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Island in the Mountains Fest on Monday, August 1st

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Island in the Mountains FestivalIsland in the Mountains Fest will be held on Monday August 1st on Blannahassett Island in Marshall, NC in celebration of Jerry Garcia's birthday. Gates open at 10:00 am and the music starts at Noon featuring bluegrass/acoustic group, The Tony Rice Unit, The New Riders of the Purple Sage with special guest Donna Jean Godchaux, Bobby Hicks, Phuncle Sam, Jamie Thomas, Joe Penland, The Harris Brothers, El Hub, Sarah Tucker and many more. Tickets are $50 and are available on as well as at the Madison County Arts Council and Good Stuff and in downtown Marshall.

Come celebrate Jerry Garcia's birthday on the island with acts that connected with Jerry during different times in his life.

The Tony Rice Unit
Tony Rice spans the range of acoustic music, from straight-ahead bluegrass to jazz-influenced new acoustic music, to songwriter-oriented folk. He is perhaps the greatest innovator in acoustic flatpicked guitar since Clarence White. Tony Rice and Jerry came together with David Grisman to create "The Pizza Tapes" which were created in Grisman's recording studio over a period of two evenings.

"I wish there were words that would express my gratitude for being a part of it. Perhaps just knowing that Garcia might be smiling somewhere saying, 'Dawg can we hear that take again?' will suffice." — Tony Rice, The Pizza Tapes

The New Riders of the Purple Sage
The New Riders of the Purple Sage began as a part-time spin-off from the Grateful Dead when Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar), Phil Lesh (bass) and Mickey Hart (drums) teamed up with John Dawson (guitar, vocals) and David Nelson (guitar). Garcia remained in both The Dead and The New Riders until he found himself overcommitted, at which time Buddy Cage replaced him and the classic NRPS lineup was born.

"The New Riders are actually too good for me to be playing steel with. What they need is a regular, good guy who's been playing since he was three." - Jerry Garcia

Donna Jean Godchaux
Born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Donna Jean was a vocalist at both Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Fame Studios, home of the legendary "Muscle Shoals Sound," on records like Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman," and Boz Scagg's eponymous first solo album. She moved to San Francisco, married Keith Godchaux, and spent the 1970s as a vocalist in the Grateful Dead as well as the Jerry Garcia Band. After life with the Dead, she and Keith created the Heart of Gold Band with drummer Greg Anton and guitarist Steve Kimock.

Other acts coming to help with the celebration will include:

Bobby Hicks
Bobby Hicks is a current Madison County resident and a local hero who has 10 Grammy Awards, 8 International Bluegrass Music Awards (Including "Album of the Year"), 3 Gold Records and 1 Platinum Record. Bobby was hired as a bass player in Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys in 1953. By December 1954 Bobby had switched to fiddle and was dubbed "the truest fiddle he had ever heard" by Bill Monroe.

Phuncle Sam
Phuncle Sam is Asheville's own Dead~Centric "jam band." The band serves up inventive interpretations of Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead and many others.

Joe Penland
Joe Penland is another Madison County favorite. Whether singing the traditional ballads of the mountains of western North Carolina or performing his original and stirring folk songs, Joe Penland's music offers an honesty and power that is a testament to both his unique character and our shared humanity.

There will be many other great acts on the Island to help celebrate Jerry's Birthday as well as a kid's tent with face painting and other fun activities. Craft vendors and local food will also be a part of the celebration on Blannahassett Island in Marshall, NC.

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