Bluegrass festival at Narramissic

The Bridgton Historical Society will host a Bluegrass Festival at Narramissic, the Peabody-Fitch Farm in South Bridgton, on Saturday, Aug. 13.

BRAD HOOPER of Albany will perform at the Bridgton Historical Society’s Bluegrass Festival at Narramissic in South Bridgton next Saturday, Aug. 13. The event begins at 5 p.m.

A new venture for the Society, the event will feature the popular performer Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection. Well-known radio personality Betsy Mason will emcee the event, which begins at 4 p.m. with informal jam sessions — all are invited to bring their instruments and enjoy the beautiful grounds of the historic site. Music on stage will start at 5 p.m.

Performers include: Brad Hooper, who is a first-class songwriter and with a classic voice to match; local up and coming band “Medicine Root;” and musician Jack Jollie.

Brown started playing the fiddle at the age of six and has been performing since the age of nine, traveling throughout New England, Canada and Louisiana. She has won numerous fiddle contests in New England as well as Canada. Already considered a Master of Traditional Fiddling by the Maine Arts Commission, Erica brings a special energy and style to the Maine music scene. She has opened for Grammy Award winners Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.

Jackie Rybeck of the Advertiser Democrat has written that, “Brad Hooper may not have been born with a guitar in his hand and a harmonica in his mouth as Arlo Guthrie claims, but he sings of laughter and loss with all of his heart. When people listen to Hooper’s music they will hear the truth from a soul that’s just a deeper shade of blue.”
“Medicine Root” kicks things off on stage at 5 p.m., featuring Scott Davis and Chris Foster, who have played music together off and on for the past 10 years. During the 2008 Maine Blues Festival, Chris was in the audience during Scott’s performance and the two decided to start a new band that combined acoustic guitar and bass to explore the roots of Americana music. Since 1998, Scott has been exploring the acoustic finger-style guitar of longtime favorites such as Reverend Merle Travis and Sam “Lightning” Hopkins, and has studied acoustic finger-style guitar with Jorma Kaukonen, Ernie Hawkins, Roy Book Binder and the Reverend Robert Jones. Chris and Scott are currently working on a full-length compact disc of their original material.

ERICA BROWN and the Bluegrass Connection headlines the first major concert at Narramissic in South Bridgton next Saturday, Aug. 13. The Bridgton Historical Society is hosting a Bluegrass Festival beginning at 5 p.m. Erica will be joined by (back row, left to right) Steve Roy, Matt Shipman, Ken Taylor and Read McNamara.

Jollie is from Bridgton, and has played bluegrass with a Connecticut band for many years. He has also been helping Al Hawks, and enjoys playing solo.

Food and beverages will be for sale at the event, and those wishing to arrive early may have a tour of the historic house. Admission is just $12 ($2 for children 12 and under), and proceeds will go toward the on-going restoration of the 200-year-old house.

Clarification: There have been published reports that Chipotle Mexican Grill would be providing food at the Bluegrass Festival. “This is inaccurate. Although we had investigated the possibility of having Chipotle provide food, no agreement was finalized and it should not have been discussed outside of the organization (Bridgton Historical Society),” said Ned Allen of the Bridgton Historical Society. There will be a barbecue at the festival.

The Bridgton Historical Society also operates an archives and museum in the former fire station on Gibbs Avenue in downtown Bridgton. The museum and archives are open this summer Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and other times by appointment.

Narramissic, located on Ingalls Road, off Route 107 in South Bridgton, is an historic house museum and a venue for events and workshops that further an appreciation of early American life. With over 20 acres of fields, it sits on one of the highest points of land in town, with spectacular views to the north and west.

Narramissic is also open for tours this summer Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment. The grounds are open to the public any time during daylight hours.

For further information, contact the Bridgton Historical Society at PO Box 44, Bridgton, ME 04009, or call 647-9954, or visit

www.bridgtonhistory.org, or e-mail  info@bridgtonhistory.org

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