2913089299_fb7656e685_zHardly Strictly Bluegrass may blur the lines between musical genres, but it is Definitely Absolutely free and Totally Utterly a musical goldmine, whether hardcore bluegrass or just skirting the edges.

The festival will be held this weekend in Speedway, Lindley & Marx meadows in Golden Gate Park from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You might think, “Bluegrass? That’s not my thing. Sounds like country,” but you may want to rethink that, because it could be very much your thing – after all, did we mention it’s free? If you’re really indignant, don’t forget it is “hardly strictly” bluegrass. And who knows? You may just surprise yourself by letting bluegrass surprise you.

There will be some big-name artists at the festival, including the great Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin (performing Friday). There are a handful of artists for you folk-indie-alternative folks, such as Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes (does he still have his Winona Ryder haircut?), M. Ward (both playing Friday) and Broken Social Scene (playing Saturday).

For the television-inclined, Hugh Laurie will perform P1000457Saturday. Yes, we do mean Hugh Laurie from “House” (or from “A Bit of Fry & Laurie” if you’re a fan of older British comedy). Laurie is not only an actor but also a musical artist who has been featured in a variety of incarnations from a Meat Loaf album to a jazz quintet. His album “Let Them Talk” was released in April.

The Clog will definitely be there and hopes you will too, if only out of curiosity.

And for those who own the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (or are just musically knowledgeable) you may be interested in seeing the spellbinding Gillian Welch, a Hardly Strictly regular.

We don’t know much about bluegrass, so most of our viewing choices may or may not be based on band names. We want to check out Zigaboo Modeliste — King of the Funky Drums, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Hot Buttered Rum and Fitz & The Tantrums. In all seriousness (although we know those fun-named bands are indeed seriously talented), we also want to see Jolie Holland (you know you’re good when both Tom Waits and Jimmy Eat World are your fans), the tender and innovative Abigail Washburn and banjo legend Bela Fleck.

For a full schedule, as well as artist bios and location information, check out the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass website. If you’re still confused about who to see, be sure to look at SF Weekly’s recommendations for ten bands to see.

See y’all this weekend! (We have family in Texas, so we can get away with that.)

Image sources: -nanio- and barbara barnett under Creative Commons
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 11 [Site]

clayhalo said:
Oct 1, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Why does everything cool happen in the Bay area?

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