Sunday, September 7, 2008

I saw lots of people at 4CFF, just not Earl

Let's start with the big disappointment at the Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs, Colorado: No Earl.

They waited until the absolute last minute to announce that Earl Scruggs was too ill to perform. The Legendary Earl Scruggs with Family & Friends performed without him.

They played without a banjo at all until the last two numbers, at which point they brought out Warren Kennison, Jr. -- the guy who did the tablature for Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo.

I wish Earl well and I really hope I'll get a chance to see him perform.

Oh, well. It was a great weekend at the festival, even if it wasn't the weekend I thought I was going to have.

In the coming days I'll be posting about some of the people who I really did see at the Four Corners Folk Festival. Stay tuned.


warren kennison jr said...

Hi J R Jenks,

Thanks for referring to me in your blog, and including a link to the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society web site where True Blue Grass and I are listed. I'd like to discuss the 4CFF with you; could you email me at I missed seeing Earl Scruggs too, as I had driven a long distance and was very sorry to miss seeing and hearing him. I got word after the band returned to Nashville that Earl is recuperating well. Maybe you and I could meet at a future Earl Scruggs date. I don't believe there were more than eight this year. I don't know what the next upcoming date is. Sincere best regards, Warren Kennison Jr.

Anonymous said...

Hi J.R. --

It wasn't so much that we waited until the last minute to announce; we didn't get the definite decision from Mr. Scruggs' family and management until 6:20 PM (7:00 PM performance). A doctor who loves the festival had spent most of the day with Earl. You can bet we were hoping for a miracle!


J.R. Jenks said...


I have no doubt that everyone involved was hoping against hope that Earl would be able to perform. I'm sure I would've done the same in those circumstances.

Surely everybody -- festival organizers and attendees alike -- wanted to see Earl on stage.

The festival was wonderful. The Saturday night jam alone was worth the trip!

warren kennison jr said...

Hi J R and Crista, the comments I have seen this morning on the web about 4CFF have been universally lauditory and supportive. What a lineup! Kudos to 4CFF for your dedication and devotion to your fans. What a thrill to be able to meet some of you who staged 4CFF personally. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Warren (and J.R.),

I came away from this experience with a huge confirmation of how incredible the FCFF audience is. Yep, Earl and his family absolutely made the right decision for his health, but I was still nervously anticipating some nasty correspondence afterwards. It has not come. I have had a total of two refund requests and they weren't particularly nasty. Every other phone call and email we've received has been extremely positive and complimentary to this year's festival. And everyone who stayed, LOVED the Scruggs Band's closing performance. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Scruggs' road manager today and he said that Earl is feeling much better. Thanks to both of you for being part of the festival this year!