It might seem like the flurry of events in Madison tapers off come January. In fact, on the Visit Madison Calendar of events, Free Bluegrass at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds is the only listed event for the month. So our adventure-seeking family decided to go and check it out
Free Bluegrass at the fairgrounds happens the first Saturday of every month save July from 6-9 p.m.
The musicians were already playing by the time we arrived at the pavilion. To our right, in the kitchen, the Youth Group of Commiskey First Church of God was serving homemade chili, which smelled delicious, as well as desserts, coffee and other snacks and beverages. To the right, a table of greeters said “hello” and displayed the night’s raffle prizes.
The chairs were arranged in rows and all faced the stage where the humble yet experienced players harmonized and played traditional bluegrass and gospel. We were instantly at ease. On a Saturday night, I would estimate that the between 50 and 70 listeners gathered in this pavilion to hear the music.
My favorite group was called New Balance, an energetic group with excellent a capella capabilities.
I had a chance to catch up with D.L. “Don” Tatlock, organizer of the night’s event. He explained that the monthly bluegrass in Madison was part of a larger circuit of shows, festivals, and Jamorborees that moves from Hayden, Lexington, Bedford, Jackson County and Clark County.
Here is pictured with Jerry Caudill and Jim White, two very experienced bluegrass players who have been a part of this tradition in our area for many years.
What I learned is this: There is a rich tradition of music in southern Indiana. The Free Bluegrass event is a chance to see the talent that is not showcased on “America’s Got Talent,” or “The Voice,” or even “YouTube.”
Right here in our county we have talented people who love to play music and do if for the just that reason, not for fame or money.
If you old-time love music, especially bluegrass and gospel songs, you will have a relaxing time at the Jefferson County Bluegrass Event. The next event will be Saturday, February 7 at 6 p.m. So plan to have some hot supper there and sit a spell.
If there happens to be bad weather, be sure to call “Don” at 812-522-8327 to make sure it hasn’t been rescheduled.