Denison's Annual Bluegrass Festival Brings Outstanding Artists to Burke Hall Stage
Posted: January 26, 2007
The Third Annual Denison Bluegrass Festival will feature local and guest artists whose talents have been recognized by both enthusiastic fans and industry professionals. Guest artists at this year's festival include Ronnie Bowman, former vocalist with the Lonesome River Band and now a solo artist, and The Dappled Grays, an Atlanta-based group featuring Leah Calvert as vocalist and fiddler, Michael Smith, mandolin, Casey Cook, guitar, Keith Morris, bass, and Greg Earnest, banjo.
The Festival begins with a performance at 8 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 2) in Burke Recital Hall by the Denison Faculty Bluegrass Band plus friends. Denison Associate Professor Andy Carlson, fiddle, and Associate Professor of English Richard Hood, banjo, will be joined by Cook on guitar, and Terry Douds on bass. All of the instrumentalists also will share vocal duties.
On Saturday (Feb. 3), a series of workshops will provide instruction and entertainment to attendees. The workshops, all being held in the Burke Hall Rehearsal Room, begin at noon with a banjo workshop led by Greg Earnest and Richard Hood. At 12:45 p.m., Casey Cook leads a guitar session; at 1:30 p.m. Andy Carlson and Leah Calvert lead a fiddle workshop; at 2:15 p.m. a mandolin session with Carlson and Michael Smith; and, finally, at 3 p.m. a concert preview and band workshop with Ronnie Bowman and the Committee.
The featured concert is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday evening (Feb. 3) in Burke Recital Hall. It will showcase Ronnie Bowman and The Committee, The Dappled Grays and Andy Carlson. A jam session hosted by the Andy Carlson Band will liven Brews Cafe beginning at 10 p.m. that night.
Hailed by USA Today as "one of bluegrass's most tender voices," Bowman has been singing since his youth, first as a member of his family's gospel group and then as a member of Lost & Found and Lonesome River Band, and now in his current solo career. His fourth solo album, "It's Gettin' Better All the Time," spans the range of bluegrass from traditional to contemporary and expands into neighboring territories with a splash of honky-tonk and near cinematic atmosphere. Appearing with Bowman are The Committee - guitarist Wyatt Rice, dobro player Andy Hall, singer and fiddler Jeremy Garrett and harmony singer Garnet Imes Bowman, his wife. Bowman's first solo album garnered him Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and Song of the Year ("Cold Virginia Night") from the International Bluegrass Music Association.
Organized in 1999 by longtime friends Michael Smith and Casey Cook, The Dappled Grays' first release, "In the Gait," was largely focused on instrumental performance. In 2005, vocalist and fiddler Leah Calvert joined the other musicians of The Dappled Grays - Keith Morris on bass and Greg Earnest on banjo. Carlson reviewed the group's latest recording, "Doin' My Job," and says the album "is a collection of songs showcasing the individual and collective talents of this exceptional group of musicians."
Hood, who plays five-string banjo and finger-style guitar, has played with the Greater Chicago Bluegrass Band, the Bristol Mountain Bluegrass, and the Bristol Brothers. He has appeared on national public television and on the Nashville Network's "Fire on the Mountain" series. His writings on American traditional music have appeared in Appalachian Journal, Journal of Popular Culture and Pembroke Magazine.
Carlson's career has spanned teaching at the University level, playing as a classical violinist with symphony orchestras, and performing traditional fiddle music. He has taught at Morehead State University and the Preucil School of Music, and at Suzuki institutes at The University of Memphis, Capital University and Furman University. He was Georgia State Champion Fiddler twice and the 2000 Ohio Grand Champion Fiddler and has written "A Guide To American Fiddling" published by Mel Bay. He is dedicated to the performance of new music and is featured on the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble's ACA Digital CD, "The Voice and the Virtuoso."
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Third Annual Bluegrass Festival opening concert featuring The Denison Faculty Bluegrass Band; 8 p.m., Friday (Feb. 2) Burke Recital Hall (240 W. Broadway). Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6220 to confirm information.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Third Annual Bluegrass Festival workshops; noon to 4:30 p.m., Saturday (Feb. 3), Burke Rehearsal Room (240 W. Broadway). Noon - Banjo; 12:45 p.m. - Guitar; 1:30 p.m. - Fiddle; 2:15 p.m. - Mandolin; 3 p.m. - band. Free and open to the public. Contact 740-587-6220 to confirm information.
CALENDAR LISTING: Denison University, Granville -- Third Annual Bluegrass Festival Concert featuring Ronnie Bowman and The Committee, The Dappled Grays, and Andy Carlson; 7 p.m., Saturday (Feb. 3), Burke Recital Hall. Free and open to the public. A jam session follows at 10 p.m. at Brews Cafe (128 E. Broadway). Contact 740-587-6220 to confirm information.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
For press inquiries:
- Barbara Stambaugh
- Position Title
- Director, Media Relations
- Primary Email
- Business Phone
- (740) 587-8575