St. Johnsbury hosts its first-ever bluegrass festival on Sep. 15, a free affair featuring three bands on an outdoor stage in downtown St. Johnsbury. Headlining is St. Johnsbury-based bluegrass great Bob Amos and his band, Catamount Crossing. Opening acts include rising Nashville band Maybe April, and Boston band Mile Twelve. The festival is a new addition to St. Johnsbury’s annual Colors of the Kingdom Autumn Festival, which features a morning parade followed by train rides, a vendor and craft fair, and a plethora of all-ages activities. And, for the first time, a bluegrass festival off of Railroad Street next to the Kingdom Taproom, which is presenting the fest along with Catamount Arts. Amos is a genuine bluegrass giant, who co-founded the late, great Colorado bluegrass band Front Range. Widely regarded as one of the best bluegrass bands of the 1990s, Front Range released five lauded albums on revered indie label Sugar Hill Records before disbanding following the 2005 death of co-founder Mike Lantz from brain cancer. Amos gradually got back into bluegrass, though, and has released several stellar albums: “Borrowed Time” in 2012, “Sunrise Blues” in 2014, and “Body & Soul” in 2017. The latter, a collection of bluegrass covers and the first to be billed as Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing, received the Times-Argus “Tammie” award for “Best CD of the Year” in the country/bluegrass category. Maybe April is a rising Nashville country/Americana trio that released a self-titled EP last year. “The appeal of Maybe April is multifaceted,” said the Chicago Sun-Times in 2014. “The lustrous harmonies of the voices; the appealing mix of their personalities; and their winningly under-amplified sound, which lends their performance an almost acoustic quality.” Mile Twelve, a talented bluegrass quintet that was formed four years ago in Boston, performs in support of its 2017 album, “Onwards.” The band garnered the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association Band Momentum Award, a performance award that recognizes bands in the early stages of their careers.   St. Johnsbury Bluegrass Festival The St. Johnsbury Bluegrass Festival is 2-7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, in conjunction with the Colors of the Kingdom Autumn Festival in downtown St. Johnsbury. Free. For information about the bluegrass fest, go online to www.catamountarts.org.  

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