Spreading a bluegrass sound on the Comstock | NevadaAppeal.com

Spreading a bluegrass sound on the Comstock

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Nevada Appeal file photo Fiddle player Vicki Hass with The Back Forty Band performs at the 2006 Bluegrass on the Comstock Festival in Virginia City. The 2007 festival, which kicks off Friday, will feature a dozen bands from across the country.

For three days, Virginia City plays host to an extended family reunion.

While the participants aren’t related by blood, they do share a common bond, Bluegrass music.

“It’s nice to see everyone again. When all these people show up, it’s like a big family reunion,” said Vicki Hass, member of the Back Forty Band. “To me, that’s what Bluegrass is about.”

The third annual Bluegrass on the Comstock Festival is July 13-15.

The festival begins with a jam session at 7 p.m. July 13 at the Depot. The scheduled entertainment runs noon-8 p.m. July 14 and from noon-5:30 p.m. July 15 at Miner’s Park.

Ten bands, including Moonlight Hoodoo Revue of Reno and Northern California’s Action Sound String Band, will take the stage over two days.

“(Moonlight Hoodo Revue) are a great local group. They are an off-shoot of Bluegrass, I’d almost call them rock-Bluegrass,” Hass said.

Several popular bands are returning from last year, including the Back Forty Band, Texas-based Digger Davis and Tombstone as well as the F-150s.

In addition to the performances, a song-writing contest and a band scramble will also be featured July 14.

Performers have one day to write music and lyrics to a new song, which will be judged the afternoon of July 14.

During the scramble, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and bass players put their names in a hat. One of each is drawn, and the newly formed band must come up with a name and play several songs for the crowd.

Hass said Bluegrass music and Virginia City are just a good fit for each other and the hope of the festival’s organizers is to see it continue to become more popular.

“We started it to promote Bluegrass, and because of where Virginia City is and what it’s about, Bluegrass really promotes that old-timey atmosphere,” Hass said.

The goal of the organizers is to expand into a three-day festival and increase the number of acts that perform.

“Our hope is to open up Friday as a third full day, if we thought we could get the attendance. If we did that, we’d move the jam session to Thursday night, so it would really be a little more than three days,” Hass said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

If you go

What: Bluegrass on the Comstock Festival

When: Jam session at 7 p.m. July 13, scheduled entertainment from noon-8 p.m. July 14 and noon-5:30 p.m. July 15.

Where: Jam session at the Depot, entertainment at Miner’s Park. Participants are encouraged to bring coolers and lawn chairs.

Price: $15 for a day-pass, $25 for both days.

information: Call 847-4386

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