Warren County’s biggest underground music weekend of the year strummed, plucked and wailed its way to a memorable finish Sunday at Cumberland Caverns as filming for the seventh PBS season of Bluegrass Underground came to an entertaining close.
Twelve bands performed over three days, highlighted by Marty Stuart, Blues Traveler, and The Mavericks.
“It was an incredible spread of artists and the crowd was with us all the way,” said Bluegrass Underground producer Todd Jarrell. “It was a great cross pollination of music and music brings people together.”
Asked about his favorite act, Jarrell said he was especially impressed with the Sunday afternoon show from Rhonda Vincent and the Friday night show from The Mavericks.
“If you asked 12 people about their favorite performance, you’d probably get 12 different answers,” said Jarrell.
The Chamber of Commerce held an event called Taste of the Underground which was meant to complement Bluegrass Underground entertainment. All Taste of the Underground events were held at Park Theater either before or after the concerts at the cave so visitors could attend both.
Saturday night brought a Battle of the Bands to the Park Theater stage, a battle won by an Asheville, N.C.-based band called The Broadcast. The band featured the piercing vocals of singer Caitlin Krisko, who showed she can hit all the notes.
Winning Battle of the Chefs was The Yardbirds, a food truck which offered delightful dishes on a tortilla-type shell.
All visitors to Taste of the Underground could vote on their favorite band and chef.
Sunday morning, there was a Taste of the Underground brunch held before the shows at the cave that afternoon. The brunch featured a sneak peek of the new breakfast restaurant coming to downtown McMinnville.
As for when season seven of Bluegrass Underground will air on PBS, Jarrell said select PBS audiences will be able to see the show the first Wednesday of September. The show will go wider later in the month.
Bluegrass Underground is aired on 80 percent of all PBS markets, Jarrell said. That includes New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago.
“I talked to a lighting professional who flew in from California,” said Jarrell. “He had seen the show on PBS and wanted to see the lights in person.”