REEnFIELD — DJ Baker came to the world of bluegrass music late in life — or so she thought.

The Fortville native grew up singing country music, but she didn’t think she knew much about bluegrass when fellow musician Tim Coffey spotted her on stage a few years back and persuaded to leave the country band she’d been singing with and join Elkridge, his new bluegrass group.

Then, Baker sat in on a rehearsal, and the band struck up a song she realized she knew well — one that her mother had sung to her as a child.

“I asked them ‘How do you know my mom’s song?’” said Baker, who now lives in Oaklandon.

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It turned out to be an old ballad from bluegrass great Dr. Ralph Stanley.

As she hummed along, Baker realized she’d grown up with bluegrass without knowing it.

Baker, Coffey and banjo player Joe Davidson have been together as the Elkridge bluegrass band going on four years. Coffey plays lead guitar, Baker plays the bass, and all three sing both lead and harmony vocals.

Coffey and Baker grew especially close over the years, sharing their love of music and performance — they’re now engaged to be married.

From the get-go, Elkridge found success, playing more than 150 gigs the first year locally and as far away as Mississippi. This year, they’ve cut back on touring to focus on recording — and a festival.

The Elkridge Bluegrass Festival makes its debut Aug. 5 and 6 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds, 620 N. Apple St.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, with live music, food, raffles and door prizes. Tickets to the event are $25 per day with a two-day pass selling for $45. Children under 10 are admitted free with a paying adult. Festival attendees are welcome to camp for an additional $10.

Saturday’s line-up features live bluegrass music throughout the day with performances from Alec Hurtubise at 11 a.m.; Brooke Steele at 11:50 a.m.; Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers at noon; The Alley Family at 1:30 p.m.;

If you go

What: The Elkridge Bluegrass Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 5; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 6

Where: The Hancock County Fairgrounds, 620 N. Apple St.

Cost: Single-day tickets are $25 at the gate; a two-day pass is $45.

At a glance

Spots are still open to compete in the bluegrass band competition.

  • Registration is $75.
  • Call Tim Coffey at 317-966-0362 for more information.
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Christine Schaefer is arts editor and editorial assistant at the Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3222 or cschaefer@greenfieldreporter.com.