Sunday, June 17, 2007

Music in the Highlands

What's better than a drive into the mountains when your end destination is Virginia's Grayson Highlands State Park? How about an afternoon of sitting in the sun listening to new and old musical legends. Yesterday was the 13th annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition. I was joined by hundreds of spectators for a day of listening to twenty young and old musicians step onto the stage and burn up their strings, trying to impress the judges with their flatting pickin', to win the covenanted first place trophy, a Henderson Guitar. In the end, the judges narrowed the contestants down to five and final round commenced. All sounded like they played guitar for a living but none have a recording contract, yet. Past winners like Tyler Grant and Scott Fore have gone on to record albums and play with some of Nashville's top bands. This year's winner is Allen Shadd from Fort Mill, SC. While his performance was good, I thought second place winner Aaron Williams, who is still a teenager, was the best. Keep your eyes and ears open for those names in the future.After the competition, a couple of bands took the stage, including Doc Watson. Ever since I saw Watson live last year, a song of his is always loaded on one of my mix CDs or iPod. If you have to chance to see him in a town near yours, take advantage of the appearance. The highlight of this show was his version of Ella Fitzgerald's Summertime. He was joined by his blues pickin' grandson, Richard, and Wayne Henderson for this tune. The first verse wrapped up my thoughts for the day: "Summertime, and the living is easy."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't say as I agree with your assessment of the contest, on either point you made. Maybe you need to hear a few more? ;)

Great little festival though, for sure!