The state of Kentucky Department of Parks is teaming up with America’s Bluegrass Inc. to promote both bluegrass music and the state parks. A series of four concerts are to be held at three of the state parks this spring/summer in what is being called the Cradle of Bluegrass Music Trail.
The series features Kentucky natives who are bluegrass musicians including: Don Rigsby, Larry Cordle, Bobby Osborne, Kenny Bishop, Melvin Goins, the Grascals and, of course, J.D. Crowe and the New South.
The series begins April 7th at the Rough River Dan State Park near Leitchfield, continues April 21st at the Frankfort Convention Center (this show is headlined by Earl Scruggs), then on to Jenny Wiley State Resort Park on April 28, and concludes May 19 at the General Butler State Resort Park.
The genesis of the idea can be traced back to Charles Lewis, president of America’s Bluegrass Inc. Lewis hosts a bluegrass show on WSAZ-TV in Huntington, WV and on KET2, Kentucky Public Television. He approached the park department with the idea of a single concert.
J.T. Miller, commissioner of Kentucky State Parks, tells us what the purpose is of holding this concert series.
From our standpoint, it is to build excitement for and occupancy of our state parks, as well as promoting Bluegrass music in Kentucky. Charles Lewis proposed a “big name” event at the 5,000-seat Frankfort Convention Center to build public awareness of the “Trail.”
Lewis was responsible was choosing the talent for the concert series, but following his Grammy nomination, Miller suggested they add kenny Bishop to the lineup.
All concerts start at 1pm local time and will feature a combination of secular and gospel bluegrass music. Lodging packages are offered at the three state park shows and include the concert, a night’s lodging, meals, and a chance to meet the artists.
The state park concert tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The convention center show tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets can be ordered by visiting the Kentucky State Park website.
J.T. Miller tells me that they may consider a similar event in the fall.
If successful, we’d like to do this in the fall at even more parks. Kentucky is truly the “Cradle” of Bluegrass, so it is natural that we would want to be a part of this.