The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival: FREE in Golden Gate Park this Weekend

Bluegrass-lovers by the thousands at HSB 2008 (pic courtesy of the european bluegrass music association blog)

Bluegrass-lovers by the thousands at HSB 2008 (pic courtesy of the european bluegrass music association blog)

I was told this piece had the potential of being quite funny.  But see, the funniest (read: most embarrassing) thing I could think of about bluegrass is that starting at age 12 (complete with braces), I won the blue ribbon 3 years in a row at the Marin County Fair Fiddle Contest.  Other than that, bluegrass in itself merits very little poke fun at.  Now, I could disparage “country music” all the live long day.  But to me, there is a vast difference between those gun-toting, NRA-loving, truck-driving rednecks singing about booze and women, and the time-honored Appalachian tradition of bluegrass music ripe with 3-part harmonies, masterful guitar-picking, and dark lyrics about the uncertainty of love and inevitability of death.

MC HAMMER- hardly bluegrass

MC HAMMER- hardly bluegrass

The Strictly Bluegrass Festival began in 2001, and in their 4th year they added “Hardly” to their title to draw more participants and a larger audience.  This year, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival boasts a lineup that includes headliners like Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Boz Scaggs, Steve Earle, and Ralph Stanley (think Oh Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack).  But they’ve also got Steve Martin (playing banjo!), Neko Case, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, and…wait for it…MC Hammer.  That’s right, it’s Hammer time!  That “Hardly” sure came in handy when the king of parachute pants signed on.  Grab a blanket, some friends, and some sunscreen (the October heat waves are looming) and have some old-timey fun.

The FREE Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
Speedway Meadow (Golden Gate Park)
click here for this year’s map
Friday, October 2
nd 10:30am-7pm
Saturday, October 3
rd 11am-8pm
Sunday, October 4
th 11am-8pm

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.

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