Saturday, April 4, 2009

Missouri River Bluegrass Camp

Regional bluegrass musicians have a great opportunity to “study with the stars” this summer at the Missouri River Bluegrass Camp, taught by the award-winning band, the High 48’s. The Camp will be held at Cross Ranch State Park just prior to and on the site of the 19th Annual Missouri River Bluegrass Festival. The camp is for musicians with their basic playing skills in place, not for rank beginners.

Two days of instruction (June 18 & 19) on mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and guitar are available for a tuition cost of $100. One day of instruction on the upright bass is also available (Friday, June 19) for a tuition cost of $50. Band lab and mini sessions will also be provided along with evening jamming time. Campers will learn two songs over the two days but the focus will be on applying what you learn to all of your playing and singing.

Class size is limited to ensure quality learning so sign up early. Make your check out to John Andrus, Camp Director and send it to: John Andrus 210 7th Avenue Litchville, ND 58461

Missouri River Festival

A highlight for area stringband music fans, the 19th annual Missouri Bluegrass Festival is set for Friday evening and Saturday, June 19 & 20, 2009 at Cross Ranch State Park in central North Dakota. Headlining the event is the High 48’s bluegrass band from Minnesota, winners of Colorado’s prestigious Rockygrass Band competition in 2008. The High 48’s were a headliner at the Bismarck Bluegrass Festival last summer and won many fans with their first class approach to traditional bluegrass music. With hot picking and soulful singing, these boys are the real deal. In addition to performing, the band will be teaching a two-day bluegrass camp on Thursday and Friday, June 18 & 19, also at Cross Ranch State Park.

Other festival performers include Blue Hazard, the New North String Band, Simple Infant Men, Stoney Run, and Spiritwood Creek with more yet to be finalized.

Blue Hazard is a Minnesota bluegrass band that began as a family band and now includes three siblings. Hannah, Luke, and Dale Gruber, along with friend Jeremy Rooney, have been performing together for several years and it shows. Their harmony singing and instrumental skills are a delight!

The New North String Band from Wisconsin was formed in June of 2008; the group plays a variety of original and traditional music. These guys are a joy to watch and are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

The Simple Infant Men is a bluegrass band from Minot, ND. Together now for about a year, the SIM are rooted in traditonal bluegrass with strong vocals and great picking.

Spiritwood Creek has been performing in the region for several years and are based in the Jamestown, ND area. The band features the singing and songwriting of bandleader Terry Schwartz.

Stoney Run is a group based in and around the Litchville, ND area. The Run features swing, jazz, and bluegrass music played on fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass. The group has been together for a year-and-a-half.

The family-style event operates under the following mainstage-area guidelines: no pets, no alcohol, no unruly behavior, and smoking in designated areas only.

Ticket prices for the event are $12 for Friday evening, $18 for Saturday and $25 for Friday & Saturday. Children, 16 & under accompanied by a parent are admitted free. There is also a free Kid’s Fest which provides fun activities for young children while their parents and grandparents enjoy the music. Activities include movies, contests and games.

Additional information on the festival is available by calling Cross Ranch State Park at 701-794-3731. If you wish to camp in a late night jamming area, be sure to contact the Park at the number above before calling the State Parks’ camping reservation number, 800-807-4723. •

April Bluegrass Update

May is Bluegrass Month Celebration. B.A.N.D. is sponsoring a bluegrass stage show as part of the annual meeting weekend on Saturday, May 16 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm in Bismarck. Performers interested in participating should contact Pat Headrick at 701-258-0290 before May 15th to secure a slot. The stage show at the Gateway Mall is free and open to the public.Following the stage show is the B.A.N.D. annual meeting and awards banquet in the Governor’s Room at the Doublewood Inn (I94 & Exit 59) beginning at 5:30 pm. Dinner will be served in the Governor’s Room. Participant’s will be able to order from a limited menu or a children’s menu. B.A.N.D. needs to know the number attending the dinner by May 11. Please call Sharon Musick at (701)863-7044 or email: if you plan to attend the dinner. Jamming will follow the dinner.Doublewood Inn rooms are available for $71. A block of rooms is being held until May 2. Call (701) 258-7000 to make reservations; tell them you are with the Bluegrass Association of North Dakota. The motel has an indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna, as well as a restaurant and lounge. The rooms have microwaves and refrigerators.The next day, Sunday, May 17 is the monthly Bismarck jam session from 1:00 - 5:00 pm at the Gateway Mall; following the jam, B.A.N.D. members are invited to B.A.N.D. President Barb Headrick’s home for Burgers, brats, and brownies, just west of the Capital building, 122 East Arikara Ave.

Bluegrass in the Valley Radio Show: Hosted by Chris Heth, the Fargo-area show airs from 8-9 AM Tuesdays on 96.3FM Also on the web:, Stop in and give a listen!