The annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest was held this May 26 during the Bluegrass & BBQ festival at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. The invitational competition is open to bands whose members are 21 years old or younger as of the contest date, though parents in family groups are allowed to participate.
All finalists chosen must compete using only a single stage microphone, and are judged on instrumental and vocal ability, professionalism, and audience reaction. There were 18 finalists on stage this weekend.
And the top finishers were:
1st – The Russell Clan – Guthrie, OK
2nd (tie) – Kentucky Just Us – Greensburg, KY
2nd (tie) – Dixie Jubilee – Woodstock, GA
4th – That Dalton Gang – Lockwood, MO
5th – Southern Strings – Branson, MO
With first place, the Russell Clan received a check for $1500. Lesser amounts were also given for the other top places.
KSMU public radio, a sponsor of the event, reported that this was the closest finish the contest has ever recorded, with only four points separating the five winners.
You can hear the winning performances on Mike Smith’s Seldom Heard Music program on June 6 at 7:00 p.m. The station airs on a number of different frequencies throughout Missouri, and via streaming live online.