FREDERICKTOWN — The stormy weather may have kept the crowds smaller at this year’s the Fredericktown Car Show and Bluegrass and Old Time String Music Festival on Saturday, but the rain did not diminish the enthusiasm of the crowds of classic car and music lovers who came out to enjoy the show.
The event, which raises money for Fredericktown Interchurch Social Services, Fredericktown Salvation Army, Fredericktown EMS, and the Fredericktown Community Fire District, combines traditional bluegrass and old-time string music with a car show which draws classic cars, trucks and motorcycles from throughout the region.
Organizers John Walsh, Skip Lanz and Don Huggins combined the two events several years ago to much success. Although the crowds this year were smaller due to heavy rains which remained fairly steady throughout the day, all four musical acts performed for crowds gathered beneath umbrellas and canopies hastily set up by event volunteers. A canopy was also set up on the stage to keep performers somewhat dry.
Local folk artist Sarah Goslee Reed, who returned to play at the festival this year, was undeterred by the drenching showers.
“It was great — even with this weather,” Goslee Reed said after her set. “It’s actually fun because I don’t come to Fredericktown for any other music stuff and I love all the other music at this event. It’s got a great feel to it.”
Walsh, who chooses the musical acts for the festival each year, explained he schedules acts with a variety of styles who are all passionate about traditional music.
“We try to get two bluegrass acts and two old- time strings or something headed a little more towards acoustic or folk,” he explained.
Walsh first enjoyed the music of Memphis blues artist Andy Cohen in 1973. He was able to schedule him at the festival for the first time this year. Cohen earned a master’s degree in anthropology while studying the musical stylings of blues artists from different parts of the country. He said he first became interested in the blues as a teenager who attended a blues festival at Brandeis University in 1963. He, and his friends, coming from a Jewish background, the festival was their first introduction to the traditionally African American genre of the blues.