The Colorado Bluegrass Music Society has announced the names of the of the newest members set to be inducted into their Hall of Honor for 2017. All are artists with a direct connection to the Colorado bluegrass scene, and who have made contributions to the music within the state and in the wider community.
First off is Lynn Morris, who bluegrass fans know well through her long career as a banjo player, vocalist, and band leader. CBMS lays claim to Lynn by dint of her having attended college there, staying afterwards to perform as a member of the City Limits Bluegrass Band. During this time, she twice won the prestigious banjo contest at the Walnut Valley Festival al in Winfield, before moving out east, meeting her now-husband Marshall Wilborn, and embarking on what is now viewed as legendary career.
Joan Owens-Crippen is a Colorado native who has played and sung bluegrass since the late 1950s when she appeared on the Rocky Mountain Jamboree radio show. She is being inducted to honor a lifetime of service to bluegrass, performing with the Blue Mountain Gang and the Possum Trotters along the way.
Banjo picker Warren Kennison Jr. did a great service to the five string world when he was part of the team of people who Earl Scruggs called upon to help him transcribe his music for the classic instruction book, Earl Scruggs & The Five String Banjo. Warren has been part of the music most of his life, was there at the inception of the CBMS, and is still an active participant along the Front Range.
Ron Thomason came to his love for traditional mountain music as a young man, something he studied further as a member of Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. His more recent work with Dry Branch Fire Squad have cemented his place as a preserver of the old time music, and an entertainer par excellence. The CBMS honors him now as a current Colorado resident who hosts the annual High Mountain Hay Fever Festival in Westcliffe.
The Hall of Honor Awards Ceremony will take place during the 2018 at the Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival in Denver, February 16-18.
Congratulations to all the inductees!