Bluegrass Underground hits the small screen

The folks at Bluegrass Underground are stoked about the news that their live concert series will be carried on PBS television affiliates starting in the Fall of 2011.

The show has been running as a radio program on WSM since August 2008, but TV was a natural next step, given the location. The concerts are held 300 feet underground at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN. It’s quite a stunning setting for any sort of performance, and for acoustic music, it is said to be breathtaking indeed.

Todd Mayo, who puts on these concerts and arranged the deal with PBS, shared a few details about the shows set to air this year.

“We are excited about Bluegrass Underground getting put out nation-wide on PBS this fall. We shot the first season in February and May of 2010 in 1080p HD and are mixing the show in 5.1 surround sound. It is a network quality presentation of the music we love.”

Artists scheduled to appear in this first season include Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Darrell Scott, 18 South, Mike Farris and The McCrary Sisters, Cherryholmes, Mountain Heart, John Cowan, and The Farewell Drifters.

Todd also sent along this video of Ralph Stanley in “the cave” last weekend.

WCTE-DTV in Cookeville, TN is the show’s PBS host station. Underwriting sponsors include the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Nissan and The City of McMinnville.

The monthly concerts are open to the public, and ticket information can be found at

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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.