Sunday, October 21, 2012
October Bluegrass in Bigfork from Monroe Crossing
One of the country’s best Bluegrass bands will be in at The Edge Center in Bigfork this month to present their special music. Minnesota-based Monroe Crossing will both entertain and educate audiences during this visit with their artistic blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Known for their precise harmonies, sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport, they are audience favorites across the United States and Canada. A no charge history of Bluegrass student performance in the afternoon and public evening concert will round out a full day of entertainment for the community. The date is Friday October 26. The evening concert at 7PM is $10 for adults, $5 children.
Since 2000 Monroe Crossing has released 11 CDs, a live concert DVD and has made over 1250 concert appearances throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The band is made up of five very distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds and tastes combining for a very unique ensemble sound. Above photo by James Guy.
Eighteen year old David Robinson joined Monroe Crossing in 2012. From a musical family, he developed an interest in folk music early. Inspired by musician and storyteller David Holt, he taught himself how to play many different instruments, including harmonica, mandolin and guitar. David took up the banjo at the age of 14 and has stuck with it ever since.
Singer/guitarist Derek Johnson joined Monroe Crossing at the beginning of 2011. From Moorhead, Minnesota, he moved to Minneapolis in 1993 and, for many years, he performed in a variety of rock and roll bands. Around the "turn of the century" Derek discovered bluegrass music and there’s been no turning back.
Originally from Nigeria, Lisa Fuglie learned mandolin from an old Bill Monroe 78rpm record. Excelling on many stringed instruments, she plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar with Monroe Crossing. She is an accomplished vocalist, prolific songwriter, solo performer, studio musician, and educator. She received the 2000 Female Vocalist of the Year Award (in the Related Music category) from the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association.
Mark Anderson came to Bluegrass after twenty years of playing bass and drums in a series of "alternative" groups. Nominated by the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association as 2000 Bassist of the Year in both the Bluegrass and the Related Music categories, he is one of the best Bluegrass bass players in the Midwest. Mark wrote "He Did Rise" on the band's second gospel project, Into The Fire, and several other songs for Monroe Crossing. .
Matt Thompson is the band’s MC and arranger, is a superb singer, plus plays Mandolin and twin fiddle with the band. He received the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association's Bluegrass Mandolin Player of the Year Award in 2000.
Bill Monroe pictured below.
The 60-minute Bigfork afternoon multimedia History of Bluegrass presentation will discuss the origins of bluegrass with slides, video and audio clips of the 1st generation masters of bluegrass (Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse, The Osborne Brothers, Jimmy Martin and others) with band renditions of artists from the 1940s to the present. Included is the decline of bluegrass in the 50's, the 60's folk music revival, impact of the bluegrass festival and movie/TV’s impact (The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, Bonnie & Clyde, Deliverance, O Brother, Where Art Thou?).
The band demonstrates the sound and versatility of all five instruments, how each contributes to the ensemble sound, and “brother duet” and 3-part harmony as they relate to a simple chord. Monroe Crossing’s paths crossed through the music of Bluegrass founder Bill Monroe so they like to say they had a “Monroe Crossing.”
Monroe Crossing Performing in a the Bluegrass Mass below (unknown location).
And if all this is not enough, Monroe Crossing will be the orchestra for the Carnegie Hall premier of "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" under the direction of Nancy Menk on February 18, 2013.
This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.