Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Emmylou Harris to Headline ROMP Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival
The 2011 ROMP (River of Music Party) Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival kicks off today at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro, Kentucky, and continues through the weekend, with three Nonesuch artists scheduled to perform as festival headliners: Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Emmylou Harris. Also headlining this year's festival are Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Trampled by Turtles, and the Infamous Stringdusters.
Punch Brothers are the first of the Nonesuch artists to hit the stage, with an 8:30 PM set Friday night. Prior to their performance, each band member will lead a ROMP festival workshop targeted to his instrument: bassist Paul Kowert at 1 PM, fiddler Gabe Witcher at 2 PM, mandolinist Chris Thile at 3 PM, banjoist Noam Pikelny at 4 PM, and guitarist Chris Eldridge at 5 PM.
Gearing up for the band’s ROMP performance, Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, which organizes the festival to support its mission, calls the Punch Brothers “outrageously talented genre-benders.” Hello Owensboro writer Kimberly Anderson looks forward to watching the band “spin their unique yarn of bluegrass.”
Carolina Chocolate Drops have a 7 PM ROMP set on Saturday. Before reaching Kentucky, they help kick off the Dave Matthews Band Caravan Festival tonight in Atlantic City, where Punch Brothers are playing Saturday.
Bluegrass Music Museum calls the Drops “quite the phenomenon” as they keep “the string band tradition alive by pumping it full of new life and energy.”
The legendary Emmylou Harris rounds out this group of Nonesuch ROMP performances, with a show on Saturday, directly after the Carolina Chocolate Drops at 8:20 PM.
Following Harris's recent tour stop in London, the Evening Standard said “her voice remains sufficiently pure and true to evoke the high lonesome sound of yore.” Reverb, recapping last weekend's Telluride Bluegrass Festival, said "Harris’ quiet, focused set of music was the night’s most memorable ... She’s a national treasure.”