Bluegrass Music Growing Missoula Roots

Editor’s note: Make it Missoula has partnered with the University of Montana’s Online News class, taught by Jule Banville, to create a new Citizen Journalism feature that’s all about local views and issues. We’re excited to provide these students with a platform so they can objectively explore and report about the topics they think reflect the lives and times of Missoula and its citizens.


Last month, Missoula hosted its first ZooGrass festival at the Top Hat lounge downtown.

The event on Saturday, Sept. 24, featured a potluck, a family-friendly environment, an open-pickin’ circle, and, mainly, hours of live music.

Live bluegrass has recently taken hold of the music scene in Missoula, with its upbeat energy, foot-stompin’ beats, and a stage full of strings. But what is it about this genre that has become such a large part of the Garden City’s nightlife?

In this audio feature, Jed Nussbaum of stompgrass phenomenon Dodgy Mountain Men, folk singer-songwriter Britt Arnesen, and event organizer Skye Berns discuss the allure of bluegrass music in Zootown.

Click the link below to listen to the piece:

ZooGrass Interview



Jed Nussbaum of the Dodgy Mountain Men. Courtesy photo.

Britt Arnesen and Richie Reinholdt live at Missoula ZooGrass 2011. Courtesy photo.

Alanya Cherkas is a senior studying broadcast journalism at the University of Montana.