Sometimes a person is in the right place at the right time. This past Friday was one of those places and times.
Matt Thacker & Route 23 appeared that night at the Kentuckians of Michigan in Romulus, MI. Matt is the late Ernie Thacker’s brother, and Ernie had asked Matt to use the Route 23 band name just prior to his passing. The band has turned into an interesting collection of musicians. Matt’s cousin, Ronnie, played guitar and sang with him. The mandolin player is far better known as Bill Monroe’s last banjo player, and the one who stepped into Sonny Osborne’s shoes with the Rocky Top Express. Dana Cupp played mandolin as he did during his stint with Jimmy Martin. Brad Campbell, former banjo player with Doyle Lawson, held up his end of the stage. Brad had the opportunity to play a couple tunes with Doyle during the Milan Bluegrass Festival in early August.
They gave the audience some of Ernie’s music, along with some new and old standards. Matt invited guests on stage during the second set. Local mandolin player and singer, Marv Webb, joined the band as did local banjo player, Craig Pryce. Tim Ellis, former Jim and Jesse banjo player, also joined them. Brad and Tim traded licks on a couple of instrumentals. Everyone in the audience received a full measure of bluegrass music.
This coming Friday will see the Red, White, and Bluegrass Band take the Kentuckians stage.