Come to Henderson …

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 26, 2001

Where the bluegrass grows!


Features Editor

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Rex Locklar sometimes gets kidded about the small town where he hosts bluegrass festivals twice a year.

Henderson is often called an "if you blink, you’ll miss it" kind of place.

But, those who come early and have sharp eyes can spot

Henderson Music Park by an "invitation" which is scrawled much in the fashion of barn top billboards that once lured visitors to the wonders of Rock City. The invitation reads: "See Rex City."

And, hundreds of bluegrass fans do "come see."

Those who come late, don’t need a sign to direct them, they just follow the music.

Early is Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday the week of the bluegrass festival. Late is anytime after.

This weekend Rex Locklar will be hosting his spring 2001 Bluegrass Festival and anyone who comes now will come wheeling in to the sound of some of the finest bluegrass music anywhere. And, those who frequent Henderson Music Park are true, blue-grass fans.

To paraphrase Hank Williams Jr. – "If heaven ain’t a lot like (Rex City)" then many of the folks who pack Henderson Music Park "just don’t wanna go!"

"For those folks, bluegrass is not a religion, it’s a way of life," Locklar said. "We all love to get together and play and sing and sometimes kick up our heels and cut a rug. And, we enjoy the fellowship just as much. Folks have already started coming in and we’re expecting a big crowd. The weekend weather is going to be good. We can’t ask for better than that."

Over the weekend, the park will be filled people from all walks of life, from accountants to "yokels. They come in RVs, some of them costing in the six figures, and in travel trailers. Some bed down in pup tents and some don’t bed down at all. They stay up all night picking and singing and/or listening to picking and singing.

"Once bluegrass gets in your blood, you can’t get it out," Locklar said. "Oh, maybe you could if you wanted to, but who would want to do a thing like that.?"

Locklar said bluegrass takes you back to the roots of American music.

"It’s really the only pure form of our country’s music that is being played today," Locklar said.

"Bluegrass has a unique sound and it has a unique following of people and the Henderson Bluegrass Festival is unique."

The music starts early and ends late and everyone is invited to come pickup and pick, sing-a-long or just "rare back, relax and listen."

"We’ll have groups coming in from far and near," Locklar said. "We’ll have groups on stage in the old schoolhouse and

pickup groups under tree or around the campers. There won’t be a shortage of bluegrass anywhere you look."

The Henderson Bluegrass Festival will be in full swing Friday and Saturday, but those who want to "sample" the sounds are welcomed to come out tonight and whet their appetites for what’s in store for them over the weekend.