February 26, 2012

Bill Monroe - picking up a storm at New River Ranch.

A dose of Americana tonight by way of the King of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. This is a tape made during a performance at New River Ranch in Rising Sun, Maryland on July 28, 1963 playing to an enthusiastic audience. Bluegrass staged a revival in the late 1950's/ early 1960's, right around the same time Folk Music dipped its toes in mainstream and gave us The Kingston Trio, The Brothers Four, The Christy Minstrels and a whole generation of others. But what it also did was give Bluegrass a boost and legendary practitioners like Bill Monroe were on hand to reap the rewards and adulation of a whole new audience of fans who had never been exposed to this slice of rural life before.

And maybe you haven't either. Bill Monroe left a long and rich legacy, and fortunately for many, these concerts were recorded and are, for the most part preserved. These tapes weren't broadcast and judging by the photos in the tape box, were recorded by a very dedicated engineer by the name of George B. McCeney. Anything beyond that, I really don't know aside from this being a pretty fast-paced half hour of some serious Bluegrass.

Something you don't hear every day.

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