LAUREL HILL — With clear skies and warm weather comes local bluegrass traditions.
For two decades, Danny Pate and his band, the Red Bluff Ramblers, have been performing along side local musicians every Thursday night for “Danny’s Pickin Shed” during the warmer parts of the year.
With spring in full swing, Pate is opening up the Pickin’ Shed tonight a 7 p.m. on the corner of McFarland and Marston roads in Laurel Hill for its first Thursday of the year.
The event is open to the public and visitors are encouraged to bring their own instruments to strum and drum along with Pate’s band, or perform themselves, since the venue has an “open mic policy,” according to Pate.
“We have had the same people coming for years, we draw an older crowd but we have a lot of younger musicians. It’s an Americana style and its what they used to do at a lot of places down in this neck of the woods. When the weather got warm, they would come out and play bluegrass music,” Pate said.
The musical event wouldn’t be the same without listeners, and those lending ears are also known to two-step and dance on the shed’s stage to the pulsating bluegrass beats.
Pate and his fellow bluegrass musicians believe the venue to be great for young musicians who don’t have much knowledge of bluegrass to come out and learn southern musical traditions. “It’s a learning experience for those who come,” Pate said.
“The whole event is something that really keeps inspiring me to keep playing and learning new songs.”
From years past, parking spots at the Pickin’ Shed tend to fill up around 6:30 p.m. due to the sometimes the 80 plus in attendance.
Danny’s Pickin’ Shed will meet every Thursday from here on, as long as weather is permitting until the end of October — before the cold weather forces the old time musicians to hang up their banjos and guitars for winter coats and boots, only to practice finger picking by the fire, while waiting for spring again.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-276-2311