Washington, D.C. – On May 21st and 22nd from 1-5pm Bourbon and Bluegrass, President Lincoln’s Cottage’s iconic celebration of American culture, will be back in person and open to the public for the first time since 2019. The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Cottage, a national monument and museum on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
“These past two years have obviously been difficult for our museum, our supporters, and our country,” said Director Michael Atwood Mason, “We are delighted to be able to bring this community back together in person for such a joyous event. We all need that right now!” To ensure the audience is safe, the event will be held outdoors on the south lawn of the Cottage, “One of the many benefits to a beautiful, sprawling campus, is that there is plenty of room to social distance while listening to the remarkable line up we have in store for audiences,” said Mason.
The line-up is indeed remarkable. The headliner for both days will be Driftwood, an Upstate New York band known by their large and loyal following as a guarantee of a killer live show. A fixture in the Americana music scene, they have their roots in bluegrass, “The band was inspired in-part by a trip to Telluride Bluegrass festival. Since its inception in 2006, Driftwood’s sound has evolved slowly into one that is more indie and song-centric. The audience can expect to hear our Bluegrass roots in our performance. It’ll be a show that any bluegrass lover will be drawn to.” The band will also appeal to a wider audience as well, “We are especially excited to have Driftwood headline because they will appeal to both the hard core bluegrass fans, and people who are more into folk rock music. Their music speaks to everyone, and they are a perfect band to headline this celebration of community,” said Mason.
The Cottage is also thrilled to welcome another out-of-town sensation, Tray Wellington, who will be playing the event on Sunday, May 22nd. Tray has received numerous awards for his versatile music style including two awards from IBMA including Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year and Momentum Band of the Year with the release of Cane Mill Road. “We are big Tray Wellington fans here at the Cottage, and we are excited for him to come for his first Bourbon & Bluegrass event. We hope it’s the first of many,” said Mason.
There will also be several local bands of note. The DC/Washington combo Doug Stevenson & the Spades will play Saturday, and returning favorites Moose Jaw and Hollertown will play Saturday and Sunday respectively.
These excellent bands will provide the soundtrack to a lively program that incorporates food, history, fashion, and, of course bourbon. Beam Suntory is providing bourbon for the event, along with specialty cocktails. Culinary highlights will include Rocklands Barbeque and Goodies desserts. Lawn games will be played, beer will be offered, and Hells Bottom Barbers will be trimming any unruly beards in attendance in a nod to Abe’s signature look.
All proceeds from the event will support the continuing preservation of President Lincoln’s beloved summer home, the birthplace of the Emancipation Proclamation. Any history buffs in attendance will have the opportunity to learn about the Cottage from Senior Preservationist, Jeff Larry. “President Lincoln’s Cottage is the only National Monument not to receive federal operating support. Bourbon and Bluegrass is our biggest fundraiser and the funds go towards keeping this home beautiful, safe, and accessible to everyone,” said Mason.
The historic importance of the venue isn’t lost on Driftwood, “We have played many interesting and unique spots over the years but this may be the coolest! We have a passion for history in our band and have been known to stop at National Battlefields while on the road. We are excited to be at President Lincoln’s Cottage and to feel his presence.”
Media contact: Rebecca Kilborne