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Bluegrass Farm Jam could take root, grow in future
Inaugural music festival held at Jaemor Farms
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Jeff McLeod prepares a barbecue plate for a customer on Saturday at the Precision Palate booth during the first Bluegrass Farm Jam at Jaemor Farms in Alto. Precision Palate is out of Canton, N.C. - photo by Erin O. Smith

ALTO — Could there be anything more beautiful than the sound of upbeat twangy bluegrass and the smell of pork being lovingly smoked on a beautiful spring afternoon? According to bluegrass bassist Edgar Loudermilk, nothing comes close.

Saturday, Loudermilk was responsible for the first ever Bluegrass Farm Jam at Jaemor Farms. All day, regional and locally acclaimed bluegrass performers showcased a wide variety of musical styles for more than 200 festival guests.

But though the first festival was successful, Loudermilk believes North Georgia is ready for a full-sized, multiday music festival that Farm Jam could become.

“I’m hoping that this festival will turn into one of the festivals that you hear about,” he said. “We don’t have — and need — a huge festival in Northeast Georgia, and I’m wanting to grow it (Farm Jam) into a three- or four-day event.”

Loudermilk said the festival had sold almost 250 tickets to Saturday’s event, but that the money was the last thing in mind when the planning was started.

“We are wanting this for the community,” he said. “It’s not so much about money. It would be nice to turn a profit at some point, but we would likely sink it back into the fest.”

Aside from Loudermilk’s own band, other acts performing included Last Road Bluegrass, New Dixie Storm, Curtis Blackwell & The Dixie Bluegrass Boys and the award-winning bluegrass outfit Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.

Sisk, a longtime voice in the national bluegrass scene, said playing shows like Farm Jam are always enjoyable.

“I like to look out into the crowd and see them laughing sometimes, and crying sometimes. ... We are just trying to keep traditional bluegrass music alive,” he said.

Sisk said that bluegrass music has roots steeped in community, so it makes sense to have shows with the community in mind.

For more info about Farm Jam, visit bluegrassfarmjam.wordpress.com.

Regional events