'Bob Bovee and Gail Heil of Spring Grove, Minn., have shepherded the Bluff Country Gathering to the point where it holds an honored place on the calendars of many old-time music enthusiasts in the Midwest,' Jeffrey Worrell, a spokesperson for the event, says.
'Bob Bovee and Gail Heil of Spring Grove, Minn., have shepherded the Bluff Country Gathering to the point where it holds an honored place on the calendars of many old-time music enthusiasts in the Midwest,' Jeffrey Worrell, a spokesperson for the event, says.

The show will go on this weekend in Lanesboro, Minn.

The 15th annual Bluff Country Gathering -- a festival to celebrate old-time music heritage and pass on the playing skills and tunes of master musicians from around the country - is May 16-18.

"Bob Bovee and Gail Heil of Spring Grove, Minn., have shepherded the Bluff Country Gathering to the point where it holds an honored place on the calendars of many old-time music enthusiasts in the Midwest," Jeffrey Worrell, a spokesperson for the event, says. "This year, the gathering was threatened with cancellation because of a medical emergency that disrupted the lives of the organizers."

But the community declared that they would gather in Lanesboro regardless of the official status of the event.

"Now, with the blessing of Mr. Bovee and the gracious cooperation and assistance of the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce, the Bluff Country Gathering will be held as scheduled," he says. "All the master artists will be there to fiddle and teach. Nearly all the registrants will be in attendance to enjoy and learn. The entire assembly will gather as a show of gratitude and support for Bob Bovee and Gail Heil."

The Bluff Country Gathering concert is Friday, May 17, at 8 p.m. at the Lanesboro Community Center. Tickets are $12 at the door. The barn dance is Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m., at the Lanesboro Community Center Tickets are $8 at the door.

The 2013 Gathering is dedicated to two players who passed away in the last year. Jim Lansford, who was on staff at the Gathering twice with his wife and musical partner Kim, was a fiddler, banjo, guitar and mandolin player and singer. Jim and Kim also performed for the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association's summer festival, the Big Island Rendezvous, Victorian Days in Winona and other Minnesota venues.

The second musician being honored by the Bluff Country Gathering is Garry Harrison, a fiddler, luthier and tune collector who put together the acclaimed Dear Old Illinois, a book of songs and tunes from his native state. Harrison performed in Minnesota for the MBOTMA Winter Weekend with his band The New Mules. His daughter Genevieve Harrison Koester, who learned Garry's tunes and playing style, will be passing those on to fiddle students this year. Her bandmates are her husband Smith Koester, a fine player who will be teaching banjo, and cousin Clifford Harrison, who will be accompanying them on guitar in the band now called White Mule.

For more information, visit boveeheil.com.