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Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival celebrates 25 years

5 min read
Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival celebrates 25 years

October in Oklahoma equals leaves turning from environmentally friendly to amber and orange however, in Guthrie, Okay (which is the epicenter of bluegrass in the state), the definition of fall is the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Pageant. The brainchild of the late fiddle legend, Byron Berline, the festival began its journey back again in 1984. Berline and his loved ones were residing in Los Angeles, his spouse Bette had developed up in Guthrie, and repeated outings again household were the norm. A person trip in 1984, Byron and Joe Hutchinson, previous condition consultant, started speaking about Berline’s aspiration of possessing a bluegrass festival that would allow for national and global artists to co-exist in a festival placing. In 1996, the desire arrived to fruition.

Berline labored arms on with the competition right until his untimely passing July 10 of final 12 months. On the other hand, his daughter, Becca Berline, and his nephew, Barry “Bones” Patton, along with the OIBF board members, stepped up to the plate and celebrated the 25th calendar year with a three working day competition that was packed with expertise.

As the leaves have been slipping from the tall cottonwood trees, the seems of live audio loaded the air. From the Cottonwood Creek Stage, to the Youth Tent and The Byron Berline Stage a person could hear songs from each nook and cranny. 

Working day a person performers on the primary stage ended up The Purple Dirt Rangers, Superior Buddies Bluegrass Band, Cowboy Jim Garling ( Western Swing Hall of Famer), The Bonham’s, Mallory Eagle, The Hunt Family members Band, The Western Flyers with guest, Redd Volkaert, Fake Pal, Bob Wiles & Cowboy Jones, Trapp (Berline’s former flat top picker), Mullenax and Moore, Monica Taylor and her Pink Filth Ramblers, Barry “Bones” Patton & Tim McDonald, and the night was topped off with the annual Jim Paul Blair’s Random Band Jam. The random jam is a tradition at OIBF and has been celebrated for 23 several years. “The random band jam presents absolutely everyone the prospect to conduct on the principal phase with their musical heroes,” claimed Jean Wiles. The way it will work is you set your name in a jar labeled with the instrument of your choice, from guitar to bass, to vocal to “other” (harmonica, saw, shaker, who is aware of). Names are drawn and each and every band will have 20 minutes to observe two tunes, come up with a band identify, and get ready to carry out. As normally, the band jam is one particular of the highlights of the OIBF.

Friday, day two, there was no enable up in effectiveness. The phase was roaring with new music by 10:00 a.m. Onstage that working day have been Cowboy Jim Garling, The Western Flyers with visitor Redd Volkaert, Wood Willow, Cliff Major, Tim McDonald Band, Blue Canyon Boys, Hunt Brothers Band, John Moore, Steve Spurgin and Rick Faris. This was all before meal time. Usually, OIBF breaks for lunch and supper but not in 2022. While all factors were being buzzing on the principal phase, there was a workshop in the youth tent. Taught in the spherical by Joey McKenzie, Ridge Roberts, Jens Kruger, Steven Moore, and Mike Munford, there was not an vacant seat as everyone’s awareness was on the instructors.  

New music was done for 12 + hrs non-quit on the Berline Stage. The night squall of winds were being bitter and men and women donned their sweatshirts and snuggled below blankets, but nothing at all deterred what was to come. Right after 6:00 performing their way up to the headliner, had been Faux Buddy, Steelwind, The Kruger Brothers, The Grascals, and headliner Frank Solivan & Filthy Kitchen. The Kruger Brothers referred to Guthrie as household, as they experienced executed at all but four yrs of the festival. Uwe claimed, “We are happy to be dwelling and be again with relatives. This is not a competition, this is family members.” When The Grascals took middle phase, mandolinist Danny Roberts mentioned, “I would trade my shirt for a coat.” A real Oklahoman loaned him his Oklahoma Condition satin jacket, and Danny performed the rest of the hour wearing it. Now you would think you experienced found the headliner of this day, at least twice, but there was nevertheless extra. Multi Grammy nominated,Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen area introduced a torrent of multi-degree and brain blowing bluegrass.  

Working day 3 didn’t slow down a little bit. The Baker Household, Cliff Top, Monica Taylor and Her Pink Grime Ramblers, Blue Canyon Boys, Wooden Willow, and the Tim McDonald Band have been fast paced maintaining the Berline phase warm, even though the Youth tent was loaded with entertainers underneath 18, who had been wanting to consider home the OIBF Championship trophy. These “pickers of tomorrow” and champions for the day had been:


  1.  McKenna Peterson
  2. Stephen Russell
  3. Grace Williamson


  1. Braxton Rogers
  2.  Brandon Chang
  3.  Grace Williamson

Upright Bass

  1. Elizabeth Williamson
  2. Grace Williamson


  1. Miller Bazemore
  2. Grace Williamson
  3. Elizabethe Williamson


  1. Travis Schoonover
  2. Tyler Blazemore


  1. Grace Williamson
  2. Brandon Chang
  3. Cypress Bazemore

Loved ones Band

  1. Cynthia Ridge Band

While the levels of competition was ongoing in the Youth Tent, the auction, which money the Youth scholarships was happening on the principal stage. A established of bones handcrafted by Jim Triggs held an appealing tale. “These are produced from a piece of wood that is from a venture at Walnut Valley in Winfield, KS. Barry asked me if I could make a established of bones out of it. Barry has autographed them and they will be up on the auction.” The auction, as generally, went above nicely.

Instantly pursuing the auction was nonetheless another workshop. This was for guitar and mandolin. Instructors were Thomas Trapp, Uwe Kruger, John Moore, Sam Grounds, Rick Faris, Redd Volkaert, and Frank Solivan. I uncovered myself worn out at this issue, but understood there was however a lot more bluegrass all-around the corner. Trapp, Mullenax & Moore, together with Steelwind established the stage for The Kruger Brothers, John Moore, Steve Spurgin, Rick Faris and The Grascals. Through their functionality, Uwe Kruger invited Michael Cleveland onto stage. This was just a sample of the headlining efficiency. Cleveland and his Flamekeepers set the stage afire with Sally Goodin to commence their set. Bette Berline, widow of Byron, and Sue Hickman, widow of John Hickman, had entrance row seats and their smiles said it all.

Underneath the Oklahoma sky, loaded with a in close proximity to complete moon, everyone was hypnotized with all that OIBF 2022 experienced held. The festival hosted almost 3,000 bluegrass enthusiasts of each individual age, and had a myriad of talents that 1 will under no circumstances overlook. Byron would have been very pleased.   

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