Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 28, 2016
BLUEGRASS MUSIC IS HUGE in Middle America! Many who follow this blog already know that, or you wouldn't be reading this. Bluegrass is seriously huge in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and all other Southern states. We love it! We follow it on radio (AM, FM, and Siruus) and CD, festivals and shows, and even at spontaneous jams. When a fan knows just where to look, bluegrass music is there and players and fans are having a grand old time!
       Such was the case on Monday night, November 28, 2016, when Bluegrass Monday rolled around at the Collins Theatre in Paragould, AR. The event is a 4th Monday tradition except during December. Just too much going on during the Christmas season. KASU-FM 91.9 on the campus of Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas, along with eight other local sponsors, hosted the Bluegrass Martins from Jefferson City, Missouri, for an early-Christmas concert. KASU-FM 91.9 Program Director, Marty Scarbrough, conducted introductions and the passing of the Cat-in-the-Hat hat for voluntary audience donations of at least five dollars each, all of which goes toward paying the band's expenses.
Marty Scarbrough with the
Cat-in-the-Hat hat
       The Bluegrass Martins are a family band of six siblings who sing and play the complete variety of bluegrass music instruments: Dobro(r), banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and upright bass. The folks in the band are loaded with instrumental and vocal talent. They have the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Midwest awards to back up their credentials.
L to R: Larita, Janice, Jeana,
Dale, Lee, Anne (in back)
Anne clogging, Janice, Jeana, Dale
Larita (in back)
  Dale Martin is the older son. He sings and plays guitar. Janice Martin sings and plays banjo. Jeana Martin-Faris sings and plays fiddle. Jeana is married to Eddie Faris of the Faris Family Bluegrass Band. Larita Martin plays Dobro (r). The younger son is Lee Martin, a singer and showman who plays a hot mandolin. The youngest daughter is Anne Martin, and she clogs and plays upright bass and fiddle. The band has great harmony vocals, and their instrumentation is spot-on!
       Hitting the highlights of the Bluegrass Martins' program, we will share their song selection before storms and power outages move through the Mid-South for the second day in a row:
       Joy to the World; Christmas Day at My House; Thistlehair, the Christmas Bear; Christmas Reunion; Avalina; Papa Played the Dobro(r); In the Sweet By and By; Jingle Bells; That's How Much I Love You; Oh, Christmas Candle; Bah Humbug; 'Til These Dreams Come True; Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer; Fireball Mail; Who Do You Think; Two-Steppin' Around the Christmas Tree; Goodbye, Little Darlin'; Orange Blossom Special; and the encore was a fine rendition of Train 45!
       The microphone settings made it a bit tough to hear words and song titles, but we think we got most of what was sung and said. This is a very talented group of young people who have been performing for at least 15 years. They play all over the United States and they know their stuff when it comes to bluegrass music. Visit their website for CDs, other merch, and tour dates.
       We would be remiss if we failed to mention Terry's Café, which is just down the block (201 South Pruett Street) from the Collins Theatre at 120 West Emerson Street. The café stays open from 4:30 PM until about 6:45 PM on Bluegrass Monday evenings to feed bluegrass fans before the show. The delicious catfish buffet, with tasty vegetables and desserts, is a treat for any hungry bluegrass musician or fan!
For more information:
The Bluegrass Martins  www.bluegrassmartins.com
KASU-FM 91.9 Public Radio  www.kasu.org  or  mscarbro@astate.edu
*Coming up at the Collins Theatre:  Monroe Crossing, January 23, 2017
*Coming up at the Fowler Center, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro:  Dailey & Vincent, April 1, 2017 -- No foolin'! (Tickets on sale now at ASU Central Box Office or Ticketmaster
Happy Holidays!
Pick away!

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