pluckings of the mandolins and banjos are clear. The fiddles soar high.
If you have not been to a bluegrass festival, then your life is insufferable and trite. Repent and atone! You can begin by listening to Darin and Brooke Aldrige, who performed a superb set this past weekend in Morganton. They played several tracks from their recent album, Snapshots. Here is a promotional video for the album:
A typical bluegrass festival will feature an abundance of gospel songs and probably a few testimonials. Darin and Brooke are no exception. They have some wonderful gospel tunes on each of their albums, some of which are always included in their live sets.
Jesus is “the best friend you’ll ever have,” as Darin spoke in-between songs this past Saturday. And the audience thought to themselves, “Well, duh. Of course.” The bluegrass audience is the salt of the earth!