This may be your last chance to see Red Molly. Festival location is El Rancho Ma?±ana Campground at 27302 Ranch Road in Richmond.
Red Molly, the Americana powerhouse vocal trio, recently announced plans to discontinue touring at the end of August. The Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, Aug. 6-9 in Richmond, is on their final tour schedule, so festival attendees will have an opportunity to experience one of Red Molly?Äôs legendary live performances. Other headliner bands include Hot Rize (with their sidekicks, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers), the first recipients of the International Bluegrass Music Association?Äôs (IBMA) Entertainers of the Year award, and Balsam Range, the most recent recipients of that award.
Red Molly is known for their gorgeous harmonies, crisp musicianship, infectious songwriting, and warm, engaging stage presence. They weave together the threads of American music ?Äì from folk roots to bluegrass, from heartbreaking ballads to barn-burning honky tonk ?Äì as effortlessly as they blend their voices into their signature crystalline three-part harmonies. Organic musicianship, a respect for the traditions of American music, and an obvious love of crafting music together lend a joyous atmosphere to their live performances. Gracing stages from Denver to Denmark, from Australia to Austin, Red Molly is renowned for their live shows. Four-time featured artist at MerleFest, breakout stars at RockyGrass, and the darlings of the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the ?ÄúMollies?Äù bring audiences to their feet.
Tim O?ÄôBrien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster, and Charles Sawtelle formed Hot Rize in 1978 and, by the time they disbanded 12 years later, they had received the very first Entertainers of the Year award from the IBMA, had been nominated for the new bluegrass Grammy, had received a four-star album review in Rolling Stone, and had toured across four continents. Until last year, rare reunion shows ?Äúkept the flame burning,?Äù so there was a great deal of excitement when Hot Rize returned to the recording studio in 2013 to record ?ÄúWhen I?Äôm Free,?Äù and returned to touring the following year. Bryan Sutton, IBMA?Äôs Guitar Player of the Year, joined the band following Sawtelle?Äôs passing in 1999.
Last year, North Carolina?Äôs Balsam Range received the IBMA?Äôs awards both for Entertainers of the Year and for Vocal Group of the Year, and the band?Äôs fiddler, Buddy Melton, received the Male Vocalist award. The other members of the band are Tim Surrett (bass), Caleb Smith (guitar), Darren Nicholson (mandolin), and Marc Pruett (banjo). The band?Äôs fifth album, ?ÄúFive,?Äù made its Billboard Chart debut at #4 and remained on the Billboard chart for an impressive six weeks. Additionally, Balsam Range?Äôs singles consistently top radio airplay lists. Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band.
There will be many more national and regional bands performing during the 30 hours of concerts, and a wealth of other programming for the entire family, including more than 20 hours of demonstrations and hands-on workshops (instrumental, jamming, songwriting, harmony-singing, etc.), and more than 20 hours of activities for kids, including contests, crafts, games, and special stage shows. The Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association, the festival?Äôs host, is celebrating its 40th year by focusing on dance and will be offering old-time, Cajun, clogging, and square dance workshops and dances with live bands (plus callers and instruction.)
The festival is held at El Rancho Ma?±ana, a beautiful campground with a swimming beach, horseback riding, and shower facilities. It has 1208 acres of privately owned land with 25 miles of trails for hiking or riding. There?Äôs a free tractor-drawn trolley service running throughout the campgrounds, dozens of food and merchant vendors, and shaded seating areas in all program venues.
Four-day admission (including all programs and camping): Adults: $85 (in advance), teens $10, kids 12 and under free. Daily admission (all programs, no camping): Adults $20-30, teens $10, kids free. For more information: www.MinnesotaBluegrass.org, (800) 635-3037.