Bluegrass Festival keeps growing


STANFORD - Since its inception four years ago, the Bluegrass Festival here has grown by leaps and bounds.

Jeff Cain, a member of the Stanford Renaissance committee and owner of Main Street Music, says last year's crowd numbered around 1,000.

"We always hope it gets bigger," Cain says. "It's good, clean, family fun.

"The local businesses are the ones sponsoring the festival, and they are really supportive of it."

This year's festival, which will be held Saturday at the historic L&N Depot downtown, features four bands: Kirby Knob Boys at 5 p.m.; Eddy Hopkins and Son at 6 p.m.; Just In Tyme at 7 p.m. and Crossroads at 8 p.m. Attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs to the free festival.

Concessions will be for sale again this year, and the Cattlemen's Association is expected to be firing up its grills. In the case of rain, the festival will move to Stanford Baptist Church.


About the bands:

The Kirby Knob Boys are three brothers, a son and a bluegrass music veteran: brothers Doug, Larry and Ricky Miller; Doug's son Anthony; and radio producer/programmer Dan Caldwell. Doug Miller plays mandolin; Larry Miller, bass; Ricky Miller, banjo and guitar; Anthony Miller, guitar; and Caldwell, dobro and guitar.

The group has been together five years, and performs traditional favorites from the first generation of bluegrass. The repertoire ranges from Flatt and Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers to Bob Dylan, The Eagles and John Anderson.

Caldwell and Anthony Miller write original songs for the bands while Ricky Miller composes instrumental works for The Kirby Knob Boys. Caldwell also arranges many of the songs the group performs.

The group's Web site is

Eddy Hopkins and Son are regulars at the Bluegrass Festival in Stanford. The band includes Hopkins, of Crab Orchard, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; son Adam Hopkins of McAfee, mandolin and lead guitar; Greg Ives of Lancaster, five-string banjo; and Mike Deweese of Lexington, upright bass.

Hopkins has played bluegrass music over half his life, and the group's background is rich in traditional bluegrass. But the band also likes to "mix it up" and play more modern bluegrass tunes as well. Hopkins writes a number of songs for the band.

Just in Tyme, a popular Bluegrass Festival band, was formed around 1997. It includes five artists from Lincoln County: Paul Rice, banjo, harmony and lead vocals; Charles Fields, mandolin, harmony and lead vocals; Tom Bentley, guitar, harmony and lead vocals; Jerry Petrey, bass and lead vocals; and Vickie Petrey, lead vocals.

The group has played several area festivals, including Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Festival of the Bluegrass, Half Runner Bluegrass Festival and String Bean Bluegrass Festival. Local events that are included amongst its venues include the Perryville Battlefield Re-enactment, Hustonville Heritage Days, McKinney Station Days, Boyle County Fair and Crab Orchard Homecoming Celebration.

Crossroads band plays traditional bluegrass music while dressed in traditional bluegrass garb. The band includes: Gene Thompson, mandolin and lead/tenor vocals; Tom Murphy, guitar and lead vocals; Albert Fox, Fiddle and baritone vocals; Jim Moore, bass and lead vocals; and Tweed Donohoe, banjo, bass and lead vocals.

Thompson originally is from Kings Mountain and grew up just across the county line in Casey County. Thompson is an original member of the band.

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