Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ROMP will feature young bands and new late-night events!

So many young bands are coming up through the bluegrass tradition and taking the music in new directions, creating a place in the musical lexicon for themselves and their music! We are please to feature many of these bands at ROMP 2011: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival.

Trampled By Turtles, from Minnesota, has so much energy and talent that they’re literally driving the music in front of them as they push to the foreground of fame. We find it greatly interesting that we’re getting more hits on our website and calls for tickets from TBT fans than from any other band in our quite stunning line-up. It proves that bluegrass is reaching young people, bringing them up in a tradition of incredible virtuosity and launching them on an amazing musical journey.

Then there’s Chris Thile, one of the finest musicians alive at this time, with his band of outrageously talented genre-benders, Punch Brothers. And Carolina Chocolate Drops, keeping the string band tradition alive by pumping it full of new life and energy and taking it to adoring audiences everywhere—they are quite the phenomenon!

We could go on and on about the musicians in the ROMP line-up, as each band is marvelous in its own right. The non-traditional aspect of this year’s line-up is intended to illustrate the wide range of influence bluegrass music and Bill Monroe have had – and increasingly continue to have – on today’s music culture. We are so very fortunate to have them come to the heartland of bluegrass music to perform for us this June.

We'll also be kicking off new late night events at ROMP 2011, including performances, bonfires and all-night jams! Some of the featured late night acts are The Farewell Drifters, Coralee & The Townies, The Vespers and The 23 String Band. You must have a 3-day pass to camp and attend all-night events. Go to http://bluegrassmuseum.org/general/romp.php for more info!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Steve Martin at ROMP 2011

Who doesn’t love Steve Martin? He’s so funny, you start to laugh before he even says anything. It’s a preconditioned response!

We were completely thrilled to learn about his banjo skills and his love for bluegrass music. He is truly a great ambassador for bluegrass. Quite the Renaissance man. It’s small wonder his new CD, Rare Bird Alert, is already #1 on the charts!

Steve Martin will appear with the Steep Canyon Rangers at our 2011 ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival on June 23 at 8:00 p.m. Click to see the full line-up or order tickets. Three-day tickets come with free camping at Yellow Creek Park!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Emmylou Harris added to ROMP 2011 Line-up!

We are THRILLED with the musical line-up for our ROMP 2011 Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival! And even more excited that we've added Emmylou Harris to Saturday night's program.

Emmylou has had us all in the palm of her hand for many decades. Not only is she achingly beautiful, but her voice is a national treasure. We’re all looking forward to hearing her in person, singing songs from her soon-to-be-released album, Hard Bargain.

Check out ROMP 2011 info, tickets, free camping, line-up and more on our web site: http://www.bluegrassmuseum.org

Want to be on our street team? Email Danny@bluegrassmuseum.org for details!

Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 Bluegrass in the Schools

The International Bluegrass Music Museum is proud to announce the successful completion of its 9th annual All-School Bluegrass Assembly Programs. These assemblies are key components of the museum’s far-reaching Bluegrass in the Schools program.

For three weeks in January, local professional musicians performed at 23 area elementary schools. The 45-minute program consisted entirely of Bill Monroe compositions.

Universally known as the Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe was born and grew to manhood in nearby Ohio County, Kentucky. 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of his birth on September 13, 1911.

The band went from school to school educating children about bluegrass music and the pivotal role Monroe played in the creation of the bluegrass music genre.

The program was led by the museum’s education director, Randy Lanham.
Randy played the fiddle and was accompanied by Jeff Hardesty on guitar, David Morris on banjo and Danny “Hootenanny” Clark—the newest member of the museum staff—on mandolin.

Slides were shown of original artwork created by dozens of artists inspired by Bill Monroe songs. The original art is on display at the museum in “The Bill Monroe Centennial Art Exhibit” through September 12, 2012.

This year’s Bluegrass in the Schools program reached an audience of over 8,500 students. The overall crowd favorite was Monroe’s original tune, “Uncle Pen,” which commemorates his uncle Pendleton Vandiver’s now-famous role in teaching young Monroe how to play fiddle tunes and adapt them to the mandolin…at breakneck speed. Uncle Pen’s fiddle is on display at the museum, as well.

For students whose interest is sparked by these annual assembly programs, the museum hosts the Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars’ Saturday Lessons Program.

The program is bi-weekly and allows regional residents of all ages to take group lessons on the fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin. The museum supplies instruments and professional instructors.

The Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars perform each year at ROMP, the museum’s festival. In 2011, the AllStars will perform at 12:00 noon on June 25 on the Main Stage at Yellow Creek Park.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Coal Porters performance to benefit the IBMM

The Coal Porters will perform at the International Bluegrass Music Museum on Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00 p.m. as part of our Centennial Concert Series, a benefit for the IBMM. We talked with mandolinist Sid Griffin about the band, his Kentucky heritage and the upcoming show in this interview.

IBMM: Can you tell us a little about your Kentucky roots, and maybe how they play a part in both your music and other artistic endeavors?

Sid Griffin: Being eighth generation Kentucky Southern Baptist on both sides of my family has its strong points and its weak points. In times past the Griffins and the various other branches of the family tree played music to entertain each other and themselves. No radio, no TV, no phonograph records, right? So there is a classic example of the folk tradition there. Even my grandmother played the fiddle and she was pretty strict, no messin' around with her.

But, as time went on entertainment was supplied to Kentuckians, especially after FDR got the Tennessee Valley Authority to run electricity to the smaller communities in the 1930s. And like the rest of the USA the local traditions began to become homogenized and more like they were in the rest of the country or more like what folks heard on the national radio network broadcasts of the day out of places like Manhattan.

So, in many ways this was a bad thing and soon you had families like the Griffins downplaying or even poo-pooing the playing of musical instruments around the house. Which is what happened to me and my generation. How sad is it when a guitar or a mandolin or a banjo are considered poor expenditures of time in a Kentucky household? Pretty damn sad if you ask me.

Anyway after starting in bluegrass as a tyke, finding it difficult and thinking it old man's music, I moved to rock & roll and did really well with it for years. I actually made money at it, top that, eh? But it gets old playing rock and roll as you hit forty, as you get older, you begin to feel a bit foolish. So after a tragic car accident in London almost killed the drummer of my last rock group I decided, while he was recuperating, to start playing the mandolin, to explore acoustic music where you needed no amps or drums. And I have never turned back.

I should now thank the marvelous Bluegrass Museum there in Owensboro as their Bill Monroe Mandolin Camp has been a major influence on my playing and enthusiasm for this acoustic music nowadays.

IBMM: When was the last time you performed in Kentucky?

Sid Griffin: I think I played a couple of solo gigs in Covington and Louisville in the last few years when I was coming home to visit my then ailing and now deceased parents. I believe the last band gig I did was 2004 at the World Of Bluegrass Festival in Louisville, the Coal Porters played that. It was a blast, a total blast, and the last one in Kentucky as it then moved to Nashville. Gigs in Louisville, Lexington and such are pretty much a blast as all my relatives and old friends come out to see me, it really is as much a social event as a musical one!

IBMM: Would you like to say anything to the folks about the upcoming Tuesday show?

Sid Griffin: Come see the Coal Porters and support the marvelous Bluegrass Museum Tuesday night because in a few years a ticket to see the Coal Porters is probably going to be awfully, awfully expensive! On a more serious note we really are a very entertaining band with a world class fiddler and a world class banjo man. Plus I think our original songs are strong, I am immensely proud of them. We've played several hundred shows so surely by now we know what we are doing!

The Coal Porters, from London, England
Benefit Concert for the Bluegrass Museum
February 15 at 7:00 PM
At the museum, 117 Daviess Street, Owensboro, KY 42303.
Tickets are $10 and include a reception with wine and food. Seating is limited.
Call 270-926-7891 to reserve your tickets.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

IBMM's Centennial Celebration to feature all living Bluegrass Hall of Fame members!

More than 15 members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame will perform at the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration, September 12, 13 & 14, 2011, at RiverPark Center located next door to the museum in Owensboro, Ky. The event celebrates the life and 100th birthday of Bill Monroe, popularly known as the Father of Bluegrass Music, who was born in nearby Rosine, Ky., on September 13, 1911.

Performers include Jesse McReynolds, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Mac Wiseman, Doc Watson, J. D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, Eddie Adcock, Tom Gray, Kenny Baker, Curly Seckler, Everett Lilly, The Lewis Family, Bill Clifton, Rodney Dillard, Melvin Goins, Paul Williams. Other Pioneers and Blue Grass Boys will be performing, as well.

Tickets to the Centennial Celebration are limited to just 1,500 and sold in advance by reservation only. Ticket prices are tiered for the three days filled with exclusive events, concerts, exhibits, interviews and field trips. Three-day passes range from $175 for orchestra level seating to $100 for second balcony. Call 270-926-7891 to purchase tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The Centennial Celebration will feature all of the living members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame with their bands in concert, as well as reunions of museum honorees The Pioneers of Bluegrass—musicians who began working before 1960—and the Blue Grass Boys, veterans of Bill Monroe’s band over the years. The Pioneers and Blue Grass Boys will perform on stage and interact informally during jams, discussions and as audience members.

During the Centennial Celebration, the museum will premier a documentary film featuring the story of Bill Monroe as told by the Blue Grass Boys’ remembrances through the decades. An exhibit of their artifacts will open, as well. The museum will also premier an original musical based on Bill Monroe’s life.

The Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration will take place immediately following the 6th annual Monroe-Style Mandolin Camp, a one of a kind camp devoted to the mandolin performance style of Bill Monroe, taking place September 9-11, 2011 at the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

For more information about coordinated Centennial Celebration events throughout Kentucky, see the dedicated Web site at http://www.billmonroe100birthday.com created by the Owensboro Daviess County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

IBMM's Monroe-Style Mandolin All-Star Faculty Concert to be broadcast on WNIN-FM!

The Monroe-Style Mandolin All-Star Faculty Concert will air on Saturday, December 11 at 8pm CST on WNIN-FM, with a repeat on Wednesday, December 15 at 7pm central time. WNIN is based in Evansville, Indiana, and can be heard throughout the Tri-State area (including southern Indiana, western Kentucky and southeastern Illinois). The broadcast will also be streamed on the Internet at http://www.wnin.org.

The concert was recorded live at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky, on September 10, 2010, featuring camp director Mike Compton (Nashville Bluegrass Band, Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes), associate director Dr. Richard Brown (The Reunion Band), Hall of Fame member Bobby Osborne (Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press), Gibson master luthier David Harvey, Skip Gorman, David Peterson (David Peterson & 1946), IBMM education director Randy Lanham and co-director David Morris, and others.

Production and broadcast of the Monroe-Style Mandolin All-Star Faculty Concert is a partnership between WNIN Tri-State Public Media and the International Bluegrass Music Museum. The Monroe-Style Mandolin All-Star Faculty Concert is the highlight of the Monroe-Style Mandolin Camps held the second week of each September at the museum. For more information go to http://www.bluegrassmuseum.org.