Hardly Strictly Bluegrass founder Warren Hellman passed away at the end of last year, but the sprawling free music festival he started will continue. And on Feb. 19, Hellman's family and the festival's organizers will hold a sort of mini-Hardly Strictly as a tribute to Hellman. The bill -- which we're announcing first right here -- reads like a list of Hardly Strictly regulars, featuring big names like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Buddy Miller, and more. (See the full lineup after the jump.)
The location for the festival hasn't been decided yet, but Dawn Holliday, Hardly Strictly's booker, tells All Shook Down that organizers are choosing between Hellman Hollow (formerly known as Speedway Meadow) and the parking lots at Ocean Beach. (Concerns over rain make her wary of holding the tribute concert in the festival's usual Hellman Hollow location.)
Also undetermined as yet are the precise hours of the concert. But as they did with Hellman's funeral, organizers are planning to stream the event live. The artists will perform back-to-back on two stages, so everyone in attendance will be able to see every set.
"It's just about the music," Holliday says of the concert. "It's about the joy Warren loved, and every one of these artists was hand-picked because he loved them."
The tribute concert's full lineup (not in order of performance):
Robert Earl Keen
The Wronglers with Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Old Crow Medicine Show
Dry Branch Fire Squad
Poor Man's Whiskey
We'll update this post with details about location and time when that information becomes available. In the meantime, Hardly Strictly fanatics and Hellman fans should mark their calendars for Feb. 19.