Music popular at Apple Butter Festival
After years of working to keep music at the Apple Butter Festival as the audience wanted it — unchanging — the practice of introducing new bands to the line-up is becoming a tradition.
Saturday, October 6, welcomes Banana Express to the bandstand in two sets at 1 and 2:45 p.m., before and after the Hog Calling Competition.
Banana Express is a trio of fiddle, upright bass and guitar that plays traditional bluegrass “mooshed” with blues, jazz and old timey. Siblings Jack and Elizabeth Dunlap come from a musical family as does bass player Christina Furtado.
“Banana Express covers two categories absent from the festival for a couple years,” said Beth Curtin, festival co-ordinator. “Bluegrass and a band from Winchester.” For decades, Winchester was represented at the festival by Dixieland jazz sound of The Professors. “Audiences loved them but they retired,” she said. New Moon last played bluegrass at the 2010 event. Banana Express is sponsored by Hahn and Nelson Family Practice and Atasia Spa.
Saturday, October 6, the festival opens with two sets from the park bandstand by Dave Moore and the Hillbilly Huxters at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. They made their festival debut in 2011.
Like Banana Express, Moore has a family connection to the famed Watermelon Park where his father was a prominent pre-World War 2 musician. Moore backs up his guitar and vocals with the impressive rhythm section of Mike Ross on doghouse bass and Strawback Slim on drums. Hillbilly Huxters is sponsored by City National Bank.
Critton Hollow String Band holds the record for most performances at Apple Butter Festival tracing their first appearance to 1976. The traditional music trio is noted fiddler Joe Herrmann joined by his wife Sam on hammer dulcimer and longtime bassist Joe Fallon. They perform two sets on Saturday afternoon at 2 and 3:15 p.m. Critton Hollow String Band is sponsored by Gat Creek.
All three concerts are performed free from the bandstand in Berkeley Springs State Park.
For more information and a full Apple Butter Festival schedule, call 800-447-8797.