Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Paragould, AR    
January 28, 2019  
L to R: David Robinson, Matt Thompson, Derek Johnson,
Lisa Fuglie, Mark Anderson
Monroe Crossing Sign
Merchandise Table in the Lobby
        IT WAS A BITTERLY COLD NIGHT! Believe that! Temperatures in Northeast Arkansas fell 20 degrees in about two hours, and rain came down. Luckily, the rain disappeared as the temps continued to fall, so no snow. Thank goodness! For a January date with MONROE CROSSING (bluegrass band from Minnesota!), Southerners almost expect snow or an ice storm. We've had a few over the years. The band is on its annual ABM Tour (Anywhere But Minnesota), and they are slowly working their way back from Caribbean cruises, performances in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and eventually, home.
      The enthusiastic crowd from in and around Arkansas loves Monroe Crossing! They love "Bluegrass Monday," too. That means it's 4th Monday and time for some big-time artists to show up at The Collins Theatre, located at 120 West Emerson Street in Downtown Paragould, AR. The folks at Jonesboro, Arkansas-based Arkansas State University and KASU 91.9 FM www.kasu.org also love the high-energy, fast-paced sound coming from the following members of Monroe Crossing:
      LISA FUGLIE (vocals, fiddle), whom we list first because she wasn't there. Sniff! Lisa broke her left arm while the band was in the Caribbean. Something about a scooter ride.You with me so far? This is real. She was flown back home to Minnesota and has undergone surgery. She is healing up quickly and will soon rejoin the band in their Southwest tour in just a few weeks. Bluegrass musicians are troupers! She comes from a family of missionaries and was raised in Nigeria. It was a 78 RPM of Bill Monroe's music that hooked her. Lisa, get well soon. We all miss you back here in Arkansas, the Bootheel of Missouri, and Tennessee.
Mark Anderson on bass
       MATT THOMPSON (vocals, mandolin), who is quick-witted and even quicker on his mandolin. Matt is a previous winner of "Mandolin Player of the Year" from the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA). He appeared on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion," and he keeps thing rolling along onstage.
      MARK ANDERSON (vibrant upright bass), who is constantly in motion along with his bass. Energy for days, humor for longer, and speaking of longer . . . Mark's hair says much about his days in alternative rock bands. Bluegrass hit him in about 1995, and he combines all of his music elements, including the shoulder-length hair, into a delightful performance.
Derek Johnson on guitar
Matt Thompson on mandolin
David Robinson on banjo
DEREK JOHNSON (vocals and guitar) also drifted from rock bands to bluegrass music, and the fans are really glad. He came aboard with Monroe Crossing in 2011, and prior to that, he was with the High 48s Bluegrass Band which has toured nationally and won awards.
DAVID ROBINSON [vocals, banjo, Dobro(r)], who was influenced by bluegrass music at the tender age of 14 years. While still a teen of only 18, David joined Monroe Crossing in 2012. He has added guitar, mandolin, and harmonica to his list of instruments. This "Clark Kent" lookalike entertains the audience with his black suit, his hat, and those black-and-white wingtip shoes. Quite a looker, that David!
      The band mentioned the recent Google Doodle tribute to Earl Scruggs' 100th birthday. David Robinson demonstrated the move. Here is the Google link to that roll: https://g.co/doodle/n4radm
L to R: Matt, David, Derek, Mark
L to R: Matt, David, Derek, Mark
The diverse and fascinating
program for the evening was as follows: Set 1 Hard-Hearted, Are You Missing Me, Chattanooga, You Can't Stop Me from Dreaming, Judas Is My Name, Wake Up Little Susie, The Walls of Time, Sea Cruise (ooh-we, ooh-we, baby), Ballad of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers (Gettysburg, Cemetery Ridge Battle in the Civil War, heavy losses), Air Mail Special.  Set 2 Our Last Goodbye, Doin' My Time, Clinch Mountain Backstep, Ramblin' Man, Foggy Mountain Top, Another Night to Dream About Her, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, Flat Lonesome, Hobos in the Roundhouse (Bill Isles song), Rocky Road Blues, Encore #1: Satan's Jeweled Crown, Encore #2: Man of Constant Sorrow. Standing ovations!
Marty Scarbrough with "the hat"
where the donations go
      You can easily spot the theme of bluegrass brother harmonies that were so common in the '40s through the '60s. The band's remembrances of rocker days are evident as well. We would see Monroe Crossing again and again, regardless of "iffy" weather. They are completely entertaining from first note to last! Click on each photo in the blog to enlarge.
The bands play for minimum $5.00 donations when the hat is passed. You will want to give more! 100% of donations is for the bands.
For more information:
Monroe Crossing   www.monroecrossing.com also on Facebook
KASU 91.9 FM Bluegrass  www.kasu.org  Program Director Marty Scarbrough mscarbro@kasu.org
The Collins Theatre  120 West Emerson Street, Paragould, AR
Terry's CafĂ©  201 South Pruett Street (Catfish buffet 4:30-6:45p CT before each Bluegrass Monday)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January 11, 2019
Photo credit with thanks: Germantown Performing Arts Center
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver at top (some personnel changes)
Flatt Lonesome below
The Germantown Performing Arts Center is the place to be when seriously good bluegrass music comes to West Tennessee. Not one, but two of those seriously good bluegrass bands worked in tandem on the night of January 11, 2019. That's rare and a bluegrass fan's dream opportunity. Local fans keep an ear to the ground, an eye on the newspaper and the computer, and they wait...and wait...for such an event. They show up really early at the box office in order to reserve prime seats, and they wait some more until the day arrives. We did all of that recently, and we got more than we bargained for.
       Flatt Lonesome opened the show. This young, powerful group is not the typical opening act by any means. Together for a mere eight years, Flatt Lonesome quickly worked their way into the hearts of bluegrass fans everywhere. They scored awards with the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA), and the Dove Awards. Now that things are hot for them and going well, Flatt Lonesome has decided to step back for a while due to family and other commitments. While they're running wide open in 2019, we will tell you who these people are and what they do.
       Flatt Lonesome band members are:  Paul Harrigill (banjo), Kelsi Robertson Harrigill (mandolin, vocals), Dominic Illingworth (upright bass), Buddy Robertson (guitar, vocals), Charli Robertson (fiddle, vocals), and Michael Stockton (Dobro[R]). How did these people get this good this fast? Growing up in the music and a lot of hard work!
       Flatt Lonesome's song selection is as follows:  Dragging My Heart Around, You'll Get No More of Me, Never Leave Harlan Alive, Stay by the Brook, Gonna Settle Down, When Two Worlds Collide (Roger Miller song on Flatt Lonesome's 'King of the Road' tribute album), In the Heat of the Fire, Draw Me Near, Where Do You Go (Glen Campbell song), and they closed with their very popular song, You're the One. We wish this band well in all that they do in the future, and we hope to see them back out on the bluegrass trail before too long!
       Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver! There! The very name sparks visions of the band's many trips to Mountain View, and all parts of Arkansas, and to West Tennessee in places like the Lucy Opry at Harvester Lane and the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center (BPACC). Doyle Lawson would not say that he is a legend, but he's a legend! Lawson started out as a youngster years ago in East Tennessee with family and Southern Gospel quartet bands. He's been a professional bluegrass musician for at least half a century. During that time, there have been The Country Gentlemen, The New South, The Bluegrass Album Band, and many configurations of what we know as Quicksilver. Grammy and Dove Awards follow the band wherever they go. Always, but always, the vocal and instrumental quality have shown through as top-notch. These are the consummate professionals. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver dress up, show up, and give the listener more than he or she ever expected. This writer considers Doyle Lawson a friend of long-standing. We visited briefly after the concert, and we hope to hear the band again soon. If you missed the show, it's your loss. You do have one more chanceDoyle Lawson & Quicksilver will perform at Song of the Mountains at the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA, on March 3, 2019, along with Jerry Salley and Billy Droze.
The members of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver are:  Doyle Lawson (mandolin, vocals), Stephen Burwell (fiddle), Joe Dean (banjo, some vocals), Jerry Cole (bass, lead and harmony vocals), Jake Vanover (guitar, lead and harmony vocals), and Josh Swift (Dobro[R], bass vocals and harmony vocals).
Little chat with friends after the concert
       Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver performed the following songs at GPAC:  Drivin' It Home, Back in My Baby's Arms Again, Jealous, I Think My Sweet Baby's Got Leavin' on Her Mind, Foggy Mountain Rock (Josh Swift), Livin' Like There's No Tomorrow (Jake Vanover), I'll Be True While You're Gone, I Told Them All About You, The White Rose, I Am Going to Heaven Some Sweet Day (a cappella with Doyle, Jerry, Jake, and Josh), I Have Joy in My Soul Since Jesus Came into My Heart, Help Is on the Way, Come See About Me (from the CD of the same name, which is a benefit for the IBMA Trust Fund), We'll Never Walk Alone (from the 'Come See About Me' CD for the IBMA Trust Fund), Hangman's Reel (Stephen), The Rose of Old Kentucky (tribute to Bill Monroe), Blue Train, and two encores with standing ovations for Julie Ann Come on Home and On the Sea of Life.
       As they say in bluegrass music, "Son! They burned it!" They did indeed!
For more information:
Flatt Lonesome www.flattlonesome.com also on YouTube and Facebook
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver  www.doylelawson.com E-mail dlqkslvr@doylelawson.com and on YouTube and Facebook
Mountain Home Family / Mountain Home Music Company for details about "Come See About Me" album www.mountainhomemusiccompany.com 
Come See About Me album also available at Amazon
Germantown Performing Arts Center  www.GPACweb.com
Song of the Mountains  www.songofthemountains.org or timwhitemusic@charter.net or call Tim White at 276.783.6093

Thursday, January 3, 2019

DECEMBER 28, 2018
Highlander Scottish Pub - Jim Bement and Martin Mitchell
       YOU WILL NEVER meet a more delightful fellow than JIM BEMENT, who lives in Collierville, TN, sometimes in Nashville, TN, and perhaps even all over! The busy and classically-trained accordion artist / born entertainer performs just about everywhere. Jim joined us at the Collierville Historic Town Square Bluegrass & Old-Time Jam in the summer of 2018. He says he found the group by first following a guy coming to the Square with a guitar case in his hand. He asked the man about the jam, and the rest is history! Good plan, Jim!
       Jim recently expanded his outreach, brought some friends along, and gave a performance at one of the newer restaurants on the  Square called THE HIGHLANDER SCOTTISH PUB. The pub/restaurant provides a friendly atmosphere with great food and a nice choice of libations. The staff is friendly and the service prompt and accurate! You must meet Martin Mitchell! We recommend that you give The Highlander a try when you're out and about at the Square in Collierville.
       We have some photos  and Jim's set list to show you from the evening. Enjoy the trip through the first home of what we know today as bluegrass, traditional, and old-time music. Scotland, Ireland, the British Isles, and even France and Germany, sent some of the best music and musicians over to America starting in the 1600-1700's, and it's been a great ride for the past 400 years or so. Thanks, y'all!
Jim Bement, Scotland, Darts
Martin Mitchell havin' a bit o' fun
Jim leaning into his work
Lu Whitworth, Alex and Tanya Peselis
Martin, sing-along cue card, Jim
Alex/Tanya Peselis, Julie/Dan Brewer
Jim Bement is really into his music
       Set 1:  Swallow Tail Jig / The Kesh / Irish Washerwoman; Wild Rover; Old Grey Cat / The Morning Dew / Drowsy Maggie; Rambles of Spring (Makem & Clancy); Lauda (Medieval Latin chant on portative organ and alto recorder); Music for a Found Harmonium (Patrick Street, as danced to in the movie Napoleon Dynamite); Piano Concerto in D minor (Bach); The Ballad of Accounting (Ewan McColl); Red-Haired Boy / The Little Beggarman; Frank's Reel; Ballad of Saint Anne's Reel (Makem & Clancy); and Flowers of Edinburgh (Scottish reel).

       Set 2:  Finnegan's Wake; Sailor's Hornpipe (Popeye, Pink Panther); Red is the Rose / Loch Lomond; The Girl I Left Behind Me / The Rakes of Mallow / Scotland the Brave; Mari-Mac; The Water Is Wide / Though I May Speak (Traditional Irish song on hymn tune O Waly Waly); Morrison's (jig); Wild Mountain Thyme / Will Ye Go Lassie Go; Cry of the Celts (related to Riverdance); Bill Caddick / John of Dreams (Traditional Irish song based on a Tchaikovsky melody); Planxty Fanny Power; Conroy Pitt / Soldier's Joy (reel) / Soldier's Joy (song); Molly Malone; Raggle Taggle Gypsy / Give Me Your Hand; A Place in the Choir; Mellow Yellow (Donovan); Gary Owen (ballad reel which became a march); and Old Grey Cat finale fanfare / Iron Man quote.
For more information:
Jim Bement  jbement@starpower.net  CDs are available.
Click on the photos for a better view