No Joe Val Festival This Year, but the BBU Has a Substitute

Last Presidents’ Day Weekend (2020) in mid-February, the annual Joe Val Festival went off without a hitch. See HERE for lots of photos I took, along with some (relatively spare) commentary. Now here we are back in February, and no JVF. But I just got this announcement of some real treats from the Boston Bluegrass Union:

Bluegrass Breakdown February 11th, 2021
Dear BBU Members & Friends,

President’s Day Weekend is here again and for the first time in over two decades, we won’t be spending it together in a hotel brimming with bluegrass music, celebrating the life and legacy of Joe Val. Knowing how much this weekend means to many of us, we hope it will be that much more special when we can finally get together again.

Although it’s not the same as being together in person, we have an announcement to help us celebrate our annual winter oasis: our friend Dean Loomis has unearthed a treasure trove of videos from Joe Val Festivals’ recent and more distant past. For those who don’t know Dean, he is a video archivist extraordinaire who has filmed many sets at Joe Val in high definition video using high-quality audio directly from the soundboard.

To help us celebrate our favorite weekend of the year, Dean went above and beyond by uploading over 9 hours of previously unpublished videos from the Joe Val Festival. This includes full sets by The Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize, The Steeldrivers (with Chris Stapleton), and many more. These previously unreleased sets, as well as over 130 other “singles”, can all be seen on YouTube as part of this playlist:  

If you’re on Facebook, we will also be uploading links to these videos there as well. If you get a chance to watch any of them and would like to let us know what you think, please drop by the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival Facebook Group and post a comment.

Thanks so much to Dean Loomis at Less Than Face Productions for sharing these videos with us, and be sure to check out his YouTube Channel (link here) for wonderful videos from Grey Fox, FreshGrass, and more! Dean has plans to upload even more videos from past Joe Val festivals, so please remember to subscribe to his YouTube channel.

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, and we wish you all a happy Joe Val Weekend!   The BBU Newsletter Team

I’ve checked out a few of Dean Loomis’s videos, and they’re great! /CL

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