Award-winning bands playing Rollo Bay

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Shannon and Heather Slaughter and the band County Clare will be among the acts at the Rollo Bay P.E.I. Old Time Music Festival.

The 29th P.E.I. Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival takes the stage at the festival grounds in Rollo Bay.

The festival continues a tradition that began at the Dunollie Travel Park in Fairview and then moved to Rollo Bay 19 years ago where it is still held each year on the first full weekend of July. It has grown to be one of the top festivals in Canada, bringing in the finest U.S. bands and combining them with the best from the local and regional area.

This year, the stage shows start at noon today. It will also feature a children’s program today and Saturday and workshops and a songwriter’s circle on Saturday.

This year’s festival features Audie Blaylock and Redline from Indiana, Shannon Slaughter and County Clare from Alabama and Art Stevenson and High Water from Wisconsin.

An award-winning vocalist and guitarist, Blaylock is certainly one of the hottest bluegrass artists today. Along with his band Redline, they are celebrating a load of No. 1 singles from numerous albums on the Rural Rhythm Records label and thrilling audiences with their musicianship, harmony and entertaining stage shows. Blaylock served his apprenticeship for nine years with the legendary Jimmy Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys. With a voice described as “a wailing tenor,” anyone who likes traditional, hard driving bluegrass will love Audie Blaylock and Redline.

Slaughter and his band, County Clare, features powerful singing and ultra-tight harmony; a band that focuses on innovative instrumentation and arrangements, yet possesses the ability and desire to pay homage to tradition. Winner of the prestigious 2012 Chris Austin songwriting contest, Slaughter writes the majority of the band’s material. He has penned numerous songs that have received industry recognition and have been recorded by Blue Highway, The Lonesome River Band, Lou Reid and Carolina, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out and Ernie Thacker, as well as many others. One of his original gospel compositions, It’s So Hard To Stumble, was nominated for a DOVE Award in 2010. This group is a happy mix of traditional and contemporary bluegrass music.

Art Stevenson and High Water is Wisconsin’s best-known bluegrass show and has been in demand throughout the midwest festival circuit since 1993. The band’s bluegrass sound comes from the close duet singing of husband and wife team Art and Stephanie Stevenson, along with the spirited banjo and dobro playing of Dale Reichert and the hard-driving mandolin picking of Bruce King. Their seventh album, Twilight, has just been released. High Water’s music is heard on bluegrass radio programs around the U.S and has received critical acclaim in the magazines Bluegrass Unlimited and Bluegrass Now.

Also featured will be The Bluegrass Diamonds, Simply Blue, Blue Tie Affair and A New Shade Of Blue as well as local P.E.I. favourites, including Janet McGarry & Wildwood, Bluegrass Revival, SK Blluegrass, Blue Zone, Simply Grass, Two + Three, Blue Zone, Joe Casey & Westwind, and Blue Persuasion.

Admission is charged at the gate. For complete details check out peibluegrass.tripod.com.

Organizations: Sunny Mountain Boys, Blue Zone

Geographic location: Rollo Bay, High Water, U.S. Dunollie Travel Park Fairview Canada Indiana Wisconsin

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