Bluegrass Patriots disband

Colorado has been a hot-bed for bluegrass music for many years. Now one of its bands, the Bluegrass Patriots, has announced that it is to disband.

The Centennial State has been the breeding ground for bluegrass music going back many decades, producing such international acts as Hot Rize and Front Range. Notwithstanding the occasional reunion shows by Hot Rize, the Bluegrass Patriots have outlived both.

Formed when Jimmy Carter was president, the Bluegrass Patriots played their first date in October 1980 at the Colorado State University Student Center. The original band members were Glenn Zankey [guitar], Dan Rogers [bass], Willie McDonald [mandolin], Ken Seaman [banjo] and Rick Bradstreet [resonator guitar], who died in 2002.

Since Bradstreet passed away they have utilized the talents of Ernie Martinez, Bobby Vickery, Jean Ballhorn and finally Dan Mitchell [fiddle].

The Bluegrass Patriots have played most of the major bluegrass festivals in the US, and at private parties for former President Gerald Ford, Senator John Glenn and Governor Richard Lamm. They have also made several appearances in Alaska and Canada and toured Europe many times, visiting the UK and Ireland predominantly.

Their final show is at Avogadro’s Number in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 21. Doors open at 8:00pm.

However, they don’t discount reunion shows if the stars are suitably aligned.

The band has released several albums, with the earlier ones on their own BGP label, and on Red Feather Records. Subsequently they have recorded for Turquoise and Copper Creek Records. A selection of CDs is available from their website.

The Patriots would like to express their sincere thanks to their many fans, friends, promoters, fellow musicians and family members for their support over the years.

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About the Author

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.