Each year at the end of May the faithful gather up on Smith Ridge in the mountains of Southwest Virginia to get a major dose of that Good Old-Time Country Music courtesy of Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. The Hills of Home Festival on Memorial Day weekend has become an annual event for Saga Musical Instruments too. This was the seventh straight year for David Gartland and me— and already the third year for my 11 year old son Mats! Mats has found his own pals up there on the Ridge and starts talking about making the trip each year in January or February. It is really a great feeling when your son wants to join you to go somewhere, and especially nice when it involves the music that got me into this business in the first place. Mats’ best friend up there is Isaac Moore, a 10 year old honorary Clinch Mountain who sits in nearly every show with Dr Ralph and sings the old mountain songs with the purest voice in Bluegrass as he strums his Carter Stanley model Blueridge Guitar. When he’s not on the stage though, he and Mats are out in the woods conducting biological experiments on bugs or rigging pitfalls to catch the unwary! Mats has always loved the music too but so far he has been pleasing his mother by playing the piano at home. But this year after the second day on the Ridge something in is mind clicked and he turned to me saying, “I’m going to play the banjo, Dad. I’m going to start just as soon as we get home.” The music up there is like that that. Listening is great but I am sure that Mats was not the only on the Ridge that day who said, “I’m going to play the…..!!!” Just fill in the blank with banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin or bass. The Bluegrass Festival Season is in full swing and every day dozens of people are thinking thoughts like my son Mats. Will you be ready when they walk in to your store looking for Gold Star Banjos, Blueridge Guitars, Kentucky Mandolins, Regal Resonator Guitars and Cremona Fiddles and Basses? Open up the pages of our Retail Music News and you will find the instruments to get them started…. And to keep them going! Give us a call 1-800-289-7242 and tell us that you want to be part of the Bluegrass Festival Season… we’ll pick a few together!