July 29, 2013. Bill Monroe organized a unique band of musicians back in the late 1930s. A native of Kentucky, he named his band Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. In 1938, they made their first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. The music caught on, quickly. Other groups formed. The name of Bill Monroe’s band took on a larger meaning: it became a style. Mandolin, banjo, fiddle and high tenor singing represented this style. Folks started calling it Bluegrass. The name stuck.
This Saturday night, Aug. 3, Mountain Home Music will present “Bluegrass, the Early Years,” a musical story of the beginnings of bluegrass.
“Radio broadcasts of The Grand Ole Opry helped bluegrass music catch-on,” said Joe Shannon, founder and host of Mountain Home Music. “But it was more than that, too. It was innovative, with rural roots; it was exciting and played by master musicians. Not only did folks listen, many wanted to make that, or a similar, sound. It didn’t take long: a name became a style, a style became a genre, and now bluegrass music is heard and played around the world.”
The concert this Saturday night, said Joe Shannon, will be volume III of “Bluegrass the Early Years.” Previous concerts have focused on the music of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and also on the music of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The music of these pioneers will definitely be a part of this year’s show, but the primary focus will be on the music of the Stanley Brothers—Ralph, Carter, and some of their early stylistic configurations, including ac-cappella singing. .
Playing the music will be Kay and Patrick Crouch and Ron Shuffler, Strictly Clean & Decent. Master fiddler, and a member of the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, David Johnson will join the group for this special concert.
George Shuffler, the brother of Ron Shuffler, was a member of the early Stanley Brother’s Band. And it was George Shuffler who introduced flat-picking the guitar (Doc Watson style), into bluegrass music. As part of this concert, Ron Shuffler will share some of his brother’s experiences with the Stanley Brother’s Band.
“Bluegrass, the Early Years” will take place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which is located at 170 Councill Street in downtown Boone (behind Earth Fare). Starting time is 7:30. Tickets are $15.00 in advance and $18.00 at the door. Student tickets are $10.00 and a child’s ticket is $5.00.
Tickets may be purchased at the Mast Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Kudzu Music in Boone, and at Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street, downtown Blowing Rock.
Tickets may also be purchased online though the Mountain Home Music website: www.mountainhomemusic.com. For more information, go to the website or call 828-964-3392.
The purpose of Mountain Home Music is to honor the music and the musicians of the Appalachian region.
Mountain Home Music is affiliated with the Blue Ridge Music Trails, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council.
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