Every year in early September, music fans in our little mountain town gather to celebrate all things bluegrass at the annual Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival. Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music first held the 3-day festival in 2006 and steadily gathered supporters since. With national acts like the Claire Lynch Band and Flagstaff favorites like Tony Norris, Bookmans, along with the entire community, pines for Pickin’ all year long. Bookmans Flagstaff was more excited than ever to host our instruments booth, enjoy the late summer weather and listen to amazing traditional bluegrass music.
Pickin' In the Pines 2014

As the festival began on Friday the Bookmans booth was decked out in new and used instruments like banjos and concert ukeleles. We went full on pine-y with tables decorations of rustic camping gear, pine cones and lumberjack active wear. The attention grabber was our two National guitars set out in front looking pretty, certainly making all other stringed instruments green with envy. Kids received free guitar picks and parents jammed out on the instruments. We had the best seat in the house to sit back and enjoy bands playing on the Pepsi Amphitheaters Main Stage.
Pickin' in the Pines 2014
Great musicians took the stage all weekend long and some of our personal favorites included Town Mountain. This “Hard Drivin’ Carolina String Band” hails from Asheville, North Carolina and their song Law Dog confirms their place as a Bookmans Recommends bluegrass band. Joining Town Mountain in the Bookmans favorites category is our dear friend Chuck Cheeseman, who held his Dancing With No Shoes On kids workshop Saturday and Sunday morning. Bands were able to compete in the Band Contest on Sunday morning and Bookmans was blown away by contestant and 2013 winner The Barker Family, whose young members’ rendition of Jolene left us in awe.
Pickin' in the Pines 2014
Pickin’ in the Pines i swell-known as family-friendly and this year was no exception. There were workshops and activities for kids through out the 3-day event. The Kids Zone allowed children of all ages get creative with arts and crafts activities like bead work and an interactive mural. To celebrate 9 years of Pickin’ in the Pines, kids decorated their own Pickin’ T-shirt to take home as a souvenir. By Sunday afternoon the kids’ parade made their way through the crowds at the Pepsi Amphitheater with authentic samba music performed by Sambatuque leading the way.
Pickin’ in the Pines is a pillar in the Flagstaff community and Bookmans is grateful to be a part of it every year. Not only do we spend three “work days” among the pines in beautiful mountain weather, but we also celebrate traditional bluegrass and acoustic music with the whole Flagstaff family. Not a hard day at the office, to say the least. If you want to learn about how you can get involved with next year’s Pickin’ in the Pines visit their website. If you are diggin’ the celebration of traditional music and would like to learn how you can spread the love check out Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music. They help keep Flag’s traditional music community thriving with workshops like Young Jammers and Contra Dances. More pics of all the Pickin’ in the Pines fun at our flickr page!