True and Blue

t’s no secret whatsoever that Music City Roots loves bluegrass. The genre itself, even in its pure “traditional” form, is an embodiment of our show’s philosophy: folk and roots styles updated for modern times. Because when Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys cooked up their very original sound in 1945, it was a pretty radical left turn from the old-time string band music on which they were building. And in an amazing turn of music history, the new sound proved so popular and viable that it spread worldwide and continues to grow and evolve.

The International Bluegrass Music Association is the trade group responsible for helping bluegrass continue that growth and evolution, and this week, Roots helps the IBMA celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special, season-ending all-bluegrass lineup. This jam-packed night features nine bands spanning the history of the music, from the mountain-influenced early days to the young standouts of tomorrow. We’re offering a special $25 ticket that includes a reception, food and a great early evening hang with IBMA members and artists or a regular $10 ticket for the show starting at the usual hour of 7 pm.

Here’s a very quick rundown of who you’ll get to hear if you can join us.

Rodney Dillard is one of the founders of The Dillards, an extremely influential band that came to wide notice because of their alter ego appearances as The Darlings on the Andy Griffith show. If you ever get to talking to Sam Bush, ask him about The Dillards and settle in for a few hours…

Jesse McReynolds was half of a historic duo with his late brother Jim. Jesse’s an innovative mandolin player who pioneered his signature cross-picking technique. He’s a member of the IBMA Hall of Fame.

The Whites are one of the most delightful and swinging family bands in acoustic music. Dad Buck and daughters Cheryl and Sharon were part of O Brother thanks to their sweet vocal harmonies. They’ve been mainstays of the Grand Ole Opry for many years.

Dale Ann Bradley has played Roots before. She’s a hard-working veteran who’s fought hard for the rightful place of women as bandleaders in bluegrass. She’s also a multiple IBMA female vocalist of the year.

Alison Brown & Fair Weather Friends Alison is one of the world’s most innovative banjo players and owner of Compass Records. She’ll likely be mixing up her unique take on bluegrass with traditional sounds.

Sierra Hull, from little Byrdstown, TN, is one of the leading young voices in bluegrass music, as well as being a stunning mandolinist. Her debut on Rounder Records was recognized as a harbinger of an important career.

G2 hails from Sweden, and they have become perhaps the leading ambassador of bluegrass music’s worldwide reach. Their name stands for Second Generation as they all have dads or uncles who play the music.

The Farewell Drifters are winning hearts with their fresh, harmony laden original songs. Their second album recently hit the streets, and this Nashville-based band is poised for more growth.

Rockin’ Acoustic Circus I haven’t seen this emerging Tulsa-based bands yet, but they’re stirring things up with a youthful and original take on bluegrass.

It’ll be a packed night of three-song sets, offering the ultimate sampler survey of all that is great about bluegrass music. Please come join us or tune in on WSM, the radio station where bluegrass was born!

Craig H

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