Joe Val Festival This Weekend!


The Boston Bluegrass Union is hosting the 26th Annual Joe Val Festival this weekend at the Sheraton Framingham in beautiful Framingham, Massachusetts this Friday through Sunday, February 18th-20th. This time they’ve really outdone themselves, with an all-star cast of performers including J. D. Crowe and the New South, The Grascals, Tony Trischka and his band, and many more. There’ll be workshops, classes from beginner to master for every instrument known to bluegrass, and a kid’s academy open to aspiring bluegrassers aged 5-17.

The Sheraton is sold out, but tickets for most events are still available and you might still find a room nearby – the BBU has a couple of suggestions on its website.

Even if you can’t make it this weekend, you need to know that the Val Festival is only the tip of the BBU iceberg. They do a great concert series (Dailey and Vincent are next up on April 16), hold picking parties, and generally work hard every day to keep bluegrass music alive in the frozen north. Visit the site, they do a great job!

Joe Val himself was a typewriter repairman from Everett who loved bluegrass music and performed it beautifully and courageously. He led the New England Bluegrass Boys for about a dozen years in the 1970s and ’80s and recorded and toured prolifically before his untimely death in 1985. Here’s Joe and the Boys from around 1984, performing Fields Have Turned Brown and Sunny Side of the Mountain (there’s a little blackout between the two songs – keep watching!). Please enjoy!


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