Link to flyer for The 8th Annual Laurie & Bernice Blue Festival
The PEI Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Society have been organizing this Weekend every year since 2005 in memory of Laurie Blue (1937-2002), a island bluegrass artist who was renowned for his dedication to the traditional bluegrass sound.
John Laurie Blue (1937-2002)
Born and raised in Eastern PEI, Laurie lived his entire life on the Island. His passion for music started at a young age when he would listen to the Grand Old Opry on the radio. He taught himself to play guitar so he could chord along with his favorites Hank Williams Sr. and Porter Waggoner. However after a trip to Nashville in 1974, Laurie was soured on country music. He found that the Nashville attitude was to keep the fans as far away as possible from the entertainers. In 1975 he went to a Bluegrass Festival in New Jersey. That weekend was the official end of the country chapter in his life, as well as the beginning of Bluegrass on PEI. Laurie soon formed The Blades of Grass, the first bluegrass band on the Island. The original members of the Blades were Laurie (guitar & vocals), his wife Bernice (vocals), Ronnie MacLean (Dobro & vocals), Jim Cameron (Mandolin & vocals), Don Breeze (Banjo), and Mel Hyde (Bass). Years befor the PEI Bluegrass & Oldtime Music Society existed, Laurie was a Director of The Down East Bluegrass Society and, along with the Blades of Grass, performed at the Nova Scotia's Annual Festival. In 1985, The PEI Bluegrass Association became a reality and in 1986 the first PEI Bluegrass Festival was organized . Laurie's experience and vision became very important and a great help to the organizing committee. The Blades continued performing through the years with a number of personnel changes. The one thing that never changed however was Laurie's dedication to the traditional bluegrass sound. His passion for bluegrass never wavered and many of PEI's bluegrass musicians can trace their roots back to hearing the Blades of Grass.
The 8th Annual Laurie & Bernice Blue Bluegrass Festival Nov 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2012
Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection - ME
Erica developed an interest in music at an early age. At the age of seven she was competing in fiddle contests with kids twice her age. At the age of nine she was travelling throughout New England, Canada and even Louisiana with the Maine French Fiddlers.
Erica also performed with Mac McHale and the Old Time Radio Gang for five years. Currently she has her own bluegrass band, Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection which performs all over New England. Erica is also a member of The Stowaways, Darlin' Corey and The Record Family Band.
She has competed in and won numerous fiddle contests throughout New England and Canada. In 2003 she was awarded Junior Female Entertainer Of The Year by the Maine Country Music Association and in 2006 she received the Harold Carter Memorial Award from the Down East Country Music Association. Erica has helped bring music into several elementary schools by holding workshops and personally performing. She has a strong desire to share her knowledge with anyone who has an interest in music and the fiddle. Erica Brown was a recipient of a 2006 Maine Arts Commission Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Award and was recognized as a Master Artist by the Maine Arts Commission that same year.
Her talent for combining the precision of classical music with the spontaneity of country and bluegrass fiddle makes for a fun-filled performance every time she plays.
Performance highlights include opening for Grammy award winning country music superstar Dwight Yoakam, as well as Grammy award winning bluegrass performer Ricky Skaggs.
Backroads - NB
Grassroots - NS