It’s been a while since we discussed the IBMA breakaway organization, the ABMA, which stands for the Argumentative Bluegrass Music Association. They formed a few years ago and built themselves on the principle that nothing advances our music more than arguing about it. They held […]
Author Archive: Richard Thompson
Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.
In late April James Alan Shelton, the much loved lead guitar player for Ralph Stanley, was diagnosed as having multiple stage 4 cancers. Barely a month later he had very sadly passed away, the cancers too far advanced for him to receive any meaningful treatment. […]
Tom Travis is a long-standing and very well respected member of the British bluegrass music fraternity. He is also a practicing Christian who specializes in the traditional styles of the genre. So, it is natural for Travis to sing and record bluegrass Gospel music. A […]
Cloud of Dust was written John Cloyd Miller, the vocalist, mandolin and guitar player for Red June, a trio hailing from Asheville, North Carolina. Miller is a versatile singer/songwriter, the winner, with Cloud of Dust, of the 2013 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest staged at MerleFest. […]
Dave Carroll was born August 7, 1964, in Ashland, Kentucky. Although Carroll was always fascinated with music, he didn’t learn to play guitar until he was 17 years old. Carroll was motivated to learn to play bluegrass guitar when he attended a bluegrass concert in […]
On This Day …. On June 19, 1914, Lester Flatt was born in Duncan’s Chapel, Overton County, Tennessee. Had he lived until today he would be 100 years old. Lester Raymond Flatt, the singer and guitarist (and occasional mandolin player), first came to prominence as […]
Here’s the third contribution of a periodical feature, where we ask bluegrass personalities to choose their top five Gospel songs. This week we hear from Jon Weisberger, who has been very thoughtful in making his choices, which are …….. 1. Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass […]
“Powerful” is the word that Bill Monroe, in his Kentucky drawl, used to describe anything that was particularly good and pleasing to him, like the royalty cheques that he received after Elvis Presley recorded Blue Moon of Kentucky or Ricky Skaggs recorded Uncle Pen. So, […]
On This Day …………. June 8, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the formation of The Churchmen, a bluegrass Gospel band based in Collinsville, Virginia. The original members of The Churchmen were Freddy Rakes (banjo), Keith Clark (guitar), Jeff Mills (bass) and FD Black (mandolin). […]
One of the most respected and loved bluegrass musicians of any era, James Alan Shelton, passed away earlier this week (during the evening of June 3). James Alan Shelton was born on November 3, 1960, in Kingsport, Tennessee, and raised on a tobacco farm near […]