Folks get their boogie on at a past Poston Lake Bluegrass Jam Festival. This year the festival takes place July 15 and 16. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Powell)

Poston Lake Bluegrass Jam Festival Returns July 15-16

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What pairs more perfectly than a scenic view of a lake in Appalachia and the sound of acoustic instruments coming together in a perfect bluegrass harmony?

Very few things, indeed.

This weekend fans of all things bluegrass will have an opportunity to get together with their acoustic-minded brethren at the Poston Lake Bluegrass Jam Festival, taking place in Stewart, OH July 15 and July 16.

Although the event, which was once called simply the Poston Lake Bluegrass Festival, has almost fizzled out twice in the past decade, bluegrass enthusiasts keep swooping in to save the event from complete deterioration. This year’s edition of the event was saved by Glenn Jarvis, a lifelong acoustic music enthusiast and son of renowned fiddler Ward Jarvis.

“We have 11 bands scheduled to play the festival this year,” said Jarvis, who took over organizing the event with the help of his wife and his nephew, Calvin. Calvin’s wife, Sonia, also has been instrumental in bringing the festival back to Stewart.

“It got to be about March and nobody had picked up the festival yet, so we decided to do it. We received a lot of encouragement from people for doing so,” he said.

In the past the festival has drawn some relatively big name acts, something Jarvis steered away from in favor of well-regarded regional bands.

The acts headed to the festival this weekend are as follows:

Tincher and Keith
Dance Hall Desperados
Straight Edge
Sour Mash String Band
Wills Creek
Stoney Creek Reunion show

Hart Brothers Reunion Show
Stoney Creek Reunion show
Union Valley
Strung Up
South Ridge
Sour Mash String Band

Perhaps the biggest musical draw of the weekend might be the reunions of both the Hart Brothers band and the Stoney Creek band.

Jarvis emphasized that the festival is truly an event for bluegrass musicians, as well ad those who just like to listen to the classic genre.

“There is a sort of bond between bluegrass musicians that is really strong,” said Jarvis, who said that lots of impromptu jamming sessions are expected to commence throughout the festival grounds this weekend. “They’re just a really close knit group.”

“The festival is a really nice thing for the community in this area,” said Jarvis. “There isn’t too much that goes on around here outside of the festival, so we felt that it was important to keep it going.”

The festival gets going the evening of July 14, when those camping on the grounds for the weekend are encouraged to bring a dish for a potluck taking place that evening. Admission to the festival is $10 for Friday and $20 for Saturday and camping is free all weekend. The GPS address for the festival is 9065 New England Rd. Stewart, OH 45778.