2005 California Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley

by Matt Ellinger

What a treat is was for Barbary Coast Cloggers to perform to the sweet sounds of Sidesaddle at the California Bluegrass Association’s 30th Annual Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley! The group was well received by the music fans attending the festival, and the response from the event staff and the other performers was especially gratifying.

[Foggy Mountain Breakdown]

BCC was booked for two thirty minute late afternoon performances, and the sometimes scorching summer days up in foothills gave way to a beautiful breeziness. What was very hot, though, was Sidesaddle. This classy bluegrass ensemble puts together a special configuration of musicians when playing for us. They are Kim Elking on mandolin, Diana Donelly on guitar, Sonia Shell on banjo, Lisa Burns on bass, and Lee Ann Welch on fiddle. The girls trade off on vocals, but Diana sings lead on most including a tune called “Bucket to the South” which they arranged and learned just for us.

[Fisher's Hornpipe/Devil's Dream & Merina]

Jeff Porter and Ron Jenkins were tapped to explain our dancing and all about Barbary Coast Cloggers to a worldwide audience of satellite radio listeners on the XM radio network. Part of our show was broadcast as well! That was a first for us: clogging on the radio!

[I'm Ready & Rocky Top]

BCC performed nine pieces each show ranging from a Celtic-inspired hornpipe to the classic Rocky Top Stomp. Old timers Doug, Dale, Matt and Richard were matched step by step by our “new guys” Jeff, Scott, Ron, Brian, Ian, and Dan. We also performed a couple of gospel numbers and a very challenging Canadian style dance called Red Rose Reel. Congratulations were in order to all the guys for a very fine show.

[Contradance workshop]

And a big thanks to Lisa Burns and the California Bluegrass Festival for the honor of performing at this tremendous event!