By David Knox
It’s hard to say who had more fun: The Becky Buller Band or the crowd Saturday afternoon at the Lynchburg Music Fest.
An appreciative audience of fans, friends, family and other festival-goers got to experience live and up close the immensely-talented Buller – an eight-time International Bluegrass Association Award winner and nominated again this year for IMBA’s 2019 Fiddler of the Year Award. When she won the 2016 Fiddler of the Year, she was the first female to ever do so.
“It’s so fun being up on that gigantic stage with those huge Jumbotrons on either side of us,” Buller gushed. “Wooo! Loved it! We don’t get that too much playing bluegrass music.
Buller’s tight and talented band – which includes bass player Daniel “The Hulk” Hardin from Lynchburg – provided all the support she needed as she ripped through her repertoire.
A highlight of the set was a duet with Newgrass legend Sam Bush. They replicated the duet performance from Becker’s Crepe Paper Heart album, “The Rebel and the Rose.” That’s a song she co-wrote with Tony Rackley, and it was exquisite.
“It’s such a thrill to get to sing with Sam. It’s still just surreal to me. I’ve idolized him and he’s music for so long and I’m just so appreciative of his support and his friendship.”
Buller’s sister-in-law and niece were in the crowd as was family of Hardin. In fact, Buller said, she just found out he was related to Metro Mayor Bonnie Lewis.
“I didn’t realize how deep his roots go here. He and I have been playing music together in different bands since 2001.”
Hardin works at Jack Daniel’s.
Buller was encouraging about the Lynchburg Music Fest.
“I hope that they’re able to keep the festival going,” she said. “It always takes some time to get things going,” she said. “Get the word out and get people out. Lynchburg is a fun town. When I have guests in town I try to get them by Jack Daniel’s. And the square is so nice.
“I want to see this and go on because it’s good for Lynchburg and good for the whole area.”