Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series kicked off last Saturday with an all-day bluegrass show featuring new up-and-comers and veteran bluegrass performers. Bluegrass in the Park, Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first annual bluegrass festival, brought Della Mae, Donna Hughes Band, Cherryholmes Brothers, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, and Nashville Bluegrass Band from points further south to New York City (to the Oval Lawn, to be precise) for rare–for these parts–showcase of traditional and modern bluegrass. Throughout the day, Fatty Crew served a sampling of delicious southern fare to an enthusiastic (and hungry) crowd.
Della Mae opened the fest with a rousing set of songs from their soon-to-be-released album, I Built This Heart.
Next up, the Donna Hughes Band hit the stage performing songs from their latest album, Hellos, Goodbyes, and Butterflies – currently the number 1 album on Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Junction.
Together as a brand new group, the Cherryholmes Brothers made their debut performance in the Park and wowed the audience with their lighting-speed fiddle and mando playing.
Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike performed their own take on bluegrass, mixing the genre with Americana, roots, and even a little Frank Sinatra!
Closing out the fest was the incomparable Nashville Bluegrass Band. Showcasing years-worth of showmanship, this five-piece group ended the day with an unforgettable performance.
A special thanks to all of our sponsors for helping to present this important American art form to the NYC community:
The Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, Kew Management, Zwicker Electric, WFUV, SIA Acoustics, Ace Hotel New York, Time Out New York, Danley Sound Labs, The Carlton Hotel, Benvenuto CafÃ©, Trader Joe’s, and Pop Chips.
Mad. Sq. Music is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. Mad. Sq. Music is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.