Rhonda Vincent & the Rage performing Friday night at Roanoke Island Festival Park

That was fun.

We just got back from the 3rd Annual Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo and here’s the quick down and dirty reveiw—great music, a great time.

We didn’t get there in time to catch all of the days acts, but the five hours of music we did catch was really impressive. Here’s the lineup that for Friday evening: Blue Highway, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and Rhonda Vincent & the Rage.

It’s really tough to pick out a favorite in this one—Blue Highway has been around for a while, and their musicianship and vocals are amazing. They played an encore number that was really interesting. It seemed to wander into jazz with some discordant notes and nontraditional bluegrass chords.

The Steep Canyon Rangers are high energy, great music with some very surprising touches—as in a little bit of classic violin in the middle of bluegrass. Hard to imagine, but it works.

And then there’s Rhonda Vincent an the Rage. The consummate professional with a band that may be the best out there. So yes, if there was a favorite, she gets the prize—especially after hearing her soulful tribute to the country singer George Hamilton who just passed away.

There’s more on tap for tomorrow and Sunday. 

The Bluegrass Festival is an event Brindley Beach is sponsoring. It’s a good feeling to be associated with so much great music.