Archive for March 2011

New ROMP Lineup

March 29, 2011

ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival


At the MUSEUM, 117 Daviess St., Owensboro, KY and YELLOW CREEK PARK, 5710 Hwy 144, Owensboro (free camping!)

 SAVE! Buy in Advance: Student 3-day pass $55/ Adults $70. Call 270-926-7891 for Tickets & Info.


10-5 Exhibits and Film Fest at the Museum; showcase bands at the Park

7:00 Pete & Joan Wernick

8:00 Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers

10:00 After Party & Late-Night Jam

FRIDAY June 24

10-5 Exhibits and Film Fest at the Museum; Showcase bands at the Park

 3:00 Bawn in the Mash

4:00 Loose Cannon Bluegrass Band

 5:00 Audie Blaylock & Redline

 6:10 23 String Band

7:20 Tony Rice with Mountain Heart

8:40 Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile

 10:00 Trampled by Turtles

11:30 After Party & Late-Night Jam


 10-12 Exhibits and Film Fest at the Museum

12:00 Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars

 12:30 King’s Highway

1:30 Kenny and Amanda Smith

 2:35 Professors of Bluegrass

3:40 Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike

4:45 Josh Williams Band

6:00 Sarah Jarosz

7:10 Carolina Chocolate Drops

 8:20 Emmylou Harris

9:40 The Infamous Stringdusters

11:00 After Party & Late-Night Jam

VARIOUS ARTISTS, “Blue Moon of Kentucky: Instrumental Tribute To Bill Monroe,” Rural Rhythm. 18 tracks.

March 28, 2011

Bill Monroe, “the father of bluegrass music,” would have been 100 years old on Sept. 13. But he died on Sept. 9, 1996.

At the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky., all of the active members of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame will gather to perform a series of birthday concerts in Monroe’s honor on Sept. 12-14.

But Mike Scott, a banjo player and Monroe disciple, has produced an album of 18 instrumental versions of songs either written by or associated with Monroe that’s on the market now.

Scott writes that Monroe offered him a chance to be a Blue Grass Boy when he was 15. But Scott decided to stay in school and never got the chance to tour with Monroe.

They were friends, though, ate a lot of breakfasts together and played on the same stage at bluegrass festivals, Scott writes.

He’s assembled an all-star lineup for this tribute — Adam Steffey, Bryan Sutton, Tim Stafford, Rob Ickes, Aubrey Haynie, Mike Compton and Ben Isaacs.

The album is as good as you would expect with musicians like those.

Can’t find it in stores? Try

MIKE SCOTT, “Take Me Lord And Use Me,” Rural Rhythm Christian. 13 tracks.

March 28, 2011

Tennessee-native Mike Scott and his banjo have been on the bluegrass circuit since 1972 — when he was 10 years old.

He started with The Rocky Mountain Boys, moved to The Tennessee Four and then The Cumberland Mountain Boys.

In 1980, Scott landed a job with the legendary Carl Story & The Rambling Mountaineers and then went on to work with Jim & Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys.

In 1986, he formed his own band, Mike Scott & The All-American Band. From 1998 to 2004, he also worked with Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass.

For the past decade, Scott has worked as both a solo artist and as a member of Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition.

He’s made a lot of friends in the industry through the years and it’s paid off with an all-star lineup of harmony singers on “Take Me Lord And Use Me” — Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Sonya Isaacs, Carl Jackson, Jesse McReynolds, Buck White and Shelton Feazell.

Scott and his wife, Brenda, wrote the title track, a plea for guidance and direction.

The album includes Hank Williams’ “Sing, Sing, Sing,” an uptempo song about getting to heaven, and Bill Monroe’s “When The Angels Carry Me Home.”

“Is This Not The Land Of Beulah” features an a capella intro; “Jesus I’ll Never Forget” is an uptempo tune that bounces; and “Just Like The Bible Says” rocks.

Scott is a good lead singer as well as a banjo player and the harmonies are outstanding.

Good album.

Can’t find it in stores? Try

LARRY SPARKS, “Almost Home,” Rounder. 12 tracks.

March 21, 2011

In 1963, the year he turned 16, Larry Sparks hit the road with the Stanley Brothers, playing lead guitar.

As Carter Stanley’s health deteriorated, Sparks’ role in the band increased. And when Carter died in December 1966, Ralph Stanley hired Sparks as lead singer for his new band, Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys.

Six years later, Sparks made his national debut with “Ramblin’ Bluegrass.” He named his band, The Lonesome Ramblers, and his reputation as one of the best vocalists in bluegrass has continued to build.

“Almost Home” is a collection of songs with themes that Sparks’ fans have come to expect — a lot of lonesome and a lot of rambling.

The title cut finds a man sitting on his front porch in a rocking chair, enjoying nature — in his mind, while his body is at work in the city.

“Lines On The Highway” is about a rambler with diesel in his blood and highway lines painted on his soul.

“Momma’s Apron Strings,” “Momma” and “There’s More That Holds The Picture” are nostalgia songs about family.

“Gunfighter’s Revenge” is a story song about a Texas outlaw whose Mexican lover is murdered.

“Picture Me There” finds a man leaving home for work on the road, reassuring his wife that however long it takes, he’ll be home when work is done.

“Bring ’Em On Back” finds the singer nostalgic for classic country music, the Grand Ole Opry, Momma’s chicken dinner, summer hayrides and watermelons.

The album also includes the bluesy gospel of “Somebody Touched Me” and a bluesy version of Hank Locklin’s 1957 country hit, “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On.”

Can’t find it in stores? Try

THE ROYS, “Lonesome Whistle,” Rural Rhythm. 11 tracks.

March 14, 2011

Not many Canadian bluegrass bands have made it in the United States, but The Roys have a good shot at stardom.

Lee and Elaine Roy were actually born in Massachusetts, but the family later moved to New Brunswick, Canada.

The brother-sister act has been performing since each was 10, and they’ve honed a great harmony sound in the years since.

The two share lead singing duties on the album, but Elaine Roy’s voice packs the most emotional punch.

The Roys wrote or co-wrote all but one of the songs on their national debut album. And they brought in Ricky Skaggs & members of his Kentucky Thunder for help in the studio.

Skaggs and The Whites provide harmony support on “That’s What Makes It Love,” a song about a single mother working two jobs, an old man caring for his wife of 60 years and Jesus.

“Coal Minin’ Man,” the first single off the album, tells the story of a third-generation miner, who’s “hurtin’, but he don’t complain.”

“Right Back At You” finds a woman deciding that it’s time to get back to living, a year after he broke her heart.

“Nothin’ I Can Do About That Now” and “Lonesome Whistle” are both train songs. The former finds the train taking a lover away and the latter finds a different train bringing a dead lover home from war.

“Give A Ride To The Devil” warns that if you “give a ride to the devil, someday he’s gonna wanna drive.”

“I Wonder What God’s Thinking” finds people on the street passing a hungry 15-year-old girl without helping and the singer wondering “what God’s thinking when He looks down on us.”

It’s a strong debut by a good duo.

ROMP 2011 lineup

March 11, 2011

Here’s the schedule for the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s River of Music Party June 23-25 in Yellow Creek Park outside Owensboro.


10-5     Exhibits and Film Fest at the Museum; showcase bands at the Park

7:00     Pete & Joan Wernick            

8:00     Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers

10:00   After Party & Late-Night Jam   

FRIDAY June 24

10-5     Exhibits and Film Fest at the Museum; Showcase bands at the Park

6:00     Audie Blaylock & Redline    

7:10     Tony Rice with Mountain Heart

8:30     The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile  

10:00   Trampled by Turtles

11:30   After Party & Late-Night Jam 

    SATURDAY June 25

 10-12   Exhibits and Film Fest at the Museum

12:00   Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars

12:30   Kenny and Amanda Smith 

1:40     Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike           

2:50     Professors of Bluegrass

4:00     23 String Band

5:10     Josh Williams Band

6:20     Sarah Jarosz

7:30     Infamous Stringdusters    

8:40     Emmylou Harris

10:00   Carolina Chocolate Drops

11:30   After Party & Late-Night Jam

 Tickets for all three days are $70 for general admission, $50 for museum members, $55 for students and $60 for senior citizens and active-duty military.

One-day tickets, which aren’t sold in advance, are $25 for all groups.

Three-day tickets can be ordered by calling 926-7891

ROMP adding campsites, dancing in June

March 11, 2011

ROMP is looking at some major changes this year to accommodate a larger – and younger – crowd at Yellow Creek Park June 23-25 .

The International Bluegrass Music Museum’s River of Music Party’s is expecting larger crowds with its beefed up lineup. So, it’s adding more than 217,500 square feet of primitive camping near the park’s fire tower.

That’s enough to accommodate a minimum of 200 tents, said Ross Leigh, executive director of Daviess County Parks & Recreation.

And Gabrielle Gray, the museum’s executive director, said, “We’re giving strong consideration to moving the main stage to the bowl area near the lake.”

That’s the park’s disc golf course, which is closed during the festival. Years ago, it was the park’s soccer field.

Leigh estimated that the disc golf course would seat about 7,500 people.

“That’s about three times what we’ve been able to seat in the past,” Gray said.

Previous festivals have drawn 7,000 or so people over three days, but rarely more than 2,500 at a time.

Leigh said the primitive camping area is being called “Camping on the Wrong Side of the Creek.”

It’s designed to appeal to a younger crowd than those staying in the recreational vehicles closer to the park road.

“They’re expecting a larger crowd this year,” Leigh said. “And we’re trying to help accommodate them.”

The lineup includes Emmylou Harris, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Pete & Joan Wernick, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Tony Rice, Mountain Heart, Trampled By Turtles, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, The 23 String Band, the Josh Williams Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Professors of Bluegrass and Sarah Jarosz.

Many of those acts appeal to people who don’t traditionally attend bluegrass festivals.

Gray said “an entirely new element is being added to ROMP this year,” with after-hours dancing in the park’s Pioneer Village, which features two log cabins, two log barns, a one-room school and a pavilion.

“We’re going to have jamming in the Pioneer Village every night after the last act on the main stage,” she said.

That’s 10 p.m. Thursday and 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“We’ll have bands playing for dancing in the pavilion as long as people want to continue,” Gray said.

It’s likely, she said, that some of the bands from the main stage will be playing for the dances.

“It depends on who plays the best dance music,” Gray said.

Most of the dance music will be old-time music rather than bluegrass, she said.

This year, ROMP is being billed as “ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival.” It’s designed to attract younger fans.

Tickets for all three days are $70 for general admission, $50 for museum members, $55 for students and $60 for senior citizens and active-duty military.

One-day tickets, which aren’t sold in advance, are $25 for all groups.

Three-day tickets can be ordered by calling 926-7891.

The lineup doesn’t include traditional bluegrass musicians because the museum has created a second festival this year on Sept. 12-14 at the RiverPark Center to celebrate what would have been Bill Monroe’s 100th birthday.

Monroe, “the father of bluegrass music,” was born on a farm outside Rosine on Sept. 13, 1911. He died Sept. 9, 1996, and is buried in Rosine Cemetery.

That lineup includes every active member of the IBMA’s Hall of Honor – Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, Jesse McReynolds, Mac Wiseman, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, Eddie Adcock, Tom Gray, Kenny Baker, Curly Seckler, Everett Lilly, The Lewis Family, Bill Clifton, Rodney Dillard, Melvin Goins and Paul Williams.

Three-day tickets range from $100 to $175. They can be ordered by calling 926-7891.