Wintergrass Newsletter Update

Ticket Prices good through Feb. 5, 2010

Buy Festival Tickets Here

Discounts for Seniors, (age 60+), kids (7-17), Canadians & active military on all ticketing options

Weekend pass (all 4 days)

Adult $125

Thursday only

Adult $20

Friday only

Adult $50

Saturday only

Adult $65

Sunday only

Adult $35

Wintergrass on Twitter

Tweets. Yup. We’re doin’ it. We don’t really get it either, but apparently if you really want to be completely up to speed and utterly cool, ya better be tweeting. Which means somene has to be the head Tweeter. We couldn’t do this without our own personal Big Bird, and thankfully, someone very clever has agreed to send out all those nifty tweets. Really, you’ll know all the good stuff way before anyone else does. Siign up to be a part of the flock!

Follow Wintergrass on Twitter! Get the latest in breaking news as the festival nears. Learn about exciting surprises and prizes exclusively available to Twitter followers during the festival. CD giveaways, minute by minute hot tips about the magical goings on that only happen at Wintergrass. Spread the word and be in-the-know:


The Schedule!

Yes! It’s true! We’ve posted the Wintergrass schedule of concerts at! Although as always, the lineup is subject to change we think this schedule is going to stick. We’re talking with two new venues this week and are hopeful that in addition to the stages listed on our schedule, we’ll be able to add two more stages. We’ll let you know in our next newsletter.

Things to note: On Thursday night in addition to concerts, we’ll be presenting some special workshops to get your weekend started right. On Sunday. All three main stages at the festival are under one roof. The distance between them ranges from about 30 to 90 seconds – if you walk slow.

Speaking of workshops – that schedule is not yet completed but we expect it to be finalized in early January. We know workshops are important to you, which is why we spend lots of time talking with individual artists to craft uniquely useful sessions every year. The workshop schedule is coming and it’ll be worth the wait!

Bluegrass in Bellevue Songwriting ContestBill Monroe used to stand on Jerusalem Ridge just outside of Rosine, KY and snatch songs out of the air. He said they were everywhere.

We think he was right. And we think songs don’t just live in the redbud trees in Kentucky. Right this second, there are a bunch of songs drifting right over Bellevue just waiting to be snatched.

For the first time and probably only time, Wintergrass is inviting song-snatchers to write a Bluegrass in Bellevue themed song. In addition to a pair of weekend passes to Wintergrass 2011 and whatever piles of goodies we can come up with between now and festival time, the winning entry will be performed by the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band during the festival.

There are not a lot of rules to this contest, but we can tell you that extra points will be given to funny songs. Extra points will also be given to tragic songs. And if you can combine tragic and funny in one tune, well, we are talking serious bonus points.

Entries must be received by January 15, 2010. All entries must include the following:

An mp3 recording of your tune. No tapes, CDs or DVDs will be accepted.

Written lyrics with chords

Your contact information, (name, address, phone & email).

Please go here to send your submissions to the Bluegrass in Bellevue songwritng contest.



Other Cool Stuff

We like to let you know about other wonderful musical events in the area. December is a busy month but we’re excited to pass along a recommendation to check out Cascadia Yulegrass featuring Darol Anger, Sharon Gilchrist, Scott Law, Bill Nershi, Keith Mosley and others.

Acoustic holiday bluegrass swings the the Northwest and makes stops in Hood River, Seattle, Bellingham, Eugene and Portland. You’ll hear great music and have a chance to check out the Local Goods gift gallery. Guest artists will be a part of every show. Good music and a good cause from our good friends.

The Academies

Thanks to our fine friends at D’Addario the Wintergrass Youth Academy is back with Joe Craven, Beth Fortune, Renata Bratt, Tom Petersen and a cast of phenomenal instructors. Sign up your 7-14 year old today and get in on the fun. The Youth Academy is two days, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25-26, 2010 from 9am to 4pm both days. Students and faculty alike perform a big show on the Evergreen ‘In the Pines’ stage on Friday night.

We have to brag on our Youth Academy staff a little bit. Joe, Beth and Renata will be presenting a special workshop at the annual American String Teachers Association in February. They are even dragging Patrice along with them one week before Wintergrass! We’re either nuts or just totally dedicated to the cause. They’ll be telling teachers from all over the country how to integrate bluegrass and the joy of lifelong musicianship into the classroom. Can world domination be far behind???? Congratulations to the hardest working team of instructors on the planet.

Speaking of which, Tom Petersen has convinced the King County Library system to present a whole month of special programs dedicated to bluegrass. Amazing. Look for more info in our next newsletter.

But the kids aren’t the only ones having a good time. Adults or advanced players of any age can enjoy the one day Wintergrass Academy on Thursday, Feb. 25. Spend one incredibly intense day with Dudley Connell, Kenny Smith or Sammy Shelor and walk away with stuff to keep your fingers busy all year long.

Thanks for your support and excitement about Wintergrass 2010. Rooms at the Hyatt are selling like hotcakes so if you haven’t already done so, get yours! You must be a Wintergrass ticket holder and stay for 3 nights. If there are rooms available after Feb. 5th, it may be possible to stay at the Hyatt for less than 3 nights. That’s a mighty big IF though. There are a number of other hotels nearby if you’d rather stay elsewhere or need to stay for less than 3 nights. Check out the options here.
Look for news about our wonderful sponsors in the next newsletter.
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Wintergrass 2010 Performers-The Dry Branch Fire Squad

The Dry Branch Fire Squad has performed bluegrass for over 25 years and the current lineup features some bluegrass veterans. Ron Thomason founded the band in 1976 and has been the bands spokesman and singer since the beginning. Ron’s bluegrass background comes naturally through his childhood start in the Clinch River area of VA. Ron has played with Ralph Stanley and  The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Wilson Brothers, Joe Isaacs, Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley. A big part of any Dry Branch show are the great stories of the origins of the songs and music told by Ron. Brian Aldridge handles much of the harmony singing and guitar playing. Brian learned his style of bluegrass while growing up in another one of the bluegrass hot beds, Central Ohio. Brian’s father was a Howard Aldridge and he helped expose Brian to the best musicians who played in the area-  Bill Monroe, Sid Campbell, Frank Wakefield, Jack Casey. Banjoist and Dobro player Tom Boyd has perfected his part in the band by  playing in bands with musicians like  Larry Sparks, The Allen Brothers, Mac Wiseman, Hylo Brown, Jack Casey, Chubby Wise. The bands bass player Dan Russell is another product of the Ohio bluegrass scene and has played not only bass but also banjo and has even toured with country musician John Anderson. This is a band which will entertain and educate you with great songs, harmonies and stories.   They will be at Wintergrass 2010 on Saturday and Sunday.



Wintergrass 2010 Performer-Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz will be performing at Wintergrass 2010 in one of her few west coast concerts scheduled for 2010. Sarah is studying at the New England Conservatory (of which Crooked Still’s Aoife O’Donovan is an alumni) so she did need to slow down for a bit. She has taken the time to release her Sugar Hill cd “Song Up in Her Head’’. This cd features her blend of old time, bluegrass and contemporary music on 11 originals and two covers.The CD was  ranked number 17 on Amazon’s Top 100 CD’s of 2009. A Sarah Jarosz set features her originals on banjo and mandolin yet she will also cover a few contemporary songs by performers like Gnarls Barkley,Tom Waits or The Decemberists  in her own style. The Boston Globe just published a great article on Sarah that you can read at this link.

Another Wintergrass Neighbor-Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art

For those of you looking for something to do in addition to the music at Wintergrass there is a world class doll museum just a few blocks away from the Bellevue Hyatt. Since 1992 the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art has been in Bellevue. They were the recipients of the Juneau Trophy for the Best Private Doll Museum in the World.This museum features over 1,200 dolls on permanent display. Items included in the museum are dolls,teddy bears, dollhouses and miniatures. Of course the museum has a store which you can also see online at their website. Check out the website for more information on the museum.

Wintergrass 2010 Performers-The Wilders

Kansas City’s old time acoustic hillbilly country band The Wilders will be playing Wintergrass 2010. A performance of The Wilders always features Betse’s hoedown fiddle playing, 40’s wilder headerand 50’s style country, Phil’s dobro played in the old time style. You can almost guarantee to hear an old Hank Williams song or two sung by Ike while playing his late grandfathers old 1950’s black with a tan sunburst Silvertone Archtop purchased right out of the Sears-Roebuck catalog. Nate’s bass playing pushes them all along into one big sound coming from a band that can play the old style country right. You know the band is the real deal when they were awarded the Nashville Scene’s “Best of 2006 Albums too Country for Country Radio” for their album “Throw Down”.                

Ike Sheldon (lead vocals, guitar), Betse Ellis (fiddle, vocals), Phil Wade (dobro, mandolin, banjo, vocals), and Nate Gawron (string bass, vocals). wilders