Clay Hess Band

PEI Bluegrass Festival sets up in new location

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The PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival is on the move. After twenty- three years at the Rollo Bay Festival Grounds the festival has moved to the Fairgrounds in Dundas. The new venue still features the same great entertainment and friendly atmosphere. It all happens July 5 to 7.

“This year we have lined up the finest slate of entertainers that we’ve had in a number of years, including three of the top flight US bands and the cream of the crop from the Maritimes, say organizers.

The festival is headlined by The Clay Hess Band. This is a return engagement for Clay. The group features Clay Hess on guitar and vocals. Clay is a former member of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. Clay is supported by his son Brennan on guitar and vocals, Dustin Frame on mandolin, Irl Hees on bass and Brady Wall on banjo.

The Garrett Newton Band is led by young banjo player, Garrett Newton, who is in his teens. The Band includes bluegrass veterans Parks Icenhour on guitar, Allen Dyer on guitar and vocals, Lorraine Jordan (the leader of Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road) on bass and two younger musicians, Daniel and Chris, on mandolin and fiddle.

The third US band is from Grande Blanc Michigan. New County Grass is made up of brothers Kyle and Brent Estep along with their father Duane Estep and banjo player Dean DuBois. Their music bears an uncanny resemblance to the early music of the Bluegrass Album Band. Their harmony are silky and their musicianship is second to none.

Of course, the festival wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t include the finest in Maritime talent. Monroe is perhaps the top band in eastern Canada and includes the regions top musicians. High Lonesome Drive is a relatively new band but is definitely up to the challenge of keeping the other groups on their toes. Last but by no means least is The Bluegrass Diamonds. The Diamonds are just as dynamic as ever and are coming back to their original configuration. This will be their thirtieth appearance at the festival.

Workshops, children’s program, open mics and lots of other events make the festival a great experience.

The PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival is at The Dundas Fairgrounds in Dundas July 5 to 7 and the gates will open on Monday, July 1.