Pics & Props for the Charleston Bluegrass Festival

Devin Grant

There aren't really that many styles of music that are strictly American. As young a country as America is when compared to other parts of the world, it seems that everything—even things as seemingly as American as jazz and rock and roll—have origins elsewhere. Bluegrass music is an exception. It's inspired by the music of Appalachia (which itself admittedly draws from Scottish and Irish sources) and requires its musicians to be both talented and resourceful. 


I've been a fan of bluegrass since I first stumbled across the genre as a teenager. I was flipping around on TV, and came upon David Grisman performing on the local PBS station. The way he played his mandolin was hypnotic, and I was an instant fan. 

If I needed a unit of measure to gauge how many other folk here in the Lowcountry enjoy bluegrass, then I found it last month at the first annual Charleston Bluegrass Festival. Put on by the folks who run the Surf Bar on Folly Beach, the Sewee Outpost in Awendaw, and Awendaw Green, this first event of its kind attracted more than 1,000 people over its two days, April 6 and 7. While billed as a bluegrass festival, the event featured more than just that style of music. The lineup included not just local acts such as Hit or Miss, Jordan Igoe, and The South Carolina Broadcasters, but also regional performers such as Town Mountain, The Mosier Brothers, and Angel Snow. 
To say that the inaugural Charleston Bluegrass Festival was a success would be an understatement. Sure, 1,000 people doesn't sound like a lot at first, but when you consider the fact that this festival was a grassroots effort on just about every level, and happened on a Friday and Saturday after a pretty major thunderstorm earlier in the week, then it's an impressive number indeed. The folks that came out to enjoy the music definitely got their money's worth, and it was a family friendly affair, with gaggles of kids (including two of my own) running everywhere. If you didn't attend the event and needed any further validation as to the festival's success, the photos included here ought to do the trick. I'm already looking forward to next year's event.