North Adams, MA -- 13-time Grammy winner Emmylou Harris plays this year’s FreshGrass festival, MASS MoCA’s weekend wonderland of bluegrass and roots music held on September 19-21. Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music, and her addition to an already powerful lineup of traditional and progressive music guarantees that this year's festival will be the best yet. FreshGrass, MASS MoCA's annual festival of bluegrass and roots music, features a host of well-known, much-loved artists, along with FreshGrass discoveries, in its return to the museum campus in North Adams, Massachusetts.
The 2014 FreshGrass line-up also includes the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, David Grisman Sextet, the Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Aoife O’Donovan, Rodney Crowell, Sam Amidon, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Michael Cleveland, Claire Lynch, Darol Anger, and Martha Redbone Roots Project. Additional performers will be announced in June.
"There are legendary country singers, and then there’s Emmylou: a breathtaking pinnacle of poise and elegance, and an artist who continues to innovate with every new release."
— Time Out New York
Already a major presence on the festival scene, FreshGrass sharpens its focus this year on the best in traditional and progressive bluegrass, also surveying innovative music at the edges of the genre. "A bluegrass weekend that spans The Gibson Brothers to Sam Amidon, The Carolina Chocolate Drops to Rodney Crowell... That's our kind of festival, positioned just on the cusp of New England's fall foliage season," says MASS MoCA Director, Joseph Thompson.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, David Grisman Sextet, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Valerie June, Rodney Crowell, Aoife O'Donovan, Sam Amidon, and festival favorite The Infamous Stringdusters are lining up in the first wave of FreshGrass announcements. Additional acts to be named later this spring.
Three days of concerts and pop-up performances in the museum's indoor galleries, stages, and outdoor concert courtyards; music clinics organized by instrument; and insider presentations by players in the bluegrass music trade, as well as a bounty of Berkshire fresh food and spirits, are planned for the weekend festival. The contest, workshops, and camping will all be expanding this year, as will luthier demonstrations and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries - where festival-goers will find concerts set amidst dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art such as Darren Waterston's Uncertain Beauty - is included in the price of festival admission.
In addition to FreshGrass, MASS MoCA's summer of music includes Beck, Iron and Wine, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Jason Isbell.
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