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 â€œcountry musicâ€ 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.
The Strictly Bluegrass Festival began in 2001, and in their 4th year they added â€œHardlyâ€ 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, andâ€¦wait for itâ€¦MC Hammer. That’s right, it’s Hammer time! That â€œHardlyâ€ 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 2nd 10:30am-7pm
Saturday, October 3rd 11am-8pm
Sunday, October 4th 11am-8pm