File photo Ruta Smith

The Charleston Bluegrass Festival returns for its seventh run March 18 and 19, featuring nationally known bluegrass bands such Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Town Mountain, Larry Keel Experience, Pierce Edens, The Wilson Springs Hotel, Randy Steele, The Lowhills and West King String Band. 

Joining the lineup for the two-day festival held at Woodlands Nature Reserve will be local acts New Ghost Town, Pluff Mud String Band and Southern Flavor.

Mandolinist/vocalist Daniel Patrick of New Ghost Town caught up with City Paper last week to let us in on what form the group will take for the festival. 

“We are playing as a four-piece for this,” Patrick said. “We will play a lot of banjo, bass, guitar and mandolin.” 

Joining Patrick will be the band’s co-founder guitarist/vocalist Whitt Algar of Gaslight Street, bassist Bobby Hogg  of The Reckoning and Runaway Gin, and Justin Parrish on banjo. 

“It’s bluegrass-based,” Patrick said of the band’s sound, “I would never say it’s strict old school bluegrass. I think we are influenced by Sam Bush, Billy Strings — a bit more high energy. But we still love Bill Monore and all the old school guys.”

Previously called Ole 55’s, New Ghost Town has taken on various forms over the years, having been known as a Tom Petty tribute band at one point. The band will play mostly original music for Bluegrass Fest, and of course throw in some covers.

Be sure to check out Patrick’s podcast “Mandolins and Beer,” which has been listed in 33 countries and is creeping up on 1 million downloads in the past two and half years. For Bluegrass Fest, camping gates open at 12 p.m. on March 18 and 19, with event gates opening at 5 p.m. Shows begin at 7 p.m. both days. Single and two-day tickets are available here.

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