International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass
Various venues, Downtown Raleigh
Tuesday, September 26–Saturday, September 30, 2017

With the fifth installment of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, it’s easy to get fatigued by the crowds as well as the bands, some of which have repeated with each year that the festival rolls into town. That’s not to say that there weren’t any exciting new acts at this year’s festival—you just had to dig a bit to find them.

But as it turned out, the very first act I checked out at the Tuesday night Bluegrass Ramble might have been the very best. With soaring harmonies and close ties to the traditional side of bluegrass music, The Price Sisters effortlessly lit up the Longview Center and the church’s natural acoustics lending a hand to lift the sister duo’s voices even higher.

Just across Moore Square that same Tuesday night, The Pour House was hosting the PineCone and Bluegrass Situation Shout and Shine showcase, which boasted a diverse group of roots artists. With The Ebony Hillibillies as a headliner, the event sought to give a bigger platform to more marginalized acts in roots music. Other delightful discoveries during the weekday rambles included The Slocan Ramblers, The Wooks, Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, and the Tyler Williams Band, all proof of how well curated the ramble showcases are as well as further evidence that there are fresh and new faces coming through the festival each year.

That’s not to say that the staples of the North Carolina’s strong bluegrass community were absent. Hall of Fame inductees Alice Gerrard and Bobby Hicks each played throughout the week. Tommy Edwards Bluegrass Experience, the Williamson Brothers, Joe Newberry; Hank, Pattie & The Current; Town Mountain, Songs From The Road Band, and Chatham County Line were among the few that represented the state to large crowds.

Below are just a few clips of that played throughout the weekend that was the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass 2017. For more, click through to YouTube and peruse the whole channel.

The Price Sisters, “Budded on Earth to Bloom in Heaven”