• Saburo ‘Sab’ Watanabe passes

    Sab Watanabe Inoue, founding banjo player with Bluegrass 45, died yesterday at home in Japan. He was 69 years of age and had been battling cancer this past three years. One of the most visible and influential bluegrass personalities in Japan,

  • Bluegrass Beyond Borders: Bluegrass 45

    Bluegrass 45 Reunion at the 2017 IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass festival - photo by Frank Baker It’s a well established fact that the Japanese have long been avowed fans of American music. Akira Otsuka can attest to that firsthand. Born in

  • Bluegrass 45 – 50 Years On 

    “More than a band, these six friends from Kobe, Japan, have shared 50 years of friendship, musicianship, and a passion for music that has promoted and championed bluegrass as a culture, genre, and lifestyle all over the world.” So says

  • Bluegrass 45 plays the Capitol area

    Bluegrass 45 with Kitsy Kuykendall and Tom Grey at the Drum and Strum (10/7/17) - photo by Jeromie Stephens Ace music photographer Jeromie Stephens was on hand this past weekend for the last two US shows by Bluegrass 45 on their

  • 45th Takarazuka Bluegrass festival in Japan

    Saburo and Toshio Watanabe celebrated their 45th anniversary hosting the Takarazuka festival in Sanda City, Japan this past weekend. The pair have run B.O.M. Service (Bluegrass and Old Time Music) in the nearby city of Hyogo since 1972, selling American and European bluegrass

  • The Fiction Twins – Toshio Watanabe

    The popularity of bluegrass music in Japan is a subject well known and widely discussed among US and European grassers. Since the postwar occupation of the island nation in the late 1940s, the Japanese have warmed to many aspects of

  • Bluegrass 45 renion tour in Japan

    Back in the early 1970s, a talented young Japanese band caused quite a sensation at festivals here in the US - and not simply for what was then the novelty of a foreign band playing bluegrass. Calling themselves Bluegrass 45,