Monday, 12 September 2011

Bluegrass Unlimited and the Monroe centennial

The greater part of Bluegrass Unlimited, xlvi, no. 3 (Sept. 2011) is devoted to celebrating the centennial of the birth of Bill Monroe. Bluegrass scholars including Monroe biographers Richard D. Smith and Tom Ewing have contributed articles on aspects of his family history, career, and musical legacy.

Jens Kruger (right) of the Kruger Brothers has also written 'Meeting Bill Monroe', a moving account of his first contacts with the Father of Bluegrass in 1982 - beginning with his being asked to play on stage with the Blue Grass Boys at the Bean Blossom Festival, the first bluegrass festival the 19-year-old from Switzerland had ever attended. The experience of playing music with Bill Monroe, and of talking about music with him, made up (in Jens's words) '... the greatest music lesson I ever got.'

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The issue also includes a warmly favourable review by Bill Foster of A grasshopper's lament, the latest CD by the Downhill Bluegrass Band from Sweden.