Bluegrass

Airs Thursday, September 24, at 8 p.m. When you talk about the history of bluegrass music, the names "Earl" and "Lester" are always prevalent, since they led one of the greatest groups, the Foggy Mountain Boys. The band was founded in 1948 by guitarist Lester Flatt, who had been a member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. Flatt brought banjo player Earl Scruggs with him shortly after leaving Monroe to create a lineup that music historians generally view as one of greatest bluegrass bands of all time.

Airs Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m. For lovers of the mandolin, an instrument that first came about nearly 400 years ago, it's hard not to appreciate the many virtuosos that have emerged in the past half century and blended extensive musical styles. Two of the most unique and extraordinary mandolinists in our time are Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, who have been working on and off over the past ten years to create a duo program like no other. In this episode, we listen to a 2014 performance by this duo at the Savannah Music Festival.

Airs Thursday, August 7 at 8 p.m.  Nearly a quarter of a century ago, banjo master Bela Fleck formed a band that drew on bluegrass, jazz, blues and rock, combining the talents of four unique musicians that play acoustic and electric instruments. They call themselves the Flecktones, and the dexterity they use to make their instruments roar, and the obvious joy that they share in doing so, explains the group's longevity and their loyal fan base. Tune in for part one of a 2012 SMF performance by the original lineup of the Flecktones, including pianist and harmonica player Howard Levy.

Airs Thursday, May 8 at 8 p.m. For many people, college is a place to study subjects that will prepare you for the next step in life, as well as a time to create new friendships. Such was the case for Woody Platt, Mike Guggino, Graham Sharp and Charles Humphrey, who began playing music together in 1999 while studying at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Fourteen years later and with the addition of one more musician, the five members of the Steep Canyon Rangers have become known as one of the finest bluegrass ensembles in our time. 

Airs Thursday, October 10 at 8 p.m. When immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland arrived in the Appalachian region of the United States in the 18th century, they brought with them the musical traditions of their homelands. These traditions were extended, refined and combined into a variety of American roots music styles, including a distinct musical form called bluegrass. In this episode, we listen to one of the finest bluegrass ensembles in our time, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out.

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