Rural Rhythm Records is to lead the way in marking the Bill Monroe Centennial with the first of three CDs; the Various Artists set Blue Moon of Kentucky – Instrumental Tribute to Bill Monroe (Rural Rhythm Records RUR CD 1075), to be released on January 25.
The collection showcases instrumental versions of some of Bill Monroe’s most popular numbers, including, Uncle Pen, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Kentucky Waltz, Molly and Tenbrooks and Jerusalem Ridge. Though they are modern recordings, the performances are very much in keeping with the way Monroe represented his music during his lifetime.
The 18–track album was produced by banjo player Mike Scott, and includes 12 songs previously released by Scott on his 2005 album of the same name, plus six newly recorded Monroe pieces. The original project featured Scott on banjo with Bryan Sutton on guitar, Aubrey Haynie on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Ben Isaacs on bass. Compton and Haynie are both noted interpreters of Bill Monroe’s music, and their love for these songs and tunes is evident.
For the newer tracks, Scott is accompanied by Tim Stafford and Bryan Sutton on guitar, Adam Steffey on mandolin, and Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, with Haynie again on fiddle and Isaacs on bass.
Here is a quick taste of some of the music.
Uncle Pen: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/uncle_pen.mp3]
Jerusalem Ridge: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/jerusalem_ridge.mp3]
Blue Moon of Kentucky: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/blue_moon_ky.mp3]
Additionally, Rural Rhythm will be showing its respects to the Father of Bluegrass Music with two other related products.
In the first instance, Audie Blaylock’s next album for the label will be a tribute album with some very special guest artists who performed with Monroe through the years.
Then in June (6/11-18), Rural Rhythm will be recording a live album during the 45th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival held in Bean Blossom, Indiana. Tribute To Bill Monroe – Live At Bean Blossom will feature many Rural Rhythm artists performing some of Monroe’s bluegrass, Gospel and instrumental gems.
In a special message from Rural Rhythm Records, the label President, Sam Passamano, Jr. commented ….
“My father was a major player of the distribution team with Decca and MCA Records for over 30 years starting in the early 50’s. Bill Monroe was a big part of the label’s tremendous Country and Bluegrass roster through the years, so I literally grew up enjoying Bill’s music and respecting the importance an impact he had on the music world.”
In honor of Bill Monroe and the 100th year celebration for his musical legacy, Rural Rhythm has a specially designed celebration logo that will be used in the packaging of each of their tribute albums throughout the year.
Bill Monroe was born in Rosine, Kentucky, on September 13, 1911 and his centennial is being actively celebrated throughout 2011.