Heritage MUSIC Festival

By Dennis Roger Reed

Stephanie_Bettman_and_Luke_HalpinIt’s always risky starting a new festival. It’s even more risky doing so during a bad economy. But the folks at the Heritage Museum of Orange County took that gamble, and on Sunday May 22, the roll of the dice paid off.

First of all, the Heritage Museum of OC exists to remind folks about how OC used to be. The Museum provides a great field trip for OC grammar school students, and is also open to the public. The Museum features two historical homes, an orange grove, blacksmith shop, gardens and a “nature area”; an ideal setting for a bluegrass, folk and Americana festival.

The performers included Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin, who enthralled the audience with two sets: one for kids and one for kids of all ages. A Wing and A Prayer proved that the stage was sturdy as nearly 20 musicians, including a full brass section, played standards with gusto. The Dennis Roger Reed Band played a rousing set, Rory Cloud did an impressive short solo set and the day ended with the eclectic and captivating Folding Mr. Lincoln.

OC_Heritage_kellogg-houseGood music is important at a festival, but it’s the “peripherals” that can make or break this type of event. That’s where the Heritage Festival shone. Great grounds, lots of shade. Decent restrooms, and a great brew pub beer garden. Excellent barbeque from the Beach Pit Barbeque. Old fashioned sodas and ice cream. “Vintage” photo salon. All this and music too.

A short video on the The Heritage Music and the festival is available here: Check it out at:

http://heritagemuseumoc.org/ The Heritage hopes to expand the festival and make it an annual event. We’ll be there!

Dennis Roger Reed is a singer-songwriter, musician and writer based in San Clemente, CA. He’s released two solo CDs, and appeared on two CDs with the newgrassy Andy Rau Band and two CDs with the roots rockers Blue Mama. His prose has appeared in a variety of publications such as the OC Weekly and MOJO magazine. Writing about his music has appeared in an eclectic group of publications such as Bass Player, Acoustic Musician, Dirty Linen, Blue Suede News and Sing Out! His oddest folk resume entry would be the period of several months in 2002 when he danced onstage as part of both Little Richard’s and Paul Simon’s revues. He was actually asked to do the former and condoned by the latter. He apparently knows no shame.