Amy Ray Visits With The Bear
Amy Ray admits she was petrified to play live with many of the old-timers rooted in the mountains, and it wasn’t until last year’s Bear on the Square festival near her home that she felt brave enough to accept an invitation to share a stage in the gospel tent with some local musicians. “If I go jam with people in Dahlonega who are great musicians, I can’t play those guitar runs, but I can play the rhythms and sing,” she said. “I love storytelling and I love that music. That’s country that’s old-school and traditional.”
by Grant Searcey, Grant Searcey Artwork
April 9, 2015
Bear on the Square, an authentic Appalachian Bluegrass Festival, is very unique in that it stays true to its roots.
When I first moved to Dahlonega and applied for a booth at Bear on the Square to sell my artwork, I was rejected. I was told that my artwork was not "Appalachian enough" and that it wasn't congruent with the vision of the event. My colorful paintings of sea horses, octopi and jellies had always been great sellers and were especially popular at the hundreds of art show events I had done on the West Coast.
Initially I was bummed about being denied a space at the show; however, after I observed the actual Bear on the Square event, I had a shift of perspective. It was a shift from disappointment to one of respect.
by Candice Dyer
Georgia Music Magazine
The locals refer to it as just “Bear.” This downhome, family-friendly festival, held the third weekend of April, celebrates all aspects of Appalachian culture – art, folkways, dancing, and storytelling, but primarily music, with impromptu jams wherever a fiddler can find elbow room. Under the big tent are the marquee acts such as the Skillet Lickers, Hog-Eyed Man, the Buzzard Mountain Boys, and Threadbare Skivvies. Don’t be surprised if an old-timer tosses aside his cane along with his Baptist raisin’ and starts buck-dancing. On the, well, square. April 18 – 19.