The Right Place At The Right Time

A story by Joe & Nellie Kennedy from 1970-2024

Evergreen Bluegrass Band

Both Joe and Nellie discovered bluegrass music individually during the 1970’s; fortunately it was blossoming in Maine. Cambridge became a mecca for bluegrass music, with musicians moving from southern New England. Fred Pike and Sam Tidwell promoted the Salty Dog and Central Maine Bluegrass Festivals respectively. Joe and Nellie met at the Salty Dog Festival in 1984.

They attended many festivals and were totally immersed; meeting other musicians, camping and playing music together, and forming lifelong friendships. During this time Nellie was playing bass with the Misty Mountaineers, and Joe, played harmonica with Bluegrass Supply Company, and for a time, bass, with the Kennebec Valley Boys; each performing throughout Maine and recording with their bands.

A seed was planted. Like others around the state, the Kennedy’s started their own festival in Crawford, the Breakneck Mountain Bluegrass Festival (1985-1995); hiring both bluegrass and old-time country acts. They featured workshops, a children’s program, and a pot luck dinner that were unique to their festival, plus Canadian bands. In 1993, the festival was filmed for a MPBN-TV series, “Mainely Bluegrass”.

Joe & Nellie performed and recorded with the Breakneck Mountain band (1989-1990) and Evergreen (1991-2015).
In 2014, Joe & Nellie were inducted into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame. Joe currently serves on the board. They are founding members of the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine; currently Nellie is Treasurer and Joe is Vice President.

Nellie Kennedy and Joe Kennedy singing with Evergreen

Kennebec Valley Boys Concert Poster

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