North Adams, MA -- Country superstar Dwight Yoakam joins FreshGrass — Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) 3-day bluegrass and roots music festival. Yoakam is a welcome addition to the chorus of stand-out Americana acts invited to the annual September festival, including the Del McCoury Band, the Punch Brothers, a late-night hoedown by Leftover Salmon, Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, Greensky Bluegrass, Houndmouth, festival favorite Alison Brown, Willie Watson, Vieux Farka Touré, Peter Rowan, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Flatt Lonesome, The Ballroom Thieves, Birds of Chicago, Darol Anger’s Mr. Sun, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, 2014 FreshGrass Award winners Twisted Pine, Quiles & Cloud, Cat and the Moon, and The Man in Grass — A FreshGrass Tribute to Johnny Cash. FreshGrass, to be held on September 18-20, 2015, at MASS MoCA features bluegrass traditionalists and trailblazers on four stages and throughout every nook and cranny of MASS MoCA’s revitalized industrial, art-infused campus.
Yoakam’s brilliant new album Second Hand Heart, released in April 2015, takes the pioneering honky-tonker back to Warner Bros./Reprise, where he began his major-label recording career thirty years ago. His distinctive, supple vocals, accented with his Kentucky croon, sound as strong today as they did on his debut, 1985’s Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. That release immediately yielded hit singles, and over the course of some 21 albums — totaling more than 25 million records sold worldwide — Yoakam has continued to passionately sing, write, and play music brimming with hard country and rock & roll. Second Hand Heart was self-produced by Yoakam, and reflects where he’s been, but, even more so, where he’s going: the opening track In Another World "guided the rest of the album,” says Yoakam. “It became its statement — about surviving and hope.”
In addition to concerts, contests, workshops, and the festival’s legendary jam sessions — during which professional musicians pick and play among the crowd, many of whom bring their own instruments — FreshGrass events include camping, located a short distance from MASS MoCA’s campus, and children's programming. Admission to MASS MoCA's galleries is included with a festival pass, and festival-goers enjoy dozens of pop-up concerts set among dramatically scaled exhibitions of contemporary art.
Three-day adult tickets are available for $99, with student tickets priced at $89, $46 for kids 7-16, and free admission for kids six and under. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount on festival ticket prices. Single-day tickets may be offered closer to the event, as space allows. FreshGrass details will be updated on the festival website, FreshGrass.com, and on Facebook at FreshGrass Festival. FreshGrass is held rain or shine.
FreshGrass is sponsored by No Depression, Compass Records, the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music, Deering Banjo Company, Guido's Fresh Marketplace, Eastman Guitars, Chronogram, D'Addario, the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, Berkshire Magazine, WKZE, and the Fretboard Journal. Additional support is by Berkshire Gas as part of its music series at MASS MoCA. FreshGrass is a co-production of MASS MoCA and FreshGrass, LLC.
MASS MoCA is one of the world's liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today's most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.