Bluegrass Raleigh

Your Saturday guide to World of Bluegrass

Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers perform Saturday in Raleigh, N.C., for Wide Open Bluegrass at Red Hat Amphitheater.
Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers perform Saturday in Raleigh, N.C., for Wide Open Bluegrass at Red Hat Amphitheater.

All good things must come to an end. But not before one last day of major music events in downtown Raleigh.

You’ll find free shows all over downtown Raleigh at the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fest.

Tickets are required for shows on the main stage at Red Hat Amphitheater.

For complete details and tickets, go to and

Note that acts and times are subject to change


▪ Main Stage: Shows are Saturday at Red Hat Amphitheater, 500 S. McDowell St, Raleigh. Single-day tickets start at $50 for IBMA members, $60 for the general public.

▪ Wide Open Bluegrass Streetfest: Free shows on stages on Fayetteville Street and around downtown Raleigh.

▪ Head to “Banjostand,” a temporary art project at the Raleigh Convention Center, for photo opps and yoga. It’s perhaps one of the most photographed spots during the World of Bluegrass. Wyoming Artist Bland Hoke uses more than 500 castoff banjo necks and other banjo parts to erect a sculpture around the Sir Walter Raleigh statue. It’s become a go-to place for photos, jam sessions, meetups and even yoga. The popular prop shop photo session is from 3 to 9 p.m. Bring friends and have a professional photographer take a photo of you by the statue, complete with goofy music-themed props. The Yoga with Sir Walter session is Saturday at 8:30 a.m. It’s free and is taught by Blue Lotus yoga. Participants should bring a yoga mat.

There also is photo contest with a chance to win a Martin guitar, locally made Raleigh products, a PineCone T-shirt or CD and a yearlong PineCone membership. Tag your photos with #Banjostand. For more, go to

▪ World of Bluegrass Expo: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is where you’ll find vendors, gear and products for music fans. It’s open to the public Friday and Saturday at the Raleigh Convention Center.

▪ The 32nd annual North Carolina Whole Hog Championship is this weekend, considered the state championship of barbecue in North Carolina. Around 30 teams will vie for the title, each having qualified based on their finish in one of 20 or so competitions throughout the year. After the judging this morning, sandwiches go on sale at 11 a.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center near the Cabarrus Street facade.

▪ In the midst of all the music, you’ll find the Boone Adventure Zone, which gives a taste of Boone on the streets of downtown Raleigh. You can mine for gemstones, slide down an inflatable slide or take selfies on a (fiberglass) horse. Head to the corner of Fayetteville and Martin streets. Activities are free.

Our picks today

Bluegrass 45

Fifty years after they started playing music together in a Kobe coffeehouse called Lost City, the six members of the Japanese band are bringing their brand of bluegrass to Wide Open Bluegrass. Most of the members still live in Japan. But they still regroup periodically to perform, and they’ve been using Skype to prepare for this 50th-anniversary performance at Wide Open Bluegrass.

Where to see them: Wide Open Bluegrass Main Stage at Red Hat Amphitheater at 2 p.m.

Sister Sadie

The five women of Sister Sadie, including many-time IBMA female vocalist winner Dale Ann Bradley and North Carolinian Gena Britt, are nominated for IBMA’s Emerging Artist award for 2017, but they have plenty of experience making music in their own ensembles. They punctuate a traditional approach with soaring harmonies and some girl power.

Where to see them: Wide Open Bluegrass Main Stage at Red Hat Amphitheater at noon.

Songs from the Road Band

“Traveling Show” is the perfect title for the new album from this supergroup of North Carolina roots musicians. It’s not often these folks, including Mandolin Orange’s Andrew Marlin and Emily Franz, Steep Canyon Rangers’ Charles R. Humphrey III and several others, can get time off the road to perform together. When they do, you don’t want to miss it.

When to see them: Wide Open Streetfest, 3:45 p.m., City Plaza Stage


Get there early, and get ready to dance with your whole body. Scythian’s blend of Celtic, Eastern European and Appalachian music builds a buzz wherever they go, and it’s impossible not to smile when they’re doing their leapy, frantic, joyful thing.

When to see them: Wide Open Streetfest, 9:30 p.m., Dance Tent

Wide Open Bluegrass

Main Stage, Red Hat Amphitheater

Noon Sister Sadie

1 p.m. Chatham County Line

2 p.m. Bluegrass 45

3 p.m. Sierra Hull

4 p.m. Lonesome River Band

5 p.m. Balsam Range

6:30 p.m. The Travelin’ McCourys

8 p.m. Hot Rize

9:45 p.m. Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Steve Martin

Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival

City Plaza Stage

Noon Flashback

1:15 p.m. Joe Newberry & April Verch

2:30 p.m. Kids on Bluegrass

3:45 p.m. Songs From the Road Band

5 p.m. Bryan Sutton & Casey Campbell

6:15 p.m. Becky Buller Band

7:45 p.m. Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

9:30 p.m. Chatham County Line (electric)

Davie Street Stage

12:15 p.m. ClayBank

1:30 p.m. Piney Woods Boys

2:45 p.m. Snyder Family Band

4 p.m. Mark Kuykendall, Bobby Hicks & Asheville Bluegrass

5:15 p.m. Strictly Clean & Decent

6:30 p.m. Rorrer Brothers and Son

8 p.m. Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive

9:45 p.m. Harris Brothers

Hargett Street Stage

12:30 p.m. Nixon, Blevins & Gage

1:45 p.m. Williamson Brothers

3 p.m. Hank, Pattie & The Current

4:15 p.m. Kristy Cox

5:30 p.m. Sideline

6:45 p.m. Claire Lynch

8:15 p.m. Kenny & Amanda Smith

9:45 p.m. Slocan Ramblers

Capitol Stage

12:15 p.m. Outliers

1:30 p.m. Ray Cardwell & Tennessee Moon

2:45 p.m. Ms. Adeventure

4 p.m. Newtown

5:15 p.m. Scythian

6:30 p.m. Jeff Scroggins & Colorado

8 p.m. Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle

9:45 p.m. Wood & Wire

Dance Tent

Noon Square Dance with caller Kyle Johnson and Half Hog

2:30 p.m. Clogging performance/workshop with Cane Creek Cloggers and Strictly Strings

4:15 p.m. Contra Dance with caller Beth Molaro and Steamshovel

6:15 p.m. Green Grass Cloggers, Uncle John & The Hollis Trio

7:30 p.m. Gravy Boys

9:30 p.m. Scythian

Junior Appalachian Musicians (J.A.M.) at Martin Street

Noon Karlie Keepfer & Friends

1 p.m. Hill Family

2 p.m. Tater Hill Mashers

3 p.m. Creekside Crawfish

4 p.m. Lang Sisters

5 p.m. Cane Mill Road

6 p.m. Strictly Strings

7 p.m. Joe Newberry & April Verch

8 p.m. Trailblazers

9:30 p.m. ShadowGrass

Youth Stage at Raleigh Convention Center Plaza

Noon Seven Pine

1 p.m. Jonah Riddle & Carolina Express

2 p.m. #MASHTAG

3 p.m. Dalton Gang

4 p.m. Salt & Light

5 p.m. Morehead State University

5:50 p.m. Pellissippi State Community College

6:40 p.m. Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble

7:30 p.m. Glenville State College

8:20 p.m. Denison University

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