Bush accepts Kentucky honor

Sam Bush and friends picking in the Kentucky Senate - Roger Bondurant, Emma Dell Goodlett, Sam Bush and Brian McGaha; photo courtesy of Mike Sunseri, LRC Public Information.The state of Kentucky honored native son Sam Bush this week, and Sam returned the favor by picking a few for the KY State Senate in Frankfort on Monday.

The Senate approved a resolution which celebrated Bush’s contributions to newgrass music, specifically for his crucial membership in both Bluegrass Alliance and New Grass Revival. The full text of the resolution appears below:

A RESOLUTION adjourning the Senate in honor of Kentucky’s own Sam Bush, the founder of New Grass music.

WHEREAS, Sam Bush was born on April 13, 1952, in Bowling Green, Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, Sam Bush began playing the fiddle in his early childhood, winning several awards, including National Fiddle Champion at age 15. As a teen, he was also proficient on the mandolin and guitar, and was soon a key member of a bluegrass band, the Bluegrass Alliance; and

WHEREAS, inspired by the pioneering progressive bluegrass band, the New Deal String Band, Sam Bush formed the New Grass Revival in 1971. The New Grass Revival broke new musical ground with its pioneering fusion of bluegrass, jazz, rock and roll, and soul; and

WHEREAS, the New Grass Revival toured extensively until they disbanded in 1989, and they have been credited with “slapping a new coat of paint” on a style of music that had fallen out of favor with the record-buying public. It was Bush’s hope that his music would lead record buyers back to original bluegrass artists like Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe; and

WHEREAS, after his stint with the New Grass Revival, Sam Bush was music director of Emmylou Harris’ acoustic band, the Nash Ramblers for five years; and

WHEREAS, Sam Bush has played with several bands, and performed as a solo artist in recent years. He is a much sought after side-man and studio musician, performing with an array of top musicians, including John Cowan, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, David Grissman, Edgar Meyer. Alabama, Kenny Baker, Suzy Bogggess, Michael Bolton, Garth Brooks, Guy Clark, Neil Diamond, Allison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton, Tony Rice, Shania Twain, Doc Watson, and Trisha Yearwood, to name a few; and

WHEREAS, Sam Bush has received numerous distinctions and awards, including hosting the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards at the Grand Old Opry, winning the IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year in 2007, being nominated as Instrumentalist of the Year by the American Music Association, and being known as the “King of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival”; and

WHEREAS, Sam Bush is in demand, as he crosses musical boundaries while building on the traditional Bluegrass Music that he grew up with in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Sam Bush is an ambassador of Bluegrass Music, New Grass Music, and of the Bluegrass State;


Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

Section 1. The Senate expresses its sincere appreciation and admiration of Sam Bush, an incomparable and accomplished musician who has brought great pride to the people of this Commonwealth through his accomplishments in the music industry.
Section 2. When the Senate adjourns this day, it does so in honor of Sam Bush.
Section 3. The Clerk of the Senate is directed to transmit a copy of this Resolution to the Senator from Washington 14, for presentation to Mr. Sam Bush; the International Bluegrass Music Association, 2 Music Circle South, Suite 100, Nashville, TN 37203; and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Fifth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203.

Congratulations to Sam from Bluegrass Today!

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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.