ROMP is excited and proud to welcome back a member of the International Bluegrass Music's Hall of Honor, Mr. Del McCoury. Del has been a legend of bluegrass music his entire career. In 1964 he began his ascent to the Hall of Fame by joining the Father of Bluegrass -- Bill Monroe-- and Monroe's Blue Grass Boys.
He has traveled the world playing and sharing the passion of bluegrass with numerous musicians, artists and fans, and in 1980 he chose to share the love with his two sons, Rob and Ronnie, and they began to perform together. A highly decorated musician, Del has been awarded 31 International Bluegrass Music Association awards, nine of which are the coveted Entertainer of the Year award. Multiple nominations and two Grammy Awards are the icing on top of an incredible career in the bluegrass music industry. Del has won our hearts and gratitude for giving his gift of music to ROMP.
The Del McCoury Band takes the ROMP stage Thursday June 26th. Tickets are still available for purchase.
Entering his third year as ROMP Committee Chairman, Chris credits the success of the festival to community sponsorships which make it possible to book larger and more diverse acts. "We attracted a wider spectrum by going to the branches of bluegrass, not just the roots."
A kid friendly, family friendly festival, Chris loves that ROMP offers attendees a variety of entertainment. "Wonderful arts and crafts, food vendors...there's more than just the music on the main stage. I encourage people to walk around the park and find people jamming...that will be the best music you've ever heard."
As ROMP continues to grow, Chris loves inviting people to witness the magic of ROMP. "Just come! Just come one time," he says, "I feel so confident people will leave saying, 'I had no idea it was like this.'"
When asked what act he is most excited to see this year, Chris responded, "The Del McCoury Band." He remembers "just like it was yesterday," the first time he saw The Del McCoury Band at ROMP.
It was a dark and stormy night, that last night of ROMP 2007. "It had rained and rained and rained, and just before Del McCoury was to go on, it was announced that the show would have to be stopped, that it wasn't safe for the musicians to play. We were about to leave, and we were headed back to the car. I went into the restroom, and when I came out, Michelle was already headed up the hill. She saw me and yelled out to me, "Get up to the tent, they're playing under the artist tent!!!" We were fortunate enough to get a seat. Someone handed Michelle a flashlight, which she shone on the musicians' instruments so that they could see to play. Del McCoury and Marty Stuart and their bands were right in front of us. I went from the lowest of lows from thinking the show was cancelled, to the highest of highs in five minutes, and it was incredible. Within that five minutes I was experiencing something that only happens with live music -- it was just magic and greatness when you least expect it.
"That's the beauty of bluegrass music in general - it's real music played by real musicians, and you never know when the next magical thing is going to happen...but it always does.
"That's what drove me to be on the museum's board, and that's what drives me to serve on the ROMP Committee. I love the ROMP experience."
As do we all. In just five more days the "magic and greatness" of all the live music at ROMP begins for the 11th year. For information on camping, tickets, or travel directions, visit www.rompfest.com or call 270-926-7891.