Kathy Kallick Kicks Off 2014 Ruby Jewel Jamboree Bluegrass Concert Series on 4/7

Picture11Bluegrass season is here.

“My goal was to bring east coast and southeastern quality bluegrass to Montana” says Phyllis Erck-daughter of Ruby Erck, owner of Erck Hotels and Missoula resident since 1972.

Not that this year’s series offerings all hail from that region of the United States but they were certainly influenced by them.  Season opener Kathy Kallick, from San Francisco is one of bluegrass’s most famous female singers and writers.  Bradford Lee Folk, from bluegrass rich Colorado (founding member of famous bluegrass band Open Road) is one of genre’s most charismatic singers and songwriters.

“ I had the opportunity while in the east during the late 80’/90’s to be introduced to that rich bluegrass culture.  The close proximity to the bluegrass artists, festivals and fans is parallel to nowhere else on the planet. All within an hour or two’s drive you could attend festivals like Gray Fox, Strawberry Park,  Joe Val, etc. Every week between Maine, to the Carolinas the festivals and bluegrass culture just keep on coming.  You’ve got kids who can shred like Doc Watson who don’t have shoes who are dragging around a $20,000 Martin guitar that they inherited from their great grandmother.  The music is a living art form that is passed down through the generations.  It’s very inspiring,” says Phyllis who is also the president of the Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association (MRBA).

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Kathy Kallick Band.

“Last year we brought the multi-award winning Gibson Brothers (IBMA Entertainers of the Year for 2 years in a row-IBMA is the International Bluegrass Music Association that is considered the gold standard for bluegrass-146, 000 people attended the fall IBMA event in Raleigh, North Carolina).  The most common comments I got from the audience were  “We had no idea how good bluegrass could be!” “This is Carnegie Hall level musicianship.”  “It’s suits and ties and a mastery of instruments that is unparallel” reflects Phyllis.

Junior Sisk (with Ramblers Choice) hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is IBMA & SPBGMA Male Vocalist of the Year bringing classical bluegrass sounds that have earned him many accolades. Opening for Junior will be Spokane’s hottest new bluegrass band Kevin Pace & Early Edition. Keeping it local will be well known John Lowell from Bozeman with Two Bit Franks.  Closing the season, the award winning Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen with 2013 IBMA Banjo player of the year Mike Munford.

And if that isn’t enough Phyllis and Ruby Jewel Productions are teaming up with other Missoula music and business ventures in their quest to bring more bluegrass to Missoula. Look for Travelin’ McCourys at the Top Hat in July (co-production with Top Hat).  Plus in September Ruby Jewel Productions and Snowbowl are proud to announce the David Grisman Sextet. She is on a mission and wants you to drink the cool aid.

“We know folks have a lot of musical options.  We just hope that they can come give Ruby Jewel Jamboree a chance to prove that this is bluegrass like they have never heard before.  You may get hooked”

What is the color of bluegrass cool aid?

“Blue of course” says Phyllis.

All show times 7P. Prices vary. For more information visit the Ruby Jewel Jamboree website.

Ruby Jewel Jamboree at Ruby’s Inn on Reserve.