By Josette Keelor -- firstname.lastname@example.org
He has worked with the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival for 17 years now, but that has not changed Dennis Lynch's excitement for the upcoming 49th season.
"Everybody's going to find something to suit their fancy there," the festival's executive director said recently.
The festival, which begins July 20 and runs through Sept. 2, will bring back some favorite performers to the stage at Orkney Springs, but many new musicians also will entertain the valley this summer.
"I think we have hired more performers this year than we ever have," Lynch said. "Most everyone has an opener," he said. "Kind of builds value for the public."
"Grammy Awards this summer. Holy cow. I've lost count of them," he said.
Shawn Colvin, who will perform on July 21, has three Grammys, Lynch said, and the summer's closing act, Asleep at the Wheel, which will play on Sept. 2, has an impressive nine.
"Over the years they have owned the country music category," Lynch said.
Repeat guests include the Blind Boys of Alabama, who will kick off the season on July 20. They were here in 2007, Lynch said, in what he calls "one of the two or three best concerts I've seen here in my 17 years."
Nothin' Fancy, who will perform with The Seldom Scene, opened for Sam Bush in 2007, and Dry Mill Road, opened for Cherry Holmes in 2010.
"Dry Mill Road was the public's favorite that year, so they were chosen to open for Cherry Holmes," Lynch said.
As for what's new, "We have our first ever Trop-Rock Festival," Lynch said. "Who knew there was genre of music called Trop-Rock?"
A nod to the ever-popular Jimmy Buffet, Trop-Rock features performers like Doyle Grisham, who offers an "island vibe" stylistic of Buffet, Lynch said. A pedal steel guitarist, Grisham was part of Buffet's Coral Reefer Band.
"We're doing a four-act bluegrass Mini-fest," Lynch said. The Sept. 1 concert will feature The Seldom Scene. "These guys are icons," Lynch said. "Very popular in the bluegrass [genre]."
"We're pleased with what we have, with the lineup this year."
If you go
Blind Boys of Alabama -- July 20
Shawn Colvin -- July 21
"Satchmo, Fats and The Duke" and The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, with special guest Byron Stripling -- July 27
Classival Masterworks and The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, with special guest Anton Miller -- July 28
Railroad Earth -- Aug. 10
Trop-Rock Fest featuring Jim Morris and the Big Bamboo Band, with special guests Doyle Grisham and John Frinzi; and Latitude -- Aug. 11
SVMF Bluegrass Mini-fest -- Sept. 1
Asleep at the Wheel -- Sept 2
SVMF ARtReach (free family program) and Richmond Indigenous Gour Orchestra -- Sept. 1