• Home
  • August Fest- About the 2023 Bands

Minnesota Bluegrass August Festival  

August 10 - 13, 2023                                                 El Rancho Manana, 27302 Ranch Rd, Richmond, MN 56368

MORE INFORMATION WILL BE AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.                          Purchase Tickets

We are looking for volunteers for the following festival staff positions:

  • Hilltop Coordinator
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Gathering Place Coordinator

Please email us if you can help! 

2023 Main Stage: Rhonda Vincent

& The Rage

Rhonda Vincent is a firecracker of talent that powers one of the hottest bands in any

genre of music today. From humble beginnings in the tiny town of Greentop, Missouri,

Rhonda’s musical heritage traces back 5 generations of the Vincent family. Her dad

would pick her up from school each day, and they would sing and play till dinner. After

dinner, friends came over, and they would sing and play till bedtime. She began her

professional music career singing in her family’s band The Sally Mountain Show. It was

an immediate “on the job training,” as they had a TV show, radio show, and made their

first recording when Rhonda was 5 years old. She picked up the mandolin at eight, the

fiddle at twelve, and learned a valuable life lesson as a teenager performing with her

family at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. While they were playing in the pouring

rain to empty seats, and what they thought, no one listening -- a week later they

received a call from Hal Durham, general manager of the Grand Ole Opry at the time,

and who just happened to be listening with his family around the corner. Mr. Durham

loved what he heard and invited the Vincent family to appear on the Opry.

Rhonda’s life of music evolved into a successful career in bluegrass music; after being

discovered by Grand Ole Opry Star “Jim Ed Brown,” and later spending what she calls

her musical college years recording for Giant Records; and learning about the music

business from Nashville’s best like James Stroud, Jack McFadden, and Stan Barnett.

It was her pivotal bluegrass album “Back Home Again” that transformed Rhonda

Vincent into the All American Bluegrass Girl, and crowned the New Queen of Bluegrass

by “The Wall Street Journal” in 2000.

A multi-award winner, with a 2017 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, an Entertainer of

the Year 2001, Song of the Year 2004, and unprecedented 7 consecutive Female

Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association 2000 –

2006 and an 8th win of IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 2015.

Her lifelong dream came true when she was invited to be a member of the Grand Ole

Opry on February 28, 2020. Rhonda waited an unprecedented 345 days and was

officially inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on February 6, 2021.

Her powerful vocal style transcends the boundaries of bluegrass music, as evidenced in

her collaboration with Dolly Parton on the Elton John / Bernie Taupin Tribute Project.

2023 Main Stage: Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers


Larry Sparks is a dedicated leader for bluegrass music. Larry is among the most widely known and respected touring musicians in bluegrass and gospel music today. Larry began his career in 1963 as a guitarist with the Stanley Brothers and later became lead vocalist for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. Larry  went on to form his own band in 1969. (The Lonesome Ramblers) He has recorded and toured with his band for 53 years, releasing over 60 albums and delighting countless fans with his soulful vocals and unparalleled musicianship.

Releasing such hits as John Deere Tractor, A Face in the Crowd, Tennessee 1949, Blue Virginia Blues, I Just Want To Thank You Lord. Love of the Mountains, Goodbye Little Darlin, You Could Have Called, Tribute to Hank Williams, Green Pastures in the Sky and the list goes on. 

Larry has performed on such world famous venues as the Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits television show on PBS. Song of the Mountains on PBS. Also having toured the United States, Canada, and Japan. 

Larry has been recognized as the International Bluegrass Music Associations Male Vocalist of the Year. Larry also was awarded Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year with his album Larry Sparks 40 featuring  several artists such as Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Tom T. Hall and many more. 

Larry was inducted into The International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Fame Oct 1st 2015. Larry received the honor of being inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into The George D. Hays Hall of Fame Founder of The Grand Ole Opry.

Larrys 50th Celebration CD came was released in the spring of 2014. Featuring Bluegrass Legends. Ralph Stanley, Curly Seckler, Bobby Osborne, Jesse McReynolds, Alison Krauss and Judy Marshall. 

While Sparks is most definitely a stylist and his approach to the music is more than a style, it is real with no gimmicks. After fifty years in the spotlight, Larry is still on a roll and creating some of his best music. Larry Sparks is bluegrass musics Ray Charles, no one can touch him. He is an absolute original - Alison Krauss

Sparks style is mature, seasoned and deeply expressive.

Throughout his long career Larry has stuck with what works. He has followed his vision and he has made an enormous contribution to the music. Larry Sparks has kept his music real. 

2023 Main Stage: Larry Cordle Band

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, Larry Cordle was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Kentucky. He is best known for his highly successful songwriting talents, including the #1 hit song, “Highway 40 Blues,” recorded by Ricky Skaggs. In addition, many other artists, such as Alison Krauss, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, and have recorded Cordle's original songs. 

Cordle is also an award-winning and chart-topping singer. achieving success with his solo and band albums. He is often featured as a lead and background vocalist on some of Nashville's most awarded and popular music. In addition, he's provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and many more. 

In 1992, Larry Cordle, Glen Duncan, and Lonesome Standard Time received a 35th Annual Grammy Award Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for Lonesome Standard Time and took home the 1993 IBMA Song of the Year Award for the title track.” In 2000, the band received a 43rd Annual Grammy Award Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for Murder On Music Row, with the title track winning the 2000  IBMA Song of the Year Award, which remains one of the most popular songs of his career. In addition, he received an IBMA Song of the Year nomination for "Black Diamond Strings.” 

Cordle is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a Grammy for Best Country Album in 2003 and received the IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award in 2004. Cordle is featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, released in 2004, alongside Tim O'Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen, et al., and again as lead vocalist on Moody Bluegrass II. 

In 2006, Celebration of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer won the IBMA Album of the Year Award.  In 2011, Cordle released his Americana album, Pud Marcum’s Hangin.” In 2012, he co-produced the IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award-winning album Life Goes On. The album includes the talents of Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Jerry Salley, and more. In April 2015, Larry Cordle was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, celebrating his impressive career in music. The same year he received an IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award Nomination for the song "Against the Grain" by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time featuring Garth Brooks, produced by Cordle on Mighty Cord Records. 

In 2017, Cord released his powerful all-gospel album Give Me Jesus, which received a 2018 Grammy Nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album and a 2017 IBMA Gospel Recorded Event of the Year Nomination for the title track, a traditional tune arranged by Cord. In 2018, he released another album on his Mighty Cord Records label titled Tales From East Kentucky, followed by Where The Trees Know My Name, in 2021. 

In 2022, he received a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Recorded Song of the Year for the song, “In the Sweet By and By” by Dolly Parton, featuring. Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Bradley Walker. The group also took home two International Bluegrass Music Association awards including Collaborative Recording of the Year Award and the Gospel Recorded Song of the Year Award. In addition, Cordle popped back on the radio charts with his original song, “East Kentucky Blues,” which reached #1 numerous times on the Bluegrass Today Top 20 Weekly and Monthly Song charts and was named in the publication’s Top 50 Songs of 2022 and continues charting into 2023.

Cordle regularly records and performs. He is still, first and foremost, a songwriter, now writing independently for his own company, Wandachord Music, BMI. He is a long-time resident of the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife, Wanda.

2023 Main Stage: Monroe Crossing

Monroe Crossing performs an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, original bluegrass and some surprising selections outside the bluegrass genre. Named in honor of Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music, Monroe Crossing’s superb musicianship and on-stage rapport have entertained audiences throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

For over 20 years this Minnesota based band has averaged over 100 shows a year performing in intimate rooms, community theaters, major venues and outdoor festivals. They are favorites among bluegrass connoisseurs and non-bluegrass audiences alike. They love introducing newcomers to bluegrass music!

Band Members

Monroe Crossing consists of four distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds. When combined, their individual histories make for a unique sound. The three original members are: Mark Anderson (bass), Lisa Fuglie (fiddle & lead vocals) and Matt Thompson (mandolin & harmony vocals). Derek Johnson (guitar & lead vocals) joined in 2011 and also provides the booking duties for the band. The group utilizes a cadre of very talented banjo players, all of whom are alumni of the group. They are: Benji Flaming, David Robinson and Graham Sones.


In 2007, Monroe Crossing was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. They have twice been selected to showcase at the annual World of Bluegrass convention hosted by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). They have also appeared twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In 2016, Monroe Crossing had the honor of being the first Minnesota bluegrass band to perform in South Korea.


Monroe Crossing has released 17 albums to date. The band’s diverse discography consists of traditional bluegrass, original bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, a tribute to Bill Monroe, classic country, Christmas music and two collaborations with the award-winning choir Vocal Essence.

2023 Main Stage: Dave Adkins Band


2022 - SPBGMA Nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year 

2020 - GRAMMY Nomination for Best Americana Roots Gospel Album, GONNA SING, GONNA SHOUT with legendary country artist, Marty Raybon (Shenandoah,) Grand Old Opry members The Whites, and bluegrass stars Claire Lynch, Dave Adkins, The Cox Family, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Larry Cordle, Jerry Salley and Gospel music’s Bradley Walker and High Road to sing all new original songs written and co-written by award-winning songwriter Rick Lang. 

2018 – Top 10 Inspirational Country Music’s Bluegrass Artist of the Year 

2016 – #1 BILLBOARD TOP 10 BLUEGRASS ALBUM CHART – Dave Adkins self-titled album on Mountain Fever Records 2016 – 2nd Place Winner of the Hazel Dickens Songwriting Contest for “Turn and Burn,” songwriters Dave Adkins, David Morris, Dawn Kenney 

2016 – Top 10 Inspirational Country Music’s Bluegrass Artist of the Year 

2016 – #1 Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction Most Played Albums for Dave Adkins album 

2016 – #1 three times on Bluegrass Today Top 20 for the single “Change Her Mind” 

2016 – #1 Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction Most Played Tracks for the single “Change Her Mind” (May 2016) 

2016 – #1 on Bluegrass Today Top 20 for the single “Sold” 

2015 – IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year Nominee (Adkins & Loudermilk) 

2013 – IBMA Showcase Artist (Dave Adkins & Republik Steele) 

2013 – SPBGMA Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year Nominee (Dave Adkins) 

2013 – SPBGMA Entertaining Group of the Year Nominee (Dave Adkins & Republik Steele) 

2013 – TOP 10 BILLBOARD CHART ALBUM – #7 Billboard Bluegrass Chart – That’s Just The Way I Roll 

2023 Main Stage: Po' Ramblin' Boys

At a time when most people feel constantly distracted by technology and barraged by the news, authenticity and straightforward honesty are paramount. There’s something about the music ofThe Po’ Ramblin’ Boys that cuts right through the noise of the world and speaks plainly to the soul. Formed in the Smoky Mountains, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys are at once exactly what you would expect and not at all what you would expect from a tattooed East Tennessee Bluegrass outfit. No strangers to hard work, the boys are as much at home riding in their restored Eagle tour bus as they are crawling underneath to fix it when it needs maintenance. But they take pride in being ambassadors of their genre, and the group has brought their music from rural bluegrass festival stages to the rock clubs of Europe, and even the GRAMMY Red Carpet, with stunning results. “I think to a certain extent everyone is just craving music that they can feel, and any music that feels real will reach any audience” says CJ Lewandowski, the groups founder, “We want to put bluegrass right where it’s least expected”. Perhaps this mindset is why the group earned the title of Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 IBMA Awards.

“We love to dig up old songs that haven’t been heard in years and bring them back into the spotlight”, explains Lewandowski. In fact, two of those gems on the Rounder album, “Next Train South” and “Hickory, Walnut & Pine,” were nominated for IBMA Song of the Year along with “Next Train South” taking the trophy for SPBGMA same category in 2020. The momentum of “Toil, Tears & Trouble” has continued to grow with the band’s first GRAMMY Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album.

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys passion for bluegrass is as clear as it is contagious. With a heavy touring schedule across the United States and Europe and recent Grammy Nomination with Rounder Records, the Boys are well on their way to becoming the quintessential bluegrass band of their generation. Despite all of their recent success, they maintain a humble perspective. “Bluegrass has left such a mark on us that we feel like we owe something back to the music”, says Lewandowski. “We want to do something for the music to show our appreciation… There’s no telling what could have happened to us, what we would have become if we hadn’t found this music. It’s gotten us through a lot, the good and the bad. When I think about all of the damn medications that I didn’t have to take because I had music to turn to. We didn’t have to go to the doctor and pay for something to make us feel better, because we had this music, so we really want to honor it by bringing it out of the shadows and onto new stages and wider audiences. Because we know that if we can bring Bluegrass to new folks, those folks will come with us and support the bluegrass community.”

Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association
P.O. Box 16408, Minneapolis, MN 55416


Subscribe to our email list

Our Mission: To preserve and promote bluegrass and old-time stringband music in and around the state of Minnesota.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software