Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA. – The 13th Annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park just took place. This festival is a free festival held every year in the park and is paid for by The Warren Hellman Foundation. Warren was a highly successful and wealthy businessman and lover of Bluegrass Music. With that being said, he started his own Bluegrass Festival and it’s been going strong ever since. When Warren got Leukemia, he set aside a large sum of money to keep the festival going [and free] for years to come after his passing. He passed on in December 2011.
Check out my review in photos…
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Roger McNamee of Moonalice
Boz Scaggs w/Los Lobos
Tim Bluhm [The Mother Hips] w/Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello
Boz Scaggs w/Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers
Eric McFadden and Billy Bragg
The Go To Hell Man Clan Jam
The Time Jumpers w/Vince Gill
Lucky fan was just given a custom signed guitar from Chris Isaak
Michael Ward of Gogol Bordello
Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident
Sergey Ryabtsev of Gogol Bordello
Olivia Hellman [L] and Jimmy Dale “Smokey” Gilmore [R]
G Love and Special Sauce
Holler Down The Hollow Jam
Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller
The Forest Rangers with Katey Sagal
This was my first time going to this festival and I gotta say it was such a great time. Aside from their being some top notch talent, the festival is FREE. There were 5 stages amply spread out and quite manageable to get to each of them. There were plenty of food and beer vendors throughout the park…however you can bring your own chairs, food, alcohol into the park.
For whatever the reason/s may be, there is hardly any press that is approved to shoot the festival. The festival has a handful of their own photogs spread out and another select handful of media. I was fortunate enough to secure one of those coveted passes at the very last minute. No 3 song rule [except for Bonnie Raitt (1 song) and Natalie Maines]. Got golf cart service to/from stages as needed and no real need to deal with the crowds…750,000 people passed through in the 2 and a half days the festival ran.
The weather was perfect, the vibe was great, and the talent was there to support and show love for Mr. Warren Hellman and his family and foundation. There were plenty of collaborations and jams and artists sitting in with each other during the weekend. A few to note were The Go To Hell Man Clan Jam which comprised of many of the Hellman family grandkids, friends and musicians, The Holler Down The Hollow Jam which was comprised of Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller and plenty of special guests, The Time Jumpers, an 11 member assemblage with Vince Gill to name a few. Aside from their own sets respectively…Steve Earle seemed to sit in with quite a few of these jams as well as Boz Scaggs sitting in with Los Lobos and Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. And Jerry Douglas brought out Allison Krauss [which sadly I missed].
All in all a long and tiring weekend. Because I had a ride to all the stages and no 3 song rule to stick to, I was able to cover a lot of ground…which means a shit load of editing. I think I covered about 25 bands over 2.5 days. First round selects are done and submitted. Look for a few full photo sets from some of the bands and Jams I covered over the next few weeks.
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