William Smith Monroe from Niall Toner

Bill Monroe’s music has obviously had a profound impact on players and followers of bluegrass and related acoustic music around the world. It started out in the southeastern US on “hillbilly” radio, and grew to include an ever larger audience throughout his career.

Noted Irish singer/songwriter Niall Toner is one of many artists touched by Monroe far from his native home in rural Kentucky. And like many artists who owe a debt to Big Mon, Niall is commemorating the Monroe Centennial with a special release, a song dedicated to the Father of Bluegrass.

William Smith Monroe was released yesterday, July 4, and is available in iTunes, at Amazon.com and on Toner’s web site as a digital download. It tells the life story of the man who started it all, in a perfectly Monroe-like style.

Here’s a taste of the song, produced and recorded by Keith Sewell at his Nashville studio in April of this year.

William Smith Monroe: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/wsm.mp3]

The song is available now to radio programmers through Airplay Direct, and is included on the July edition of New Cuts Of Bluegrass, going out this week on CD.

Niall will be back in the States later this year for World Of Bluegrass, with a number of shows booked in the eastern US while he’s here. You can keep up with his comings and goings online.

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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.