Signup for a folk alley account

Magnolia Meets Bill Monroe's Friendly Ghost at Bean Blossom

July 23, 2005

We're here. I've read about this historic place in two biographies of Bill Monroe. After a quarter century of attending festivals, and after hearing about this legendary park so often, I have never been here until now. Bean Blossom Music Park, Indiana.

When Bluegrass Festivals evolved in the '60s, Bill Monroe decided to have his location north of Kentucky. Today it's both heartwarming and a little eerie, believe it or not, to be here without Bill. To see the different areas of the park dedicated to heroes like Ralph Stanley, Curley Ray Cline, and Arnold Shultz is both satisfying and sad. It's so hard to believe some of them are gone. It's also hard to believe that as deeply involved as I've been with the music and its pioneers that when I finally get here their final sets are over. There's a message there...

The inspiration, however, of all these legends is VERY much alive. We know that Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, and Peter Rowan began careers because of Bill. What is especially rewarding is hearing all the younger bands who are here who simply wouldn't be if not for Monroe. Take Hot Buttered Rum, for example. Five young guys in their 20s who play mandolin, banjo, and twin fiddles with the same rhythm and drive as the Bluegrass Boys. They've added to the sound by including accordion and flutes and unexpected time changes. As you listen, however, you realize that even their young fans digging the contemporary approach recognize that the foundation is Monroe's.

The same can be said of The Duhks, Uncle Earl, Shawn Camp, and Drew Emmit. Bill's music may not sound exactly like it did, but itís all perspective. When Monroe combined country, gospel and blues with the arrangement of jazz, he was considered an upstart, even a renegade. Today, he is considered a patriarch.

The moral of story is that all of the best things in life came from people who had an idea and took a risk. Perhaps in small way the chances that Folk Alley are taking will pay off for all of us.

Posted by Jim Blum at July 23, 2005 12:51 PM


Hey, it was nice meeting you folks at Bean Blossom. Folk Alley is a recently-acquired pleasure that I have passed along to many of my friends. Keep it coming!

Posted by: Ric Manning at August 7, 2005 7:15 PM

Blue Moon of Kentucky,....keep on shinin', ...shine on,...shine on the one I love...

Posted by: Thomas at August 13, 2005 10:53 PM

Registered users can post comments in the blog. Please register or log in to share your views.

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!


Recent Topics

It's a Ticket Drawing for City Winery Chicago!
The Family Roots of Conjunto: Flaco Jimenez & Max Baca
On Race and Folk Music: Classic African-American Songsters and Keb' Mo'
Album Review: BettySoo 'When We're Gone'
New Music for June
Highlights from MerleFest 2014
Five of the Best Moments from MerleFest 2014, Days 1 & 2
Kim Ruehl Talks with Rodney Crowell About Writing and His New Album, 'Tarpaper Sky'
Kim Ruehl Talks Songwriting With Catie Curtis
A Folk Alley Discount for Jonatha Brooke's 'My Mother Has 4 Noses'
New Music for March
Job Opening at WKSU/Folk Alley
Hear It First at Folk Alley - Eliza Gilkyson
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - Rap Stars or Fine Young Troubadours?
New Music for February
Folk Alley Sponsors a Documentary at the Cleveland International Film Festival
A Q & A with Parker Millsap
Hear It First at Folk Alley - Cahalen Morrison & Eli West
Pete Seeger: Folk Singer, Educator, Banjo Player, Activist, Good Person
Thanks for everything, Pete
New Adds For January
Five Folk Artists to Watch in 2014
Folk Alley's Best of 2013 - Matt Watroba's Top Picks of the Year
Review: 'Live at Caffe Lena: Music From America's Legendary Coffeehouse (1967-2013)'
Review: Elephant Revival - 'These Changing Skies'
Hear It First at Folk Alley - Poor Old Shine
A Conversation with Sarah Jarosz on 'Build Me Up From Bones'
The Best Things About Americana Music Week, Part II: Ladies Night
The Best Things About Americana Music Week, Part I
A Q & A with Alice Gerrard on her new release, 'Bittersweet'



August 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
               1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

July 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003