Blueberry Festival Lineup Delivers First-Class Bluegrass

Headliner Marty Stuart in organizers' sights evn before last year's show

This appeared in the Edmonton Journal - April 6, 2009

When it comes to assembling a straight-up bluegrass festival lineup, there isn't an organization in the land that does a better job than the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival.

Set to be produced at Stony Plain's Homecoming Park from July 31 through Aug. 2, Blueberry has once again matched the talent pools of recent festivals, where bluegrass legends Del McCoury and Jimmy Martin, and younger stars like Cherryholmes and Rhonda Vincent drew large and enthusiastic crowds.

This year, festival talent booker Norm Sliter has nailed down roots music star Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives as the 2009 Blueberry headliner.

Stuart is well-known for his string of country hits in the '80s, a list that includes Hillbilly Rock and Tempted. The Mississippi-born musician got his professional start at the tender age of 12 in the world of bluegrass. He was hired by Lester Flatt, of Flatt and Scruggs fame, and stayed with the bluegrass legend until 1978 when, at the age of 20, he accepted an offer to play with another pioneer of American music, Doc Watson.

"Marty is at a place in his career where he is closer to the roots of what he started doing as a youngster," says Sliter. "We really wanted him for this festival, and started working on signing him before last year's festival was even off the ground." Stuart has also played Big Valley Jamboree and the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.

By Peter North

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