Bill Monroe Birthday Tribute

Laurie Lewis & other Bay Area luminaries pay tribute to the Father of Bluegrass

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 8:00 pm
(doors open one hour before show time)

$22 advance / $24 door

Purchase tickets online
September 11 8:00 pm

Bill MonroeThere would be no bluegrass if not for Bill Monroe. He gave the genre its name and its distinctive style, and for most of the 20th century he embodied the essence of the art form, which is typically delivered by a five-piece acoustic string band featuring instrumental virtuosity on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and string bass, and plaintive, high lonesome voices singing in close harmony. Monroe’s influence reaches far and deep, and will be very much in evidence during the Freight’s popular annual tribute, hosted for the fifth year in a row by Berkeley’s own Laurie Lewis.

“Bill Monroe’s repertoire of recorded material was so vast and varied,” Laurie says, “that the first year we felt we had barely scratched the surface. Since then, we’ve tried to get deeper and deeper into the catalog, and the guests always surprise and excite us with their choices.” Laurie is the perfect host for this event. The International Bluegrass Music Association named her the Female Vocalist of the Year – twice! She won a Grammy for her work on the album True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe. And she’s been a treasure on the local music scene ever since the mid-1970s when she co-founded the groundbreaking bluegrass quintet, the Good Ol’ Persons.

An all-star cast will join Laurie on stage, including Bay Area bluegrass luminaries like Butch Waller on mandolin and vocals, Jim Mintun on guitar, Dobro, and vocals, Tom Rozum on mandolin and vocals, Chad Manning on fiddle, Patrick Sauber on banjo, Max Schwartz on string bass, Jacob Groopman on mandolin, guitar, and vocals, Melody Walker on guitar and vocals, and Chuck Poling, who will serve as master of ceremonies.

Bill Monroe is to bluegrass as Thomas Edison is to the light bulb. If you want to see some of the brightest lights in bluegrass, come to the Freight for this glorious tribute to the musician who started it all.

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