Soggy Bottom Boys show follow-up

We caught up last night with Josh Trivett of Moonstruck Management, who had pulled together the Soggy Bottom Boys concert at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Galtinbug, TN last Saturday. The plan was to see how the show went from the producer’s perspective, and find out a bit more about the complexities of working with various artist’s schedule to pull off a superstar ensemble like Dan Tyminski, Stuart Duncan, Ron Block, Barry Bales, and Mike Compton – not to mention Dr. Ralph Stanley!

Josh described how well things turned out on Saturday, how this went from a loose concept to a live concert over five months of logistical wrangles, and how he ended up not seeing much of the show himself, as he was handling hospitality backstage for Alison Krauss and Ralph Stanley.

“The owner of Ole Smoky Moonshine had a pipe dream of putting on a Soggy Bottom Boys show on The Holler stage at their distillery in Gatlinburg, TN. To then be told that this group did not actually exist was a great disappointment for him.

I had worked with them on special events before, and was happy when Matt Flake, the entertainment director, called me to see if thought there was any way I could make this pipe dream that was 14 years removed become reality. I knew most of the guys in the band which was a good thing, and told him…..’Well what’s the worst thing they could tell me….NO?’

After about five and a half months, the most work I have ever put into one show, and a limited amount of sleep, I was able to bring that very dream of owner Joe Baker come to life in the most magnificent way. I cannot think of one thing that would have made that day any more special, electric, and exciting than the way it turned out. There were an estimated 1,500+ people that piled into a space normally reserved for about 300. The only sad part was the countless multitudes of people that could not even get close enough to see or hear. I would guess we could have made that attendance number close to 3,000.

Those fans had traveled from all four corners of the country to see this show, and it was so incredible. We tried to stream the show live on video, but unfortunately the stream crashed after the second song. We are still unsure why that happened, but the initial response from the IT director was it was likely was that the stream, which was set up to handle 1.5 million viewers, still didn’t enough bandwidth to support the load. He was able to gather some data which show viewers from as far away as Australia, Japan, and Iran. Pretty impressive to see that we reached people that far around the world.

The addition of Dr. Ralph Stanley to show ended up being received with a deafening response by the crowd.”

Trivett also mentioned that Alison Krauss decided to make the trip east from Nashville especially to see Ralph Stanley, whose music she adores like so many other bluegrass lovers. She was able to spend some time with the Good Doctor backstage and hear his performance with the Soggy Bottom Boys.

Given the success of this event, we invited Josh to go ahead and brag on himself and his business.

“Moonstruck is a company I founded and we pride ourselves in trying to be cutting edge and outside the box. I think our ability to pull this show off on the magnitude that it ended up yielding, showed that we are able to take most any task on. The crazy amount of social media madness after the show has blown me away also. We take personal pride in everything we align ourselves with at Moonstruck and also partner with on projects.

I will rank this at the top of proud achievements at Moonstruck and it really made me feel good to hear all the comments from the fans. I heard more people than I count say, ‘This was the best show I have ever seen in my life!’ Comments like that gives you the fuel to continue on trying to provide the best we can offer to fans everywhere. We have a roster of artists that I couldn’t be more excited to have and look forward to the future.”

Keep an eye on Bluegrass Today later this week for details on how you can enter to win a show poster autographed by all the Soggy Bottom Boys. Only five of these signed posters are in existence, as there was no way for the band to sign autographs or interact with the audience at the concert.

One went to Ole Smoky owner Joe Baker, Josh kept one each for himself and his assistant, Laura Ford, one is coming to us, and the other will be saved for a future Moonstruck promotion.

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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.