January 2022

The Tradition

Notes & Queries – January 2022

Queries Q: I heard a song “Hills of Jackson County” on the radio recently. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch name of the group. Can you help? DC, via email A: The name of the group is The Bluegrass Thoroughbreds. The song you heard was the title track from their debut album which came out in 1978…. Read the full article

Sonny Osborne

I Believe In Truth But Not In Spite Photo by Doc Hamilton Sonny Osborne started writing a monthly Banjo Newsletter column, “Keep On The Sonny Side” in October 1977 and, by my unofficial count, he wrote 36 columns. Sonny would talk the column onto a tape and then editor Hub Nitchie would transcribe it. (Which… Read the full article

Sonny Osborne

Remembered by his Older Brother Bobby and his Friends in the Bluegrass World The first signs that bluegrass legend Sonny Osborne was in real trouble came with the announcement that he had experienced a stroke in late August of 2021. The reality of what was to come was further solidified when it was announced that… Read the full article

 Clyde  Mattocks

Hugging The Hound Clyde Mattocks has a lifetime of stories. He remembers seeing Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys play 20-minute shows between cowboy films at his hometown theater.  He’s shared the stage with Ervin Rouse, composer of iconic “Orange Blossom Special.” Barely out of high school, Mattocks played the TV-and-schoolhouse circuit in both Carolinas. He… Read the full article

The Artists

Maddie Denton

A Champion Contest Fiddler Makes Her Name in Bluegrass  Bluegrass music has produced a very long line of phenomenal fiddlers—from Art Wooten, to Tommy Magness, Howdy Forrester, Chubby Wise, Jim Shumate, Benny Martin, Vassar Clements, Kenny Baker, Paul Warren, Curly Ray Cline, Bobby Hicks, Byron Berline…the list goes on and on and on.  And the… Read the full article

Paolo Ercoli

The Wrong Side Of The Ocean “Yes, we love bluegrass music, it’s the thing we like the best. We sing, play and learn from Bill, Lester, Josh and Earle.  Since we travel all around and play from town to town the best thing we have found is that high lonesome sound. They keep saying we… Read the full article

Jacob Jollif

Discipline, Hard Work, and High Standards  Written By Dale and Darcy Cahill Jacob Jolliff’s bluegrass roots run deep. He picked up a mandolin at seven years old and attended his first bluegrass festival at age nine. Already an eager mandolin player, Jolliff surprised everyone by sitting in his lawn chair not for one or two… Read the full article

The Sound

Bil VornDick

Putting Together The Pieces   Photos Courtesy of Bil Vorndick Bil VornDick, audio engineer/producer to the stars, summarized his role in the studio and music industry, “I’m there to help people and I’m good at putting together puzzles. I like putting it together so people will enjoy listening to it.”  VornDick’s puzzles have garnered him… Read the full article

The Venu

Dave Howard

And the Louisville Folk School A big part of the reason many of us enjoy bluegrass music is because of the tight-knit bluegrass community.  Getting together with other bluegrass fans to listen to, or play, bluegrass music is part of the appeal.  People gathering together to play music in a private home; at a school, church… Read the full article

Festival Lessons Learned 

During a Pandemic Written By Dale and Darcy Cahill The pandemic has now been with us for almost two years. While it completely shut down the 2020 festival season, its grip loosened in the Spring of 2021 and festival promoters were faced with tough decisions. Should they have their festival at all? If yes, what… Read the full article