This is the real deal, friends and neighbors, bluegrass from its roots performed by musicians who know and love it. The Saturday, September 7, 2013 7:00 PM performance takes place at The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall located at 4545 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.
Bob Black (IA) has bluegrass roots going straight back to Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass Music". Bob toured and recorded with the late great musical master during the 70's. Copper Creek, Rebel, and Green Valley recording artist Bob Black has performed with Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, John Hartford, Ralph Stanley, Rhonda Vincent, The Whites, Frank Wakefield, and many others. Bob has recorded with Norman Blake, Greg Brown, Kenny Baker, Bill Monroe, John Hartford, Bo Ramsey, Sam Bush, and more (over 30 albums in all). He has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry many times. A true "Master of the 5-String Banjo". Visit Bob's website at www.banjoy.com for the full story.
Tom Ewing (KY) played and recorded with Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys in the 1970s prior to joining Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys in 1986. From then until Monroe's passing in 1996, Tom recorded several albums with him, including the Grammy award-winning Southern Flavor. He has also written extensively for Bluegrass Unlimited magazine and, in 2000, compiled and edited The Bill Monroe Reader for the University of Illinois Press. He is currently writing a Bill Monroe biography.
Bassist and vocalist Mark Hembree (WI) played with Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys from 1979-84 and is heard on Monroe's classic instrumental album Master of Bluegrass. Hembree was a founding member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band (later stars of the soundtrack for the movie O Brother Where Art Thou) and recorded with Peter Rowan (on the Grammy-nominated New Moon Rising), David Grisman, Stuart Duncan, and many others, including the all-star album band Dreadful Snakes, produced by Jerry Douglas and Bela Fleck.
Paul Kienitz (WI) is steeped in the finest traditions of fiddling, bringing passion to the genre and a broad repertoire of tunes. Paul claims he started playing only five years ago but we have evidence to the contrary. He has performed and recorded with a number of fine bands in Wisconsin. He was the featured fiddler in a special "Blue Grass Boys Reunion" at the 2008 Sugar Maple festival where he performed with bluegrass legends Bob Black, Tom Ewing, Mark Hembree and Mike Compton in a celebration of the music of Bill Monroe.
Brian Ray (WI) - the man with the orange mandolin is a true fan, and serious student of the 'Monroe style' mandolin which is evident upon your first hearing the notes soaring out of his instrument. He also handles all of the tenor singing for the group. Brian was a founding member of Farmer Not So John, a Nashville-based, Compass Records recording artist. He and Paul currently play together as The BriarPickers in and around their home state of "Westconsin".