While San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is generally a mellow and joyous affair, the festival set aside time on Sunday to mourn the passing of those lost over the past few years. Among others, the “Fare Thee Well” celebration honored folk legend John Prine, festival benefactor Nancy Bechtle and alternative country scion Justin Townes Earle.
A Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner beloved by everyone from Brandi Carlile to Bob Dylan, John Prine is considered one of the greatest American songwriters of his generation. Prine died due to complications of COVID-19 during the very early days of the pandemic. As this was the first Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival to take place since the onset of the pandemic, it was an apt time to honor Prine, Bechtle, Earle and anyone else who passed during the past two and a half years.
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