Rhythm & Roots Reunion fills Bristol with music
By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | August 31, 2016The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is Sept. 16-18 throughout downtown Bristol. The festival stretches through the 400 through 800 blocks of State Street and extends into Cumberland Square Park. The festival gates open at 1 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m., Sunday.
More than 140 bands grace the 20 stages set up in downtown. Musical genres include Americana, folk-rock, country, bluegrass, old-time, Piedmont blues, Celtic and progressive Appalachian music.
This year's headliner, Loretta Lynn, suffered a fall and will not be attending. Replacing her will be Bobby Bare, who performs Saturday, Sept. 17 at 8:15 p.m., on the State Street Stage.
Celebrated Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy takes to the Piedmont Stage Friday, Sept. 16 at 10:15 p.m. Alternative folk duo, The Indigo Girls, perform Sept. 17 at 9:45 p.m., on the Piedmont Stage.
Other entertainers include Houndmouth, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Marty Stuart, Keller Williams, Anderson East, Hayes Carll, Darrell Scott Band, Cracker, Scythian, Unknown Hinson, Folk Soul Revival, Liz Vice, Dave Eggar, Ed Snodderly and many more.
Other activities include a 5K road race and 2 mile fun walk which begins at Anderson Park at 8 a.m., Sept. 17. Register in advance on the festival's website or from 6:30-7:30 a.m., the day of the race.
A Jam Camp is held Sept. 13-16 at the Jubilee House Retreat Center in Abingdon, Virginia. The camp is designed to teach knowledge, clues and practical experience playing by ear with others. Gilbert Nelson leads the session. Tuition is $299, which includes lunch and a Friday festival pass. Register at the festival's website.
Children's Day is Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Cumberland Square Park at the War Memorial. This free event includes live entertainment by Silly Bus and the Empty Bottle String Band and other fun activities for kids.
Also on Saturday in the park is the annual Chili Cook-Off. Cooking begins at 9 a.m., judging and tasting is at 12 p.m., and winners are announced at 1 p.m.
The Dr. Jambo Jam Tent is in the grassy area in front of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. If you want to jam with others, the tent is open from 12-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Gilbert Nelson leads a jam class demonstration at 2 p.m., both days. Secure instrument storage is provided for Dr. Jambo guests.
Capos Music Store and Bristol Rhythm team up for the third annual Youth Music Competition at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. The competition is open to youth ages 5 to 18 playing the banjo, fiddle/violin, guitar or mandolin. Preregistration is suggested.
A complete schedule of concerts and events is available at www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org. Visitors can create a custom schedule on the website or download an app for their smartphones.