Presented by the Boston Bluegrass Union, this weekend’s Joe Val Bluegrass Festival is three days of family-friendly performances, workshops, and instructional “slow jams.” The full schedule is at www
.bbu.org, but here are a few highlights:
STEEP CANYON RANGERS Fresh from a Grammy win earlier this week for best bluegrass album, this virtuosic five-man band from North Carolina is on the road behind “Nobody Knows You.” They will be familiar to anyone who has seen them accompanying Steve Martin in recent years. Friday, 10:55 p.m., Main Stage.
THE ROSENTHALS This father-son bluegrass duo puts an interesting stamp on old-time music. On banjo, mandolin, and guitar, Phil Rosenthal is beloved for his work as the onetime lead singer and guitarist with the Seldom Scene, which is also performing at Joe Val this weekend (Saturday at 10:30 p.m.). His son, Daniel, is a jazz trumpeter who also plays with
Either/Orchestra. They’re prepping a new album to be released in June. Saturday, 3:15 p.m., Showcase Stage.
DALE ANN BRADLEY Bluegrass loves a spitfire, and Bradley is among the finest, having won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s award for female vocalist of the year multiple times. She’s on tour behind her latest, “Somewhere South of Crazy.” Saturday, 3:10 and 9:30 p.m., Main Stage.
CHARLES RIVER VALLEY BOYS REUNION They were a rarity back in their 1960s heyday — a couple of Ivy League gents playing bluegrass — and their records are still worth seeking out (particularly their Beatles cover record, “Beatle Country”). Just before this reunion performance, the Charles River Valley Boys will receive the BBU’s Heritage Award for promoting bluegrass in New England. The other recipient is Betsy Siggins, executive director of the New England Folk Music Archives and a longtime local champion of American roots music. Saturday, 4:15 p.m., Main Stage.
THE CLAIRE LYNCH BAND With one of the most dulcet voices in bluegrass, Lynch has brought grace and sophistication to her decades-long career as a singer and songwriter, as heard on her most recent album, “Whatcha Gonna Do.” Sunday, 2:55 p.m., Main Stage.