Saturday Headliners:

Jeff Scroggins and Colorado

The South Essex Bluegrass Festival is blown away to be able to welcome the stunning Jeff Scroggins and Colorado here to our festival in Bulphan. This high-energy five-piece features the man himself, a two-time US national banjo champion, along with his son Tristan who at 21 is fast developing a reputation as a steaming mandolin player. Vocals are provided by the authentic voice of Greg Blake, whose phenomenal guitar playing has won him numerous awards as Guitarist of the Year. Fiddle player Ellie Hakanson, who has chalked up honours such as 2016 Rockygrass Fiddle Champion, 2016 Arizona State Fiddle Champion, provides the vocal harmonis. Together the band are the California Bluegrass Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year. You DO NOT want to miss this one!

“Wow – what a mighty fine recording this is! Jeff Scroggins shows his comfort with various banjo styles again and again – no mystery about how he won so many banjo contests. All of these musicians play and sing so well together and the material presented is very well chosen. This band should have a very bright future in the world of bluegrass music!”

Jeff Scroggins and Colorado

With Support from:

The Down County Boys

Returning to South Essex Bluegrass Festival are the wonderful Down County Boys. First formed in 1964, the Down County Boys are the UK’s longest running Bluegrass band. During that time there have been some 31 musicians pass through the ranks, some staying for a long time and some for just a short while.

The longest reigning member, and band leader, being Peter Parker, who has been playing the roll of baritone vocalist and fiddle player since 1969.

Current members now include:

  • Mick Cooper, vocal and Bass
  • Ray Duffy, vocal and Guitar
  • Chris Cooper, vocal and Banjo
  • Peter Parker, vocal and Fiddle

Over the years the band have made countless TV and radio appearances and have been lucky enough to be invited to perform not only in the the UK and Ireland, but also Europe and the USA. Eventually playing some of the major stateside venues and festivals, and sharing the stage with some of their heroes.

“We are so looking forward to our return visit to the SEBF, and our thanks go out to Richard and all the gang for the invite”

Friday Headliners:


Since starting out back in 2008, Jaywalkers have cemented their place as one of the most exciting, virtuosic and entertaining young bands working on the British Folk scene. Effortlessly creating a unique sound based on their collective and individual musical backgrounds, the band takes influence from Folk, Bluegrass, Country and Western Swing music in the form of virtuosic instrumentals, three part harmony and impressive slap bass. Add good humour, tasteful arrangements and exceptional musicianship to the mix and they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The music Jaywalkers create is innovative, rooted deeply in tradition, and exhilarating.

“Jaywalkers effortlessly blend British and American folk traditions to create something arguably greater than either of these genres.” Acoustic magazine

“Jay, Mike and Lucy weave a bright and busy tapestry with their third album [and] play with precision and aplomb…. [They] create music that is distinctive and enjoyable” Songlines Magazine

With Support from:

Reckless Abandoners

The Reckless Abandoners is an entertaining acoustic band specialising in bluegrass and Americana with a fresh and original twist. They like to mix things up with an eclectic repertoire that includes original songs, traditional (and not quite so traditional) standards and some creative covers. The band’s music is a refreshing mix of upbeat and mellow bluegrass and old time, with touches of honky tonk, Western Swing, acoustic country and blues. At South Essex the Abandoners will be performing as a five-piece with Maria Wallace (vocals), Phil Stott (mandolin/vocals) and Mark Gibbons (guitar) joined by Kieran Towers (fiddle) and Dick Embery (double bass).