SWEET SOUNDS OF HONEY CREEK
By Brenda Smith
Another festival at Honey Creek Resort has come and gone, but certainly is not forgotten! This was the 5th year the Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa has held this festival at the resort near Moravia, Iowa on Lake Rathbun. I’m always amazed and overwhelmed by all the great bluegrass music fans and musicians that attend this annual festival.
This year was no different and the excitement at the resort was at an all time high with over 200 area 6th Graders attending a special Bluegrass Workshop presented by BMAI and the Honey Creek staff. Students and teachers came to learn about the history of Bluegrass Music, how to make a musical instrument out of recycled materials, and experience their first Bluegrass Concert with The Harper Family. The Harper Family did a question and answer session for the students as well as sing for them. The room was buzzing with excitement and energy as all 200 students watched intently and listened to this beautiful music. We hope they took this excitement home to their parents and would love to have some of them involved in our Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program for Youth in the near future! Iowa schools that were involved this year were Centerville, Moravia, Moulton-Udell and Seymour. Also attending were several home school families. We look forward to more schools involved in the future as we continue to promote Bluegrass to the Schools in Iowa!
Lori King, Executive Director of BMAI, runs a well organized festival and also books the bands that perform at the festival. The festival started off Thursday night with some incredible Bluegrass Gospel groups and a large crowd in attendance to hear music by The Trinity River Band. This is a dynamite group from Florida that had beautiful harmonies and a sincere dedication to the gospel they performed. Also performing were The Harper Family which never cease to amaze me! The group did a wonderful blend of harmony vocals on all their songs. Hannah Harper has been learning guitar the past six months and is playing guitar on stage with the family now. And I can’t forget Bluegrass Express! They also did a fantastic job and left us with great gospel memories. We were truly blessed with great gospel music the entire evening.
Other groups that performed throughout the weekend were Lori King & Junction 63, Kenny Stinson & Perfect Tymin, The Punches Family, The Harper Family and a crowd favorite, Darin & Brooke Aldridge. This was a perfect line up of bands for this festival, so perfect that they all stood out as favorites to everyone! Highlights of the performances were when Darin and Brooke dressed as Johnny & June Carter Cash for their Friday night performance since it was Halloween. Kenny Stinson & Perfect Tymin were marvelous on stage and kept the audience on their toes with their bluegrass antics and music. Lori King & Junction 63 were also energetic with their songs and a highlight of this festival. Husband and wife duo, Joe and Lori King have one of the best Iowa groups around and proved that fact on stage all weekend long!! Hard driving and upbeat, certainly worth seeing anywhere they perform.
For me there is nothing better than a hotel full of music lovers, musicians and friends. And this festival had the hotel full! Not only was there music on stage, but a special room for people to jam if they brought their own instruments. The rooms were alive with music and workshops, too. Workshops were given on Friday and Saturday of the festival with musicians from the different groups hosting them.
Another bright spot of the festival was when Darin & Brooke Aldridge called upon Lori King to sing a special song with them. A very inspirational song that filled the room and moved everyone! Joe King, also performed on stage with them and picked a mighty fine guitar.
Did you know that we raffled off a guitar worth $3500 at this festival? A custom built guitar made by Steve Hinde, (Hinde Custom Instruments) with our BMAI Logo and signed by Dailey & Vincent!! As the drawing got closer, people kept buying more tickets hoping they would be the lucky winner. The lucky winner this year was Chuck Millar, who is part of the group “No Grass Limit.” He was beaming when he took that guitar in his hands! Maybe you can be the lucky winner at next year’s festival?
Lori King and the rest of the BMAI Committee want to thank you for attending the festival and making it a continued success! We would also like to thank all of our many sponsors for their continued support and contributions:
Alliant Energy Foundation
Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
CD’s Restaurant & Motel
Dailey & Vincent
Elliott’s General Store
Honey Creek Resort
Hinde Custom Instruments
Iowa Arts Council
Iowa Trust & Savings
Lake Rathbun Area Chamber of Commerce
National Media Services
Pro Line Buildings
Tom Williamson, DDS
A big thank you to our Grant Writers that help find extra funds to bring this excellent music to you. Without their hard work and dedication, some of what we do would not be possible. Thanks to Sandy Grace, Sandi Yoder and Lori King for all your hard work on the Grants!
Come out and enjoy the sweet sounds of Honey Creek with us next year on October 29th, 30th & 31st, 2015. All BMAI events are family friendly and we encourage you to bring the kids. As with all BMAI events, there is something for everyone! Because it’s Bluegrass, sweet music for your soul.