Where would you go if you wanted to find a good-natured mob of regular folks content to pass the time playing old-fashioned murder ballads, instrumentals about horses tearing through the wilderness or gallinippers, songs about towns called “Gnaw Bone”, “Santa Claus” and “Tombstone Junction”, or a heart-felt wail about family long gone?
Let me introduce you to the Monroe Mandolin Camp. We are people who are passionate about the musical language of the late Bill Monroe. For fans of traditional American music the name “Monroe” is no stranger. You may ask if Bill Monroe is a country music star, an innovator and creator of his own ‘bluegrass’ musical style or even a rockabilly artist. Indeed, he is all three and is recognized as such in as many museums. Bill’s music is known for passionate execution and no-nonsense emotional delivery, a simple message and firey in-your-face instrumentals.
Although time marches on and fads change, the musical language that was carved out by Monroe is still as potent and valid as ever and it is this legacy that we have founded the Monroe Mandolin Camp upon. We consider ourselves to be roots/Americana/bluegrass based.
MonManCamp offers four and a half days of intensive study from modern masters of the genre who have spent their lives nurturing an on-going fire for the music and honing their craft until they are razor sharp presenters of the traditional sound. We pride ourselves in being conscientious presenters and work to bring something to everyone. We are located in a country setting in the Kingston Springs, TN area amidst hardwoods, tall pines, open fields and hiking trails. We’ve got good eats and good company and the potential for making memories that last a lifetime…oh yeah…and mandolins!
We also are fortunate to have on sight two of the premier luthiers of our time to help keep all these mandolins in top shape in case somebody gets a little carried away at one of the numerous daily jams we’ve got scheduled. There’s no better place to give new ideas a try than an evening jam. We’re only a 30-minute ride from Nashville, so you never know who all will show up for the jams. There’s an awful lot of quality players around here just itching for an excuse to play some tunes!
MonManCamp was established to cater to all ages. Not only do we welcome dozens of ‘grownups’ every year, we are proud to sponsor a number of ‘tried and qualified’ youngsters too! It’s great to see the interest for the traditional style in these kids because they’re the future of the music and they really keep a fire lit under the rest of us.
I wish Mr. Bill could still be with us to see these kids rip into his tunes. I suspect he would be really proud of where we’re going with the camp. It’s all about keeping Monroe style mandolin alive and well, keeping the traditional sound of bluegrass vibrant and moving ahead into the future. So, pack up your favorite mando, put on some comfortable shoes and come on to Monroe Mandolin Camp in Kingston Springs, TN. We’ll be waiting for you.