Fiddlefest at the Utah County Fair

2009-08-02T00:10:00Z Fiddlefest at the Utah County FairChristi Babbitt - Correspondent Daily Herald
August 02, 2009 12:10 am  • 

Some of Utah's best fiddlers will strut their stuff during the Utah County Fair Fiddle Fest on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 4 to 10 p.m.

Fiddle Fest performers will include bands such as Lincoln Highway, Silver Rails and Firefly. The event will be held in the Entertainment Tent at the fairgrounds, located at 475 S. Main in Spanish Fork.

Lincoln Highway is one of Utah's most exciting and versatile bluegrass and acoustic music bands. At a Lincoln Highway concert, audiences hear bluegrass, Celtic, country, swing and old-time music done with the idea of making each song fit the Lincoln Highway sound. Audience response indicates that it is working.

The band members play with energy on their fast songs but invoke deep emotions with their waltzes and slow tunes. Their music is cutting-edge contemporary but always presented with a nostalgia that reaches back to the days of early America.

From an old hoedown tune like "Sally Goodin'" to the modern favorite "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" or the ever-popular "Dueling Banjos" and "Orange Blossom Special," Lincoln Highway's music is an acoustic patchwork mixed with a lot of fun.

The group members are Geoff Groberg (bass, banjo, vocals), Mark Geslison (guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, bass, vocals), Jonathon Wood (mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, fiddle, vocals) and Nate Olson (fiddle, vocals). They've been around the block a few times and have played together for 15-plus years. The guys in Lincoln Highway have taught a large percentage of the bluegrass players in Utah County, including many of the players and bands performing at the Utah County Fair.

Silver Rails is one of Utah's newest up-and-coming bluegrass groups. With state champions Dan Riggs on fiddle and Sarah Cluff on mandolin and guitar, they are joined by first-place Old Time Fiddler Junior winner Leah Cluff on fiddle, Sheri Cluff on guitar, Daniel Cluff on banjo and bass and Emma Cluff on bass and percussion.

The band enjoys playing many types of bluegrass music and adds its own unique style to each song. From very traditional instrumentals and vocals to Celtic pieces and originals, their variety sets them apart. They placed third at the Bluegrass Fiddle Fest in Provo, and in May they competed in Branson, Mo., at the National Single Mic Championships. They appear regularly at Showtime Utah in Pleasant Grove.

Firefly is a teenage band that performs a wide range of music including Celtic, American and folk with a contemporary flavor. Firefly's members are Abbi Mitchell (guitar, bass), Alina Geslison (fiddle, bass), Isaac Geslison (guitar, bass), Bri'Anna Joy (vocals, guitar) and Grace Dayton (fiddle, mandolin).

The band members range in age from 13 to 19 years old. Individually they have competed in multiple state and national championships, having won numerous first-place titles. Grace and Alina are the current National Old Time Twin Fiddle Champions.

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