Lexington held its own Oktoberfest in a church parking lot downtown (which I’m guessing was basically the same as Molly’s experience in Munich). There was awesome beer and some pretty fantastic (though not exactly German) music.
Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Country Boys played a free concert the night we were there. (You’d probably recognize some of their music from the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, for which Dr. Stanley won a Grammy.) Dr. Stanley is a legend in the bluegrass community…literally. He was awarded the Living Legend Award by the Library of Congress in 2000.
The performance had dueling banjos and fiddles (which I had never seen live before, it’s pretty cool), and the crowd was huge. People were going crazy.
Some additional info on Dr. Ralph Stanley, who told the crowd he has “been sangin’ for about 64 years now”, and why he is amazing.
- When asked by the New York Times where he grew up, he told them “in a little town called McClure at a place called Big Spraddle, just up the holler”
- He has called himself Doctor ever since being awarded an honorary degree from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee in 1976 (he has a high school diploma)
- He is 82 and despite having hands that are totally gnarled from arthritis, still plays live
- He plays a banjo with his face painted on the back
*Photo courtesy of the New York Times