* What: Circle E Guest Ranch Bluegrass Festival.
* When: Noon-10 p.m. CDT today and Saturday.
* Where: Circle E Guest Ranch & Campground, 50 Circle E Lane, Belvidere, Tenn.
* Admission: $20 today, $25 Saturday (does not include camping or stall fees).
* Phone: 931-962-1790.
Belvidere, Tenn., is in Franklin County near WInchester. From I-24, take Exit 127 onto 64 West. Drive 17 miles. Turn left onto Highway 16 South. Drive 7 miles to the ranch on the right.
Note: All times Central. Supper breaks are at 5 p.m. today and 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Noon. Fox Mountain Express.
1 p.m. Timbre Fox
2 p.m. Foothill Drive
3 p.m. The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
4 p.m. The Skip Cherryholmes Quintet
6 p.m. Fox Mountain Express
7 p.m. Timbre Fox
8 p.m. The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
9 p.m. The Skip Cherryholmes Quintet
Noon. Slim Pickins
12:45 p.m. Bent Creek
1:30 p.m. Foothill Drive
2:30 p.m. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
3:30 p.m. J.D. Crowe & The New South
5:30 p.m. Slim Pickins
6:15 p.m. Bent Creek
7 p.m. Foothill Drive
8 p.m. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice
9 p.m. J.D. Crowe & The New South
A bluegrass legend is retiring at the end of the year, but a festival in Belvidere, Tenn., this weekend is a chance to see him in action.
J.D. Crowe & The New South, founded by the banjo player considered one of the most influential progressive bluegrass musicians of the 1970s, will be among five bands playing Saturday at the inaugural Circle E Guest Ranch Bluegrass Festival. Another five bands are in the lineup today at the Franklin County venue.
According to his online bio from the All Music Guide, Crowe first picked up the banjo when he was 13 years old, initially inspired by Flatt & Scruggs. Even starting out with the Sunny Mountain Boys, he didn't stick to a strict bluegrass set list but would add rock 'n' roll songs to his repertoire.
Later, while pursuing a solo career, he developed a new progressive direction for bluegrass that incorporated strong elements of folk, blues and rock, according to the bio.
Crowe's original New South lineup was considered the most revolutionary bluegrass band of its time. The musicians -- Tony Rice (guitar), Ricky Skaggs (mandolin), Jerry Douglas (Dobro) and Bobby Slone (fiddle, bass) -- played a wildly eclectic brand of bluegrass on electric instruments.
Their eponymous debut in 1975 "caused an instant sensation," says the bio. "It marked a genuine turning point in the sound of the genre."
Other bands playing this weekend include The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show, The Skip Cherryholmes Quintet and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.