Long run­ning fes­ti­val gets on

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN JENVEY

ONE of Beech­worth’s long-run­ning fes­ti­vals will cel­e­brate its 20th year next week­end.

The Kelly Coun­try Pick - blue­grass and old time coun­try mu­sic con­ven­tion be­gan in 1999 as an an­nual get to­gether be­tween a few pick­ers from Vic­to­ria and NSW and their fam­i­lies.

It now at­tracts some 300-500 mu­si­cians and pa­trons and fea­tures work­shops and af­ter­noon con­certs held at the Old Pri­ory with evening per­for­mances tak­ing place at dif­fer­ent venues around Beech­worth.

This year the event will start three days ear­lier with a camp set to run from next Tues­day to Thurs­day be­fore the week­end’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The week­end de­vel­oped out of the Har­ri­etville Blue­grass Fes­ti­val with a small group of friends want­ing to meet some­where be­tween Mel­bourne and Syd­ney,” Kelly Coun­try Pick di­rec­tor Peter Hisco said.

“These days we try to set a limit of about 1215 acts which is about 60 mu­si­cians and that al­lows each one to play two 45-minute sets.

“We’re re­ally pleased with the re­sponse to the camp and have 45 stu­dents com­ing along and six fan­tas­tic tu­tors so that will be a nice lead-in to the week­end.”

A packed week­end pro­gram fea­tures per­form­ers from around Aus­tralia as well as two tal­ented young mu­si­cians from the United States.

Jake Blount, who be­came the first African Amer­i­can to make the fi­nals at the pres­ti­gious Ap­palachian String Band Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Clifftop West Vir­ginia in 2016 and the first to win in the tra­di­tional band cat­e­gory, will be joined by Libby Weit­nauer who hails from Maryville, Ten­nessee and now lives in New York.

Pop­u­lar Aus­tralian acts at­tend­ing in­clude all-fe­male group from Syd­ney Whoa Mule, New­cas­tle’s Steel City Sue, The Blue­grass Junc­tion from South Aus­tralia and in-state acts Blue Guru and The Un­der­tones, all fea­tur­ing along­side dy­namic Beech­worth band Kissin’ Cousins.

Work­shops aimed at mu­si­cians and non- mu­si­cians alike, across a broad range of in­stru­ments in­clud­ing banjo, gui­tar, do­bro, fid­dle, man­dolin and har­mony singing will be held at the Old Pri­ory on the Satur­day and Sun­day morn­ings.

Evening per­for­mance and open mic ses­sions will take place at The Ni­cholas, Bridge Road Brewers, An­swells Com­mer­cial Ho­tel and the Old Pri­ory.

The full pro­gram is avail­able at www. kel­ly­coun­tryp­ick.org.

LO­CAL FAVOURITES: Dy­namic Beech­worth band Kissin’ Cousins will be among the most pop­u­lar acts at this year’s Kelly Coun­try Pick.

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