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Bluegrass star Davis among headliners in Derby

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By The Staff

DERBY - Seven bands, including Bluegrass music star David Davis, are scheduled to play this weekend at the annual Cedar Valley Bluegrass Festival, three miles west of Derby.

The three-day fest begins at 5 p.m. today with a free bean dinner and an open stage for those wishing to share their music with visitors. People attending are asked to bring a covered dish.

Music will start Friday at 4 p.m. Among the groups scheduled are Davis and his Warrior River Boys, Tommy Brown and the County Line Grass, Cowan Creek Boys, Men of the Week and Kings Highway,

Featured on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. will be Shallow Creek, Phillip Steinmetz and the Sunny Tennesseans. Also scheduled are Tommy Brown, Men of the Week and Kings Highway.

Often called America's music, the sounds of bluegrass are a part of the fabric of the American experience. Davis fondly recalls watching some of the first generation of bluegrass stars on television while growing up, but what is amazing about his personal experience is that he also watched members of the first generation of bluegrass playing live in his own living room in his native Alabama.

He is a bluegrass prodigy, coming from a musical family that included his father and siblings, including his Uncle Cleo Davis, who was Bill Monroe's very first Blue Grass Boy. Cleo added his talents when the Father of Bluegrass made his musical debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

His family heritage gave Davis a strong respect for Monroe and how he created a musical place for himself in the world.

"That was my desire as well," he said. "I wanted to pull from my influences from the Louvin Brothers to Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, to honor their contributions but at the same time forge a path and sound for myself in the country-music industry where many artists simply mimic whatever seems to be popular at the moment.

"Bluegrass is more than just the music that country folks like," he said. "Milions of people, from all backgrounds in countries around the world still tap their toes when they hear Flatt and Scruggs, they are still moved by the high lonesome sound of Bill Monroe or the haunting voice of Ralph Stanley."

His new release for 2009 is "Two Dimes and a Nickel."

"We have some tremendous new material on the CD and I am really proud of all our band for the creativity they brought in furthering my vision for the project," he said. "I am honored to travel the roads with them. They are true professionals."

Among the Warrior River Boys are Marty Hays playing bass, Owen Saunders playing fiddle, Robert Montgomery on banjo and Brad Folk on guitar.

For more information about the group, visit www. daviddavisandwrb.com. Camping will be available for $10 per night, and rough camping is free.

Visitors should bring their own lawn chairs. There will be plenty of shade available. Food concessions will be available.

For more information call 836-2311.