Saturday, July 11th, 2020
12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
New Dismembered Tennesseans
Charm City Junction
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Seating is open. Free admission. Bike racks available throughout campus. The lawn may be accessed starting at 8:00 AM on the day of the festival. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. A wide array of vendors will keep appetites happy with everything from french fries and bratwurst to Thai food and ice cream, plus non-alcoholic drinks and smoothies. Restrooms will be available. Dickinson College is a smoke-free campus. Festival is held rain or shine. Get ready for great music!
Support the Festival
Do you love Bluegrass on the Grass? Become a patron today! We need your support so we may continue to attract the best bluegrass bands in the country to Carlisle’s most-anticipated live music event of the year. It only takes two minutes to make your tax-deductible contribution via Dickinson’s secure giving website at www.dickinson.edu/gift. Simply choose Other on the drop-down menu next to Designation, then write in Bluegrass on the Grass Festival.
We ask devoted attendees who enjoy the music and share our goals of cultivating, sharing and sustaining American Musical genres to ensure that Bluegrass on the Grass will continue for many more years to come. Make your annual tax-deductible contribution today! Every gift counts.
NEW Dismembered Tennesseans
Fletcher Bright, founding member of The Dismembered Tennesseans, passed away early on Christmas morning of 2017. Fletcher, you were unmatched as a friend and fiddler. Thank you for all you did for bluegrass music and for our Bluegrass on the Grass Festival.
Ed “Doc” Cullis – Banjo
Laura Walker – Bass, Fiddle and Vocals
Bobby Martin – Guitar and Vocals
Don Cassell – Mandolin and Vocals
Brian Blaylock – Mandolin, Dobro, Guitar, Banjo and Vocals
It was back in 1945 that a group of McCallie students got together and began singing and playing a brand of Bluegrass music that has gone on now for more than 65 years. The name “Dismembered Tennesseans” seemed good enough a name for a bunch of teenagers who had no long range plans, and they sang their way through school.
But somehow the music never stopped, and the band stayed together for the next 65 years, singing and laughing their way across the country – from Florida to Washington to Ohio and Colorado and points between. They played for every local civic group in existence, every charity, and most of the conventions in town looking for cheap entertainment. They have also played at the Annual Chattanooga …Riverbend Festival and at Kennedy Center.
The 3 Sisters Festival Bluegrass on the River is held annually in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is a free concert presented by Chattanooga Presents which brings in big-name Bluegrass artists mixed with local talent.
The group has appeared on stage with many of the top bluegrass music stars and has performed in concert with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and the Chattanooga Boys Choir, and more recently the Chattanooga Ballet. They have appeared on a segment of ABC-TV’s Peter Jennings Nightly News and were featured on the NBC Sunday Today Show. Their audiences have been composed of such celebrities as Chuck Yeager, Sam Nunn, Gerald Ford, Jack Kemp, and three Tennessee governors. Easily one of the most popular bands in hometown Chattanooga, they have made their mark singing bluegrass music for people who don’t particularly like country music.
Circus No. 9 is East Tennessee’s own Progressive Bluegrass outfit, blurring the lines between Bluegrass, Jazz, and Rock. Described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane,” the group has appeared alongside artists including David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Larry Keel, among others. Comprised of musicians Matthew Davis, Thomas Cassell, Vince Ilagan, and Ben Garnett, Circus No. 9 is one of the most exciting new bands on the acoustic music scene today.
“Circus No. 9 represents everything that’s good about the new generation of acoustic music. These guys already exhibit a maturity and musicianship that has me thinking we’re going to be hearing great stuff from them for a long time!” – Bryan Sutton
Banjo extraordinaire Matthew Davis is the winner of both the National Banjo Championship and the Rockygrass Banjo Contest, not to mention the achievement of his musical chops at just age 18. Davis has performed on the Grand Ole Opry, among other venues and shows around the country.
On the mandolin is Virginia’s own Thomas Cassell, a now Tennessee transplant. Cassell is the winner of the 2016 Rockygrass Mandolin contest, and has performed on stage beside artists including the Bryan Sutton Band, Billy Strings, and more.
Holding down the low end for the band is Knoxville’s Vince Ilagan, also holding a Bass Performance degree from the University of Tennessee and years of studio and touring experience. Ilagan has performed with artists including Justin Townes Earle, Jeff Sipe, Scott Miller, and many others.
Ben Garnett is a Nashville-based guitarist, composer, improviser, and educator. Originally from Arlington, TX, he graduated from the University of North Texas in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz studies. A product of his 21st-century upbringing, Ben embraces a genre-bending, “in the cracks,” musical aesthetic, fluently drawing on the traditions of folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, and rock music in his compositions and improvisations.
Charm City Junction
From dance inducing Old Time rhythms and foot stomping Irish melodies to hard-driving Bluegrass, Baltimore-based acoustic roots quartet Charm City Junction creates a fresh soundscape that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats wondering where they’ll go next. Featuring fiddle, clawhammer banjo, button accordion and upright bass, this quartet isn’t afraid to take roots music to new places — but always with an eye on tradition.
Formed in 2014, Charm City Junction has taken the acoustic music scene by storm performing around the country gaining high praise along the way for their high-energy, captivating and dynamic performances. Patrick McAvinue, 2017 IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year, takes charge with his virtuosic, powerful and musical approach to the fiddle. Clawhammer banjo wizard Brad Kolodner adds his playful, driving, melodic and groovy Old-Time touch. Sean McComiskey, soars through the tunes and fills the gaps with his soulful button accordion playing. The versatile bassist Alex Lacquement drives the train, locking everything together with his commanding and tasteful choices. Drawing from separate musical backgrounds, the four members have found a common ground on which to develop their unique approach. Since releasing their highly anticipated debut album Charm City Junction on Patuxent Music in the fall of 2015, they have performed prestigious festivals including Grey Fox, Old Songs, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and an appearance at the Kennedy Center. They released their second full-length album, Duckpin, in the summer of 2018. The record debuted at #6 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts.
Mile Twelve is a fresh, hard driving young band beautifully walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass. Fast gaining recognition for their outstanding performances in bluegrass and folk circles, Evan Murphy, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Nate Sabat, BB Bowness and David Benedict write captivating songs and daring instrumental pieces from diverse influences. Banjo luminary Tony Trischka says, “Mile Twelve is carrying the bluegrass tradition forward with creativity and integrity.”
Since their formation in the fall of 2014, Mile Twelve has quickly been on the rise. They’ve performed extensively throughout the U.S., Ireland and Canada, including sets at major festivals such as Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, FreshGrass Festival, Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival, and Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. Their music is in rotation on the Bluegrass Junction Sirius XM channel, and their rendition of the Stanley Brothers classic “Our Last Goodbye” was featured on a Spotify “Fresh Bluegrass” playlist. The band has opened for Tim O’Brien at The Station Inn, has been nominated for the 2017 Momentum Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and will be heading out on a month long tour of New Zealand and Australia in the fall of 2017. The band is set to release their debut full-length record “Onwards”, (Oct. 27, 2017) produced by Stephen Mougin.
Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper
Mike Cleveland: Vocals, Fiddle
Josh Richards: Vocals, Guitar
Nathan Livers: Vocals, Mandolin
Jasiah Shrode: Vocals, Banjo
Tyler Griffith: Vocals, Bass
Michael Cleveland – Award-winning fiddler Michael Cleveland brings dynamic traditional bluegrass to the stage with his award-winning band, Flamekeeper, in a show that will leave the audience talking. An 11-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Fiddle Performer of the Year award, Mike and his talented band present a program of tight vocal trios and duos, blistering instrumentals, and fiddle-and-banjo duets that echo the first-generation stars of bluegrass. The show is rounded out with Mike’s dry wit and the band’s sense of fun. Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Mike picked up a fiddle at age four, and his talent was recognized early. In 1993 he was chosen to be part of the Bluegrass Youth All Stars. Later that year Mike made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Alison Krauss. His list of guest appearances over the years is a who’s who of bluegrass legends including Bill Monroe, Jim and Jesse, and Ralph Stanley. After high school Mike toured with Dale Ann Bradley and Coon Creek before joining Rhonda Vincent and The Rage in 2000. At the 2001 IBMA awards, Mike took his first Fiddle Performer of the Year award, and shared the title of Entertainer of the Year with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. In 2002 Mike rejoined The Dale Ann Bradley Band. That year he won the Fiddle Performer of the Year award and again in 2004. Since 2006, Mike has swept the Fiddle Performer of the Year award, and now has 10. Mike’s first solo project as a Rounder recording artist, Flame Keeper, was re-leased in February 2002 and was chosen the IBMA’s Instrumental Album of the Year. In 2004, Mike shared the Instrumental Album of the Year award with Tom Adams for Tom Adams and Michael Cleveland Live at the Ragged Edge, an album of fiddle and banjo duets. That was followed in 2006 by a second solo project, the award-winning Let ‘Er Go, Boys! and in 2008 by the first Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper CD, Leavin’ Town. The band’s second CD, Fired Up, was released in March 2011 and reached #1 on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Most Played Albums chart.
Nathan Livers – Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Nathan Livers has been engulfed in music his entire life. From his grandpa’s claw-hammer banjo playing to the sounds of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers on the turntable, bluegrass music is in his blood. Inspired by Bill Monroe’s mandolin style, Nathan picked up the instrument at the age of ten and learned a few chords and melodies from his father, Bill Livers, whom he credits as being the driving force behind his learning to play. Now making his home in Charlestown, Indiana, Nathan has played in such bands as The ‘Get Down’ Bluegrass Boys with Michael Cleveland, Charlie Lawson & Oak Hill, Gary Brewer & the Kentucky Ramblers, Tony Holt & the Wildwood Valley Boys, and a Louisville-based bluegrass band, Storefront Congregation, that featured Nathan’s songwriting on its 2011 release “Kaleidoscope.”
Tyler Griffith – Although he’s the youngest musician of the group, Tyler presents his music as a seasoned veteran in his performance as bassist and vocalist. Hailing from Avon, IN, Tyler has been performing since he was the age of 4 through musical family influences. Throughout his career, Tyler has garnered more stage time than many musicians twice his age. Appearing, either as a member or guest bassist of many bluegrass, gospel, jazz, and country groups, Tyler has been molded into a very well rounded and cognizant musician. He has played in such regional groups as Vicki & Crew, Penn Central, and Grand Central. As a driving bassist, his lead work establishes a standard and when Tyler sets a beat it is immovable.
Joshua Richards grew up in the small rural community of Leota, Indiana. His earliest influences were his father Steve and brother Jason who taught him how to play and sing bluegrass music. While completing his degree in corporate and organizational communication at Western Kentucky University, Joshua played upright bass with the Farewell Drifters. After graduation he joined Old Louisville Express on guitar and played primarily around the Louisville, Kentucky area. Joshua was most recently a member of Blue River, the 2008 Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America band contest winners. Blue River produced two albums — “Kentucky Girl and Me” and “Outside of Nowhere.” He played guitar, sang lead and tenor vocals, and contributed several original songs to the albums. When Joshua isn’t playing music he watches movies, plays golf, goes sailing, and spends time with his friends and family.
Jasiah Shrode was raised in a rural farming community near Plato, Missouri. He developed an interest in music at a young age and began learning to play several instruments at age 11. Although he’s quite proficient on guitar and mandolin, banjo has been his first love. Since 2009, he has been a member of Jim Orchard and the Boys, a favorite in the Missouri region. Shrode cites his greatest musical influences as Jim Orchard, Aaron McDarris, Haskell McCormick, Ferrell Stowe, Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Sonny Osborne.