Rob Iery has been a devoted bluegrass fan for nearly 40 years, but with his career as a middle school teacher consuming his time, he had to content himself as a part-time picker and avid consumer. Now that he has retired, Rob has been able to focus his energies on musical passions, and has produced a bluegrass trivia board game called Bluegrass Routes.
Four years in the making, and released just last month, Bluegrass Routes, is designed to be a fun and educational experience for anyone who has a love for the music. For Iery, it was a desire to “give back” to the music that has given him so much joy.
“I’m not the greatest picker, so I wanted to do something that would help promote our wonderful music and give the bluegrass fans something other than records to be entertained by.”
So Rob set to work, creating a concept (board design, rules of play), enlisting an artist to complete the graphics, and finding a manufacturer. Oh… and coming up with triva questions.
“I researched websites, back issues of bluegrass magazines, personal interviews with the musicians, and other sources for about a year.
I actually had 1650 questions to start with, but had to cut it down to 1200 due to cost.”
The game sells for $29.95 and ships with a 20” x 20” game board, a box of trivia cards, 20 instrument cards, 4 game pieces and 1 die. It can be played by 2 to 4 players or teams.
The questions are broken into five categories to test your knowledge of bluegrass history and lore.
- Legends & Pioneers
- Brothers & Misfits
- Bands & Bandleaders
Ron said the finding the right name for his game was the toughest part.
“Finally, I came up with Bluegrass Routes as a play on words, and a way of life for the bluegrass musician. It is a ‘roots’ music and bands travel the ‘routes’ to try and make it to that special bluegrass venue that shows they have arrived as a bluegrass band.”
Iery is distributing the game himself, and copies can be ordered from his web site.