BLISSFIELD – While it doesn’t look or feel much like summer, the planning stages for the 11th Blissfield Bluegrass on the River are underway and one of the headliners at the one-day music festival has been announced.
Bluegrass troubadour Danny Paisley, who was recently named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist of the Year for the third time, will lead the artist roster at the August 13 event at Clara Bachmayer Park in Blissfield.
This summer’s event marked the 10th anniversary of Bluegrass on the River. Due to community sponsorships, there is no entrance fee to the festival. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the day filled with nearly 10 hours of non-stop live music. The event is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Blissfield and made possible by the Southern Michigan Bluegrass Music Association.
The festival features local bands, local vendors and local musicians. Headlining groups are featured on a main stage, and additional acts, as well as instrument workshops, craft vendors, lost arts demonstrations, music jam areas, and the corner for kids starring Dixie Andres and Fiddlin ‘Dixie with Lil’ Friends are all part of the annual event.
“Attendance has increased every year and the Association expects a record attendance in 2022,” said a press release from the Southern Michigan Bluegrass Music Association.
Paisley and his band Southern Grass “play powerful, unadorned and intense traditional bluegrass,” the statement said.
“There is no hybrid or genre music here,” the statement said. “Their combination of instruments and vocals conveys the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny’s lead voice will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have regarded Danny as one of their favorite singers. His voice combines a powerful scale and soulful blues with a sound unlike any other in bluegrass today.
Paisley’s father, Bob, who died in 2004, founded Southern Grass. The group received over 15 Bluegrass Music Association nominations and won the 2009 IBMA Song of the Year with “Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away”.
Paisley is the band’s mani guitarist, while his son Ryan is on the mandolin. Ted Lundy, one of the group’s founders along with Bob Paisley, has two of his sons who play with the group: TJ on violin and Bobby on bass and vocals. Each of Lundy’s boys is a renowned multi-instrumentalist, according to the press release.
Southern Grass also features Mark Delaney on the banjo. He was previously a member of Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen and Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac.
The Southern Michigan Bluegrass Music Association was formed in July 2014 to serve the bluegrass community of the greater Southeastern Michigan area. It is a Michigan nonprofit and a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association. The Association awards scholarships to deserving young musicians, sponsors jams and workshops, and recognizes those who have made a major contribution to bluegrass music with an induction into its Hall of Honor.
Additional sponsorships to continue the Blissfield Festival are needed. To contact the Southern Michigan Bluegrass Music Association, visit www.blissbluegrass.org. The website will also post updated information regarding the 2022 festival and additional names of bands performing in August.