For its ninth installment, the best ever free San Franciscan bluegrass/folk/rock festival has announced its initial lineup. Yep, Golden Gate Park’s annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass will hit the Speedway Meadowland once again from Friday, October 2nd-Sunday, October 4th. And so far, it looks like a good selection, sure to please both young and old alike, with acts ranging from Okkervil River and Dr. Dog to Del McCoury and Lyle Lovett. Here’s the entire first round of announced players:
Aimee Mann, Allen Toussaint, Billy Bragg, Booker T & the Drive-By Truckers, The Chieftains, The Del McCoury Band, Doc Watson, Dr. Dog, Earl Scruggs, Gillian Welch, Hazel Dickens, John Prine, Little Feat, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Marianne Faithfull, Mavis Staples, Neko Case, Okkervil River, Old 97s, Old Crow Medicine Show, Richie Havens, Steve Martin w/ The Steep Canyon Rangers, World Party, The Wronglers
In addition to that, the fest’s website displays a lineup surrounded by images that seem to hint at some possible future additions. Either that or they just nod to past lineups. Robyn Hitchcock, who has never performed at HSB, sneers over on the right, Tim O’Brien, an HSB regular, grins on the left, and The Flatlanders, also previous performers, sit up top, among others (a look at Flatlanders’ tour dates as well as Hitchcock’s MySpace reveal that both are booked for the fest).
Each year, Warren Hellman and the rest of the folks in charge pile on more and more reasons to head over to San Francisco, and it’s only getting better. Past years saw a solo Jeff Tweedy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, so the lineup is certainly not ending here, though it really wouldn’t be a crime if it did. We’ll keep you updated with artist additions when they come. Until then, be sure to keep your banjo in tune. Oh yeah, and Steve Martin! . . . completely for FREE!