THE BAND PACKS THE COLLINS THEATRE!
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!
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:
The Collins Theatre 120 West Emerson Street, Paragould, AR
Terry's Café 201 South Pruett Street (Catfish buffet 4:30-6:45p CT before each Bluegrass Monday)