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Minnesota Bluegrass August Festival  

August 11 - 14, 2022                                                 El Rancho Manana, 27302 Ranch Rd, Richmond, MN 56368


On the Main Stage this year!

  • Appalachian Roadshow
  • Blue Highway
  • Brotherhood of Birds
  • Della Mae
  • Hello Heartache
  • Hog-Eyed Man
  • Little Roy & Lizzy Show
  • Po Ramblin' Boys
  • Seth Mulder & Midnight Run



2022 Main Stage: Appalachian Roadshow


Appalachian Road Show is a visionary acoustic ensemble, bringing new-generation interpretations of traditional Americana, bluegrass and folk songs, as well as offering innovative original music, all presented with a common thread tied directly to the heart of the Appalachian regions of the United States. GRAMMY-nominated banjoist Barry Abernathy, joins forces with GRAMMY-winning fiddler Jim VanCleve, fresh off of his recent stint touring with multi-platinum country artist Josh Turner, as well as esteemed vocalist and mandolinist Darrell Webb, who has recorded and toured with Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent, among many others. The group also includes 26-year-old “old soul” guitarist Zeb Snyder, whose fierce and versatile playing recalls Doc Watson and Norman Blake as readily as it does Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

“With this group, we want to bring to light the culture and lifestyle of the Appalachian music we grew up in,” says Abernathy.

“We immersed ourselves in our native culture by way of sound and further educated ourselves to our own roots, those which are found all throughout the Appalachian music we grew up with,” says VanCleve. Ready to share its authentic and fresh approach with the public, the band went into the studio in the summer of 2018 and recorded its debut album, Appalachian Road Show. The project landed three multi-week number one songs on Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay charts and garnered the band a New Artist of the Year nomination and Song of the Year nomination (“Dance Dance Dance”) at the 2019 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards.

Appalachian Road Show invites us to come and sit a spell on its porch as the band shares its dynamic musicianship through songs and stories emanating from the mountains and hollers of North Carolina and Virginia, to the coal mines of West Virginia and Kentucky. On its eponymous debut album, the band delivers powerful songs that range from the gospel-esque “I Am Just a Pilgrim” and “Little Black Train,” to the reeling, kick-up-your-heels “Dance, Dance, Dance,” to the ballad of love and loss “Anna Lee.” “All of these songs came from the Appalachian mountains and from the coal mining regions of Appalachia,” says Abernathy. “They confront topics such as logging, coal mining, trains, a sweetheart that took off, and so on. There’s something universal in the music and its expressed themes. There’s something for everyone.”




2022 Main Stage: Blue Highway



Highly esteemed bluegrass band Blue Highway has earned a collective 28 IBMA Awards, 6 SPBGMA Awards, one Dove Award, and three Grammy nominations as a band.

The group came together in 1994 as Alison Krauss & Union Station alumnus Tim Stafford decided to inquire about forming a "weekend band" with Wayne Taylor, a Southwest Virginia coal truck driver and musician. The two got together with a few other musicians to play and have fun. Sometime that summer mandolinist/fiddler/vocalist Shawn Lane, who had most recently performed with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, called Tim to see what he was doing. Tim called Rob Ickes, who had tagged along on a few tours with AKUS while Tim was in the group and was then finishing up a run with Lynn Morris. Stafford, Taylor, Lane and Ickes picked informally with different banjoists, including Jason Burleson, who had sat in with a group Tim previously played in, Dusty Miller. Burleson joined the group, which signed with Rebel Records and played its first show Jan. 31, 1994 in Kingsport, TN at the First Night Celebration.

The band's first record, "It's a Long, Long Road" on Rebel was named IBMA's Album of the Year in 1996, and the group was named Emerging Artist of the Year. By that time, the group had recorded another record, "Wind to the West," and was touring steadily as a full-time outfit! The band went on to record with Ceili Records and signed with Rounder in 2001, eventually recording 8 albums and one compilation over 20 years with the Massachusetts label. In the same period, Blue Highway signed with Keith Case and Associates in Nashville and remain affiliated with former Case agent Lee Olsen's CMC Artists. Along the way, producers Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Alan O'Bryant and Scott Rouse helped guide the band, but the group has self-produced its last five all-original Rounder albums.

The hallmark of the band over its span has been and remains consistency and originality. Four of the original members remain from 1994 (Burleson left the band briefly in 1999 but returned in 2001), while dobroist Rob Ickes departed in 2015 and was replaced by Gaven Largent (2015-18), Justin Moses (2018) and finally Gary Hultman (2019-present). The band is fiercely dedicated to original material.

Blue Highway celebrated their 25th Anniversary of Touring in 2019, with four of its original members still intact.

As momentum continues to build for the 25 year strong powerhouse band, Blue Highway is rolling on with a rich legacy, carried on by three powerhouse songwriters and vocalists in Tim Stafford, Wayne Taylor, and Shawn Lane, whose harmonies soar over the dynamic banjo of Jason Burleson and the tasteful dobro of Gary Hultman.




2022 Main Stage: Della Mae


Della Mae is a GRAMMY-nominated, all-women string band made up of founder and fiddle player Kimber Ludiker, lead vocalist/guitarist Celia Woodsmith, guitarist Avril Smith, bassist Vickie Vaughn, and mandolinist Maddie Witler.

Hailing from across North America, and reared in diverse musical styles, they are one of the most charismatic and engaging roots bands touring today. They have traveled to over 30 countries spreading peace and understanding through music.

Their mission as a band is to showcase top female musicians, and to improve opportunities for women and girls through advocacy, mentorship, programming, and performance.

Formed in Boston in 2009, with ambitions of disrupting the male-dominated bluegrass scene, the band has proven undeniably ahead of their time placing women at the forefront — an element evident in the origin of their name. “Della Mae is a woman who pops up in a lot of bluegrass songs and who’s a victim of physical abuse—she done her man wrong, and now he’s gonna get her,” Ludiker explains. “From the beginning, this band has been about reclaiming her story and changing the conversation for women, especially those whose stories haven’t been told.”

Over the years, Della Mae have worked toward that goal by teaming up with the U.S. State Department, and traveling to over 30 countries in an effort to improve opportunities for women all across the globe. "Advocating for women's rights is the backbone of this band, and we realized that adding public service work to our touring was an important way we could make a difference."




2022 Main Stage: Hog-Eyed Man


Athens, GA's Hog-eyed Man explores a treasure-trove of traditional music from the pre-radio era, when ghosts of Scots-Irish tunes mingled with distinctly American sounds. Fiddler Jason Cade and multi-instrumentalist Rob McMaken are at the helm, often joined on stage (and on their most recent recordings) by a community of oldtime music friends.

The last guardians of 19th century solo fiddle traditions from the Southern Appalachians played with a wild and lyrical earthiness that still resonates with anyone who appreciates authentic tradition and unvarnished musical expression. Though some of their repertoire would become smoothed out and incorporated into the modern oldtime and bluegrass canons, many of the more asymmetrical tunes and nuanced aesthetics of the earlier masters were left behind. Hog-eyed Man takes listeners on a soulful journey, rooted in community and tradition, stretching back into this forgotten past while simultaneously reaching forward to oldtime music’s alternate future.

As a youngster, Jason Cade began learning rare tunes and an older style of playing from master fiddler and tune-catcher Bruce Greene, his neighbor growing up in Yancey County, NC. Jason’s oldtime music is also heavily influenced by his mother’s fiddle teacher, the late Byard Ray of Madison County, NC, and the field recordings of the tremendous musicians who once lived in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of western NC, eastern TN, and north Georgia. In 2016, Jason won the prestigious fiddle contest at the Appalachian Stringband Festival in Clifftop, WV. He has also placed first in both fiddle and traditional singing at the Georgia String Band Festival & Fiddlers Convention in Calhoun, GA.

North Georgia native Rob McMaken has developed a tasteful and exciting accompaniment style on lap dulcimer, mandolin, guitar, and banjo-uke, effortlessly shifting between note-for-note melody, harmonic counterpoint, and rhythmic drones harkening back to the Old World. Before immersing himself in oldtime music, Rob traversed musical traditions from all over the world in the folk duo Dromedary and the jazz collective Kenosha Kid.

Jason and Rob met in North Carolina in 2003 while recording on songwriter Jonathan Byrd’s much celebrated album, The Sea and the Sky. A decade later, Jason moved his family to Athens from Brooklyn, they reconnected, and Hog-eyed Man was born.



2022 Main Stage: Little Roy & Lizzy Show


LIZZY LONG - FIDDLE, BANJO, GUITAR, RESONATOR BANJO, VOCALS

Having roots in the heart of the south, Elizabeth Long, or Lizzy as her friends and fans know her was born on a farm in Lincolnton, Georgia. She began her music accomplishment at an early age. While starting out on the piano, Lizzy soon took up the fiddle, guitar, autoharp, bass, banjo, and mandolin, and has become an accomplished musician, alternating between these instruments as part of her entertainment repertoire. She has played with great acts such as Mac Wiseman, Jim and Jesse, The Lewis Family, and Earl Scruggs. Continuing her quest for success, Lizzy has paired up with Little Roy Lewis from the legendary Lewis Family. Her extraordinary voice shimmers with strains of America’s musical roots. Lizzy has won “Bluegrass Song of the Year” for a several songs called “Mountain Top”, a duet with Ty Herndon called “When We Fly”, and "He Washed My Soul". Most recently at the 2015 GMA Dove awards she was awarded Best Bluegrass Song of the Year for a Duet with Rhonda Vincent called "God is There". She is one of the youngest fiddlers to be inducted into “America’s Old Time Fiddler’s Country Hall of Fame” in LeMars, IA. Her latest solo Album "Blueberry Pie" has ranked as high as #2 on Billboard's Bluegrass Charts. Little Roy summed it up the best, "pull a plank off the wall and she'll play it!"

LITTLE ROY - BANJO, GUITAR, CRAZY, ETC...

Little Roy is awfully hard to overlook. He makes sure that no one in the audience gets bored at any time. Little Roy has won awards as Entertainer as well as for his banjo playing. Little Roy learned to play banjo when he was only six years old, and won a local talent contest for his playing when he was eight. Little Roy's favorite banjo players are Don Reno and Earl Scruggs. USA Today called Little Roy 'a banjo master, truly a picker's picker'. Little Roy can also be found playing the guitar and autoharp. In fact, the song 'Good Time Get-Together' was written to highlight his instrumental skills. Little Roy is multi-talented - he sings, plays many instruments, tells stories, and acts. When you see this Duo, you are sure to notice Little Roy, and he'll make you smile. He has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, SPGBMA Hall of Greats, IBMA Hall of Honor, and the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.




2022 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.”



2022 Main Stage: Seth Mulder & Midnight Run


Hailing from the Gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run began its journey in February of 2015, at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Made up of four like-minded musicians and graduates of college music programs, this group of friends and musicians created a band tied to the rich traditions of bluegrass music, yet one that offers a fresh approach to that "High Lonesome" sound. With each member drawing from a variety of influences, including bluegrass, country, and rock. 

The band stays true to their musical roots with tight harmonies and reverence for “old-style” bluegrass music, all while stretching the boundaries of the genre with their song selection, stage antics, and exciting performance.  

Favorites among bluegrass enthusiasts and non-bluegrass audiences alike; they keep the energy high and the audience on their feet. The band knows when they are on stage; it is not only about the music, it is about connecting with the audience and leaving them with a memory that will last a lifetime. Seth Mulder & Midnight Run has been referred to as one of the most entertaining new acts on the bluegrass scene today. 2020 was a big year for them. They completed a new self-released studio album on their own label in June and were nominated for the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Momentum Band of the Year award shortly thereafter.

Now, with over 200 shows a year, they find themselves playing to audiences all over the world. Together, Seth Mulder, Colton Powers, Ben Watlington, and Max Etling create a powerhouse of music that you do not want to miss!



2022 Main Stage: Brotherhood of Birds


Brotherhood of Birds (BoB) is a Twin Cities-based, Minnesota progressive acoustic string band whose original compositions bring together traditional and modern styles.

After hatching in January 2021, the group released 2 EPs entitled “Caged Vol. 1 & 2”. In the same year they played the historic First Avenue Main Room, Blue Ox Music Festival, Shangri-La Music Festival, and were featured in Bluegrass Standard magazine as well as on 88.5 Bluegrass Saturday Morning. The bands tag team style line up makes every show unique while show casing some of the premier players in the genre that the twin cities has to offer. 

BoB’s core lineup consists of brothers Willie Christianson on guitar, & Cole Christianson on banjo, as well as Gavin Haskin on mandolin. The group has a number of rotating local players including fiddlers Chris Forsberg, AJ Srubas, & John Lane, multi instrumentalists David Robinson & Mike Hedding, along with upright players Matt Blake, Joe Barron, & Joe Sheehan. 


2022 Main Stage: Hello Heartache


Hello Heartache plays your favorite Honky Tonk hits as well as some rare unheard gems from the '50s, '60s and '70s.

Vocals, Guitar / Sarah York

Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle / Aaron Tacke

Bass, Vocals / Rina Rossi

Pedal Steel Guitar, Fiddle / AJ Srubas

Drums / Andrew Bartelson




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

info@minnesotabluegrass.org
601-651-3694 

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


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