Bluegrass Routes – bluegrass trivia game

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
  • Songs
  • Bands & Bandleaders
  • Sidemen

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.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.