Jammin' in the Hammock – Bluegrass festival brings feel-good music to Collier-Seminole State Park

Karen Batten, Bob Shea and Doug Gerdon play in the open air. Jammin' in the Hammock brought bluegrass-loving crowds to Collier-Seminole State Park on the Tamiami Trai bothl Saturday and Sunday. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Karen Batten, Bob Shea and Doug Gerdon play in the open air. Jammin' in the Hammock brought bluegrass-loving crowds to Collier-Seminole State Park on the Tamiami Trai bothl Saturday and Sunday. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Perfect weather put the icing on the bluegrass cake for the sixth annual "Jammin' in the Hammock," the music festival sponsored by the Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park. Six bands, plus a Sunday morning "bluegrass gospel sing and jam" fronted by festival emcee Mike Robinson played to a healthy of blessed-out bluegrass lovers at the park, located just east of County Road 92 on the East Tamiami Trail.

This was truly an open-air festival with trees providing afternoon shade for the musicians, but allowing them to cook a little in the morning, and not just by zipping up and down the necks of their guitars, mandolins, banjos, and fiddles, the typical instrumentation for bluegrass, along with the bass fiddle. The audience clustered under trees and canopies set up to provide shade, with the Blackwater River alongside.

Towards the end of their set, Bob Shea of the Bug Tussle Ramblers told the crowd there was one song his band didn't normally do, but couldn't pass on, given the venue, and launched into John Anderson's "Seminole Wind."

All net proceeds from the festival go to help the work of the Friends of Collier-Seminole State Park, a citizens' support group. For more information on Collier-Seminole State Park, call 239-394-3397 or go online to www.friendsofcollierseminolestatepark.com.

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