Friday’s bluegrass show offered a wide open range of styles – review

RALEIGH  -Friday’s Wide Open Bluegrass extravaganza at Red Hat Amphitheater was the first of two full days of concerts marking the grand finale of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s weeklong celebration of bluegrass music.

Wide Open Bluegrass refers to the diversity of styles comprising today’s bluegrass. While grounded in the traditional roots planted by Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys in 1945, the music has evolved into an array of styles reflecting generational interests of the past 70 years. Friday’s performers offered a mostly traditional subset of today’s bluegrass.

The day began with Laurie Lewis and Her Right Hands, and closed with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Lewis, along with her guest performer, Alice Gerrard, represented women in bluegrass, a rarity until Gerrard and Hazel Dickens blazed the trail in the 1960s and ’70s.

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