Tickets Discounted Through April 15
Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice are one of several new acts who will grace the Traditional Stage at this year’s NEPA Bluegrass Festival in Tunkhannock. The 16th annual event will take place in Lazy Brook Park from June 1 to 4 this year.
The NEPA Bluegrass Festival will return to Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock Thursday, June 1 and run through Sunday, June 4. Fans of live bluegrass music will find familiar names on the bill, as well as some musicians making their debut at the event. This is the 16th year that Danny and Christa Stewart of Wyalusing have brought the festival to Tunkhannock. Free camping is available for those purchasing weekend passes.
“Lazy Brook Park is certainly one of our favorite places to host festivals,” said Christa. “It used to be a residential neighborhood, so it is mostly flat, has paved streets, shade trees, flowering shrubs, and the beautiful Tunkhannock Creek. It’s perfect for camping.” Christa also cited Tunkhannock Township officials for being “very accommodating” of the bands and festival goers.
From Friday through Sunday, acts are lined up on both the traditional (main) stage and the progressive stage that sits alongside Tunkhannock Creek, which meanders around the park and provides both recreation and great photo backdrops. On Friday and Saturday, the musical fun starts on the main stage right after breakfast and runs well into the evening on the progressive stage. Sunday’s music begins with a gospel singalong and continues into the afternoon.
Headline acts on the main stage this year include the The Kody Norris Show, the Little Roy and Lizzy, Fast Track, Junior Sisk & Rambler’s Choice, Dave Adkins, The Crowe Brothers, and Monroe Crossing (above).
Kody Norris and the rest of his four-piece band (above) are making a triumphant return to the main stage. Their repertoire is deeply rooted in North American folk music and seamlessly blends hillbilly, bluegrass and rockabilly classics and originals. Kody just likes to call it “dern good entertainment.”
The Little Roy and Lizzy Show (above) are venerable favorites who never fail to wow audiences with their undeniable musicianship. Lizzy plays the fiddle, banjo, guitar and resonator banjo. She has won the Bluegrass Song of the Year several times as a solo artist and on duets with Rhonda Vincent and Ty Herndon. Little Roy, who plays banjo, guitar and autoharp keeps audience members tapping their toes and laughing. His singing, picking, storytelling, and jokes make him a well-rounded entertainer that everyone remembers.
Fast Track banjo player Dale Perry shares the stage and vocal duties with bassist Ron Spears, fiddle player Steve Day, mandolin player Shayne Bartley, and guitarists Duane Sparks. Perry, Day and Spears are former members of Cardinal Tradition who formed the new band when their long-time friend and band leader David Parmley announced his retirement. They wooed veteran bluegrass Bartley and Sparks whom they’d been watching for years in other bands. They refer themselves as a “modern traditional bluegrass supergroup.”
Junior Sisk hails from the Blue Ridge region of Virginia and grew up surrounded by music. His father wrote songs and played guitar, and his mother was a singer. His early influences were the Stanley Brothers, Larry Sparks and Dave Evans, but his gives the Johnson Mountain Boys credit for his focus on bluegrass. He formed his first band in 1998 and began winning major awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Album and Song of the Year in 2012 and male vocalist of the year in 2013. The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) gave Rambler’s Choice Bluegrass Band of the Year in 2014 and named Junior male vocalist of the year in 2017.
Guitarist Dave Adkins was born in Kentucky and joined a band of fellow classmates when he was just eight years old. By 17, he was playing bluegrass music at Dollywood. He went on to lead both country and rock bands, broadening his repertoire before returning to his bluegrass roots in 2010. SPBGMA named him male vocalist of the year in the Contemporary category in 2013, owing to the power and soulfulness of his delivery. Since 2014, his albums and songs have consistently hit the top of various bluegrass charts.
The Crowe Brothers (above) are Josh and Wayne Crowe, playing guitar and bass, respectively, and delivering that sweet, old time harmony that only siblings can produce. Their careers began in Georgia, where they played bluegrass and gospel music with their father, Junior Crowe. They’ve picked up numerous awards over the years from both SPBGMA and IBMA as they continue to hone their blend of traditional country, bluegrass, acoustic roots and other sounds in the Americana genre. They’re anxious to introduce NEPA Bluegrass fans to their latest single, “Reeses Old Store.”
In addition to music on the Main and Progressive stages both Friday and Saturday, there are many ongoing activities for family members of all ages, as well as shopping opportunities and delicious food at both ends of the park. Those new to the NEPA Bluegrass experience should be prepared to relax as they take in nature, great music and the friendship of like-minded people.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.nepabluegrass.com, and regular updates are posted on the NEPA Bluegrass Festival Facebook page, and are $100 per person if purchased by April 15. Free camping is available only to those who purchase weekend passes. Day passes are also available, but day ticket holders must be out of the park by midnight. Lazy Brook Park is located at 3042 SR 6, Tunkhannock, across the street from Deer Park Lumber.