Bluegrass Music gathering you don’t want to miss – ROMP 2009

The Bluegrass Music Museum Prepares for ROMP, June 24-25-26-27

Pioneers of Bluegrass Gathering & Exhibit Announced

By Gabrielle Gray

There is much excitement at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro centered around its upcoming annual festival, ROMP, the River of Music Party and The Pioneers of Bluegrass Gathering. Not only is this year’s line-up the biggest ever, but the museum is also hosting between 65 and 70 of Bluegrass Music’s pioneering generation to attend. These legendary musicians are coming from as far distant as Japan and coast-to-coast across the United States. To our knowledge, this is the most extensive gathering of bluegrass music’s iconic musicians ever held. We warmly invite and encourage you to attend and help us give these musicians the honor an  recognition they so richly deserve.

Not only are the Pioneers coming to exchange hugs and stories, they are also coming to perform! Almost all of them will take the stage at one time o  another throughout the event. On Thursday, plan to hear Gloria Belle & Tennessee Sunshine, Roger Sprung & Friends (CT), The Homer Bailes Band (LA)  Eddie & Martha Adcock with Tom Gray, Jim Smoak & The L A Honeydrippers (IN), Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys, and Hall of Fame honoree Bill Clifton with Jimmy Gadreau.

The Pioneers of Bluegrass Gathering is not guaranteed to be an annual event, so please take advantage of it happening this year and come if you possibl  can. For a list of artists planning to attend, please visit our website,, and click on ROMP. The Gathering is sponsored by Chattanooga’s pre-eminent fiddler, Fletcher Bright.

Terry Woodward, the civic leader credited with founding the International Bluegrass Music Museum and helping IBMA become well-established in its earl  years in Owensboro, is once again giving the bluegrass world a major gift. He is hosting a "ROMP Kick-Off Concert" on Wednesday, June 24, at 7 PM at the RiverPark Center in Owensboro ‚Äì covering all the expenses and giving all the ticket sales to the Museum to help with the preservation of the history of bluegrass music. The ROMP Kick-Off Concert features Mike Snider, Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, and The Del McCoury Band. Tickets
range from $10 to $50 in advance ($20-$60 at the door) and can be purchased by calling the museum: 270-926-7891. Please attend and help us make the most of Terry’s gift. Performances leading up to this concert feature six of our most excellent regional bands: Blackberry Jam, Mountain Harmony, Grandview Junction, County Line Bluegrass, Up-N-Gone, and King’s Highway.

The IBMA Bluegrass Hall of Fame plaques honoring Charles Wolfe and Bill Clifton will be unveiled and entered into the Hall of Fame on Thursday, June  25, during The Legends Supper. Tickets to the supper are extremely limited, so please order yours now if you plan to attend. Following The Legends Supper, Ronnie Reno will be Master of Ceremonies for the annual Legends Concert, featuring Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, Melvin Goins & Windy Mountain, and Paul Williams & The Victory Trio. Mid-way through this concert, The Pioneers of Bluegrass Recognition Ceremony will take place. Each Pioneer will be individually recognized onstage in a beautiful ceremony. Along with Ronnie Reno, watch for Valerie Smith, Becky Buller, and Josh Williams, who will be bringing the Pioneers onstage.

The historic, first-ever Pioneers of Bluegrass Exhibit will open Thursday, June 25. Nearly all the attending pioneers will have artifacts on display  for a year following the opening. The Phil Zimmerman photographic exhibit memorialized by his gorgeous book, Bluegrass Time, has been extended for a second year. All new and renewing members in 2009 will receive this book as a membership perk, a $25 value. Museum memberships are $45.

For the four days of ROMP, our Bluegrass Masters Film Festival will be showing documentaries this museum has produced through its Video Oral History Project featuring 1st and 2nd generation bluegrass musicians. And, for the first time, on Thursday, June 25, Fred Bartenstein will host an all-day marathon of interviews with Pioneers emanating from the museum.
These interviews will be carried live on our internet radio station, RBI, Radio Bluegrass International, which you can access from our website (top left corner of the home page, click on the radio). Let us know how you like our new website!

A huge line-up of ROMP performances and an impressive array of instrumental workshops awaits festivalgoers at Yellow Creek Park, 4 miles outside of Owensboro, on Friday and Saturday, June 26-27. Throughout much of Friday June 26 at the park, ROMP will again be graced by rare performances by pioneering musicians.

Friday: Performances by Individual Pioneers from 10AM to noon on Friday, followed by The McCormick Brothers, Bluegrass Authority (Les Woodie, Dave Verny, Tony Ellis & Tom Gray), The Reunion Band, The Ozaki Brothers (Japan), Williams & Clark Expedition, J. D. Crowe & The New South, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Josh Williams Band.

Saturday: The Harringtons and The Grasstains, Cats & The Fiddler, Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars, Bill Evans & Megan Lynch, Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Bluegrass Parkway (Australia), The Dixie Bee-Liners, The Special Consensus, Grasstowne, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and The Dan Tyminski Band.

Substantial discounts (50%) apply to Museum Members, Seniors, Students and Military. Children 12 & Under are free. Camping is plentiful and free. Advance tickets are on sale at <>, or call the museum toll-free: 1-888-MYBANJO (888-692-2656).

Please join us here in the bluegrass state for what is certain to be an amazing four days this June.