Kentucky’s Music

| August 31, 2011

Bluegrass & Burgoo FestivalThis Labor Day weekend, while some people will travel out of town, the best spot to party will be right here in Louisville at the sixth annual Kentucky Bluegrass & Burgoo Festival.

The three-day festival will be held at the Water Tower, 3005 River Road, Saturday through Monday, Sept. 3-5. The event will feature a fun-filled atmosphere with delicious food and feel-good music, commemorating Kentucky’s musical heritage with performances by local and national bluegrass bands. In addition to the music, this year’s festival will celebrate the traditional Kentucky dish known as burgoo.

“Burgoo was one of the things that we focused on (this year) because our reggae and blues festivals have such a dynamic food element that we felt the Bluegrass Festival needed it too,” said Jennifer Washle, promotions manager for Bisig Impact Group, which puts on the event.

F.A.B.D Smokehouse and Tony’s BBQ Barn will cater the festival, offering their own distinct versions of burgoo.

“There’s no certain rule for burgoo,” said Tony Howard, owner of Tony’s BBQ Barn in Lawrenceburg, Ky. “My burgoo has pork, chicken and beef and just a variety of veggies: tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and corn. It tastes a little spicy. It has Worcestershire sauce and my own barbecue sauce in it, too.”

Tony’s BBQ will also provide deep-fried pies and their classic barn potatoes, which are baked potatoes filled with barbecue beans and pork. Though it’s not Howard’s first burgoo festival, it will be his first time catering at the Kentucky Bluegrass & Burgoo Festival.

Bluegrass & Burgoo Festival“Of course it will be worthwhile to drive to Louisville,” Howard said. “We’re very excited especially for The Fiddleheads. I was hoping to bring a Piers Morgan cutout to aggravate them with. I think it will be a lot of fun and hopefully the weather will be good too.”

The Fiddleheads Howard speaks of are a band that appeared on the sixth season of “America’s Got Talent” and will take the stage at the festival from 9:30 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4.

The Fiddleheads aren’t strictly a bluegrass band but will play traditional bluegrass at the festival in addition to their own music, which includes a twist on such songs as “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green and “Billy Jean” by Michael Jackson.

“We’re definitely going to pay homage to all the bluegrass greats but also do a lot of our own stuff too,” said Zak McConnell of The Fiddleheads.

The Fiddleheads formed a bluegrass ensemble in college, but have expanded their range to the genres of newgrass, fusion and new acoustic. They have since added a lead singer to the band after auditioning for “America’s Got Talent” and have grown in terms of style and song selection.

“Adam (Kersh) officially joined the band because of (‘America’s Got Talent’),” McConnell said. “We’ve never actually played a full show with Adam, so we’re excited to do that (at the festival). We’re looking forward to an audience that definitely appreciates bluegrass music.”

Bluegrass & Burgoo FestivalThe Fiddleheads, along with several other bands, will commemorate Bill Monroe, known as the father of bluegrass, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on Sept. 13.

In addition to bluegrass music, the festival will also feature newgrass, jam band and progressive bluegrass music from such performers as Town Mountain, The Cumberlands and NewTown.

“We’re excited to play in Louisville for the first time and it’s definitely a good market for music of all types,” said Robert Greer of Town Mountain. “We’re definitely not a traditional bluegrass band. We’ll be playing some of Bill Monroe’s songs and a lot of original music with current themes that all ages can relate to. If people don’t think they’re fans of bluegrass, we hope they come out because we love converting people.”

Aside from the food and music at the festival, there also will be activities for children and a cornhole tournament.

“We feel like there’s something for everyone,” Washle said. “We have the music, the food, the kids’ entertainment area and a small vendor market with crafts, jewelry, hand-rolled cigars and instrument makers. It’s a very family-friendly environment and we think people will enjoy it. Especially the music – bluegrass is Kentucky’s music.”

The festival will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the festival will begin at 1 p.m.  and end at 7 p.m. Admission is $7 before 6 p.m. and $10 after 6 p.m. Children 10 and under are free, as is parking.

For information, visit or call 502.583.0333.

photos courtesy of Bisig Impact Group

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

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