Just a few miles west on Route 9 from our home on the river in Saxonville, at the junction with the Mass Pike, is the hotel our kids used to call ‘The Castle’, the Sheraton in Framingham. And fortunately for me, every Presidents’ Day Weekend in February, the Castle is taken over by hordes of pickers and singers from all over the country, drawn by the music and camaraderie of The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival.
The rooms at the hotel are in such demand that when they go on sale in early November, they sell out in three minutes. But there are other hotels nearby, and of course it’s easy to get to from anywhere in the region. This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the Festival, sponsored by the Boston Bluegrass Union, in honor of Joe Val and his all-too-brief celebrity as the most exciting singer of bluegrass-style country music ever to come out of New England. From the BBU:
Some of the bands that will be coming for Joe Val in 2018 include Hot Rize, The Gibson Brothers, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Special Consensus, David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, Terry Baucom & The Dukes of Drive, Eddie & Martha Adcock, Town Mountain, the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, Too Blue, Foghorn String Band, Red Wine, Mile Twelve, and The Reunion Band!
Join the Boston Bluegrass Union and celebrate the legacy of the late Joe Val with three big days of indoor bluegrass at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel.
We have a great lineup of national and regional talent, expanded workshops, Kid’s Academy, music vendors, and round-the-clock jamming. Our 2006 event won the coveted “Event of the Year” award from the International Bluegrass Music Association.
I’m especially looking forward to seeing some favorites that I’ve missed in the last few years, like Russell Moore and IIIrd Time Out, and David Davis and the Warrior River Boys. Here’s David Davis and the WRB with “The Milwaukee Blues”:
See you there too! /CL
[Edited 1Feb18 for better wording.]