Organic Sound In A Digital Age

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“High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music” Bluegrass Music Film and Lecture’ Dec. 5 at Library Center

So we were at the right place at the right time. The collaboration led to a Grammy-nominated album, Rare Bird Alert, and the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Associations Entertainer of the Year award. Although the band already proved they were a talented musical act in their own right, being on the same bill as Martin led to a performance at the White House, where they met the president and first lady. The Steep Canyon Rangers also performed at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Bonnaroo and several popular bluegrass festivals. We’ve been lucky to be able to experience all of these great, top-levels gigs for our kind of music because of working with Steve, Guggino said. For their most recent album, Tell the Ones I Love, the band switched gears and producers. They recorded in the late Levon Helms home and studio, The Barn, in Woodstock, N.Y. When they met Helm playing at one of his Midnight Ramble concerts at The Barn a few years ago, he told them no one had ever recorded a bluegrass album in his studio.
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Bluegrass developed in the second half of the 20th century featuring a “high lonesome sound” that distinguished it from mainstream country music. Bill Monroe, considered the father of bluegrass, used to claim that he would practice a song by singing it as high as he could and then go on stage and sing it a half-step higher. “High Lonesome” traces the history of bluegrass music, with a special emphasis on Bill Monroe. Dr. Drew Beisswenger, faculty member at Missouri State University and author of several books on Southern fiddle music traditions, will talk about and lead a discussion on bluegrass music.
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