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Marana to welcome Bluegrass Concert Series

Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012




MARANA The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Town of Marana present free live music for the Marana Bluegrass Summer Concert Series, May to September



The Marana Bluegrass Summer Concert Series promises to deliver quality tunes to the bluegrass enthusiast and give new listeners an appreciation for this rustic style of music.



The bands performing their songs and stories feature some of the regions most established and well-known bluegrass musicians on the second Saturday of each month at the Crossroads at Silverbell Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road.



Held monthly through September, the shows feature a jam session with an opening band at 6:15 p.m. and the headlining performer at 7 p.m.



Admission to the Marana Bluegrass Summer Concert Series is free and open to everyone, and donations are encouraged to help support the continuation of these free community concerts.



May 12 - Run Boy Run

Jam Session with Drops in River

With a newly released EP, appearances at several major Arizona festivals and a recent win at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Run Boy Run is rapidly growing to be a prevalent force in promoting the tradition of bluegrass and Appalachian old-time in the Southwest. Run Boy Run offers a riveting and exciting performance of traditional and original music. The band has a captivating three-part female harmony, masterful fiddle work by the two-time Arizona State Fiddle Champion and roots in traditional, jazz, classical and folk music. The result is a vast and sublime musical landscape, wide as the Appalachian range, haunted by the melancholy tones of Van Zandt, and rich in earth that quakes with the music of Monroe. Run Boy Run includes Matt Rolland on fiddle and guitar, Grace Rolland on vocals and cello, Bekah Sandoval on vocals and fiddle, Jen Sandoval on vocals and mandolin and Jesse Allen on bass.



June 9 - Greg Morton Band

Jam Session with Manzanita

Born in Memphis, Tenn., Greg Morton began to play the guitar when he was around 12 years of age. His brother, Randal Morton, began to play the banjo at about the same time, and the two were headliners at various bluegrass festivals around the country. Morton's natural musical ability allowed him to quickly develop a mastery of the guitar. While living in Memphis, he won the Midsouth Championship in guitar and mandolin. After sharpening his skills playing traditional bluegrass music, Morton began to apply his talents to other musical styles, including country and jazz. He has toured with several other musicians, traveled around the world and was a member of Don Ho's band in Honolulu, Hawaii. Morton's travels eventually brought him to Tucson, Ariz. He has won the Arizona State Guitar Championship and the prestigious TAMMIES Award (Tucson Area Music Awards) for Best Acoustic Guitarist in 2001, 2002 and 2004. The Greg Morton Trio also won the TAMMIES Award for Best Country and Western Band in 2003 and Best Bluegrass Band in 2004. Today, Morton plays in various venues throughout Southern Arizona and teaches workshops for the aspiring musicians in the region.



July 14 - The Sonoran Dogs

Jam Session with Unusual Suspects

The Sonoran Dogs are a new Tucson/Phoenix-based bluegrass band made up of regionally and nationally known musicians. Shortly after forming, they headlined the Sedona and Wickenburg Bluegrass festivals. Tucsonan Peter McLaughlin, on guitar and vocals, was awarded the 1988 National Flatpicking Guitar Champion and has played with the Laurie Lewis band, Perfect Strangers and a bluegrass brother duo with Chris Brashear. Phoenician Mark Miracle plays burning mandolin riffs and sings lonesome bluegrass lyrics. Miracle toured the United States and Europe with Saw Mill Road, won the Telluride band contests with both the Shady Creek and Clear Blue bands and has won numerous mandolin contests and awards. Fellow Phoenician Tyler Walls picks banjo melodies faster than the eye can see. At his young age, Walls has won several major banjo championships, including the Rockygrass and Huck Finn titles. Tucsonan Brian Davies rounds out the sound on upright bass and harmony vocals and is a TAMMIE award-winner.



Aug. 11 - Providence

Jam Session with Desert Bluegrass Association

The award-winning bluegrass band, Providence, was formed in 2008 with some of the best bluegrass musicians in Arizona. Providence has an energetic style and a unique and dynamic delivery in their performance of original, traditional and contemporary bluegrass music. Their vocal talents and instrumental virtuosity are clearly demonstrated at every show.



Sept. 9 - Superstition Ridge

Jam Session with Desert Bluegrass Association

Superstition Ridge is made up of a group of highly talented musicians. Rick Ramsey grew up in a musical family in Southwestern Virginia. From age 3 he was singing with his father and brothers and learned multiple harmony parts from them. He holds down the "low end" with his big upright bass and sings whatever part is needed. John Svenson, on lead guitar, dobro and singing some lead and harmony vocals, is originally from North Carolina. He grew up performing bluegrass music with his brother and has played with several bands in North and South Carolina. A recent transplant to the Phoenix area, Svenson says he is proud to have hooked-up with the "good ole boys" of Superstition Ridge. Larry Martell, rhythm guitar and lead singer, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was influenced by the first generation of bluegrass bands of the 1950's and 60's and the classic country singers of that time. His soulful lead singing has been compared to Jim Eanes and Lester Flatt. Wayne Black grew up on an Iowa farm where everyone played an instrument. He was influenced by a broad spectrum of musical genres in the 1960's and 70's. A multi-instrumentalist, Black performs hot solos on the mandolin, guitar and fiddle and sings some harmony parts. Red Wilson supplies the hard-driving banjo sound that every bluegrass band needs and desires. A native of Montana, Wilson took up the banjo in college after hearing Earl Scruggs on a juke box. He put away his saxophone, picked up the banjo and hasn't looked back.

For the complete article see the 05-09-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-09-2012 paper.


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