I’m very happy to welcome you to Monroe Mandolin Camp 2014! This camp has been set up with you, the Monroe-style fan in mind. It is a place where you and I can pursue and learn more about the musical language that Bill Monroe invented and nurtured. We are not looking at ourselves as “torch-bearers”, but as educators and practitioners of one of the world’s most exciting and valid mandolin styles.
It is my promise to you that we will do our best to always obtain for you the services of the most proficient and respected names in the genre. We will do our utmost to provide a productive and comfortable atmosphere for you and others of like-mind to focus on learning this art form that we love.
We understand that when you want bluegrass, you want the traditional sound and that’s what we are offering you. It is not to say that we are closed minded-on the contrary. Our goal is to teach you how to use Mr. Bill’s style so that you can express your own ideas and carry it forward to future generations of players.
I am very much looking forward to spending time with old friends and acquaintances as well as new, and making this an annual event-a destination for us to come to where we know that we are among fellow Monroephiles. I encourage you to learn as much as you can, to soak in the classes and jams, to listen intently to the stories, and above all to have fun. If we can do anything to make your experience better, let us know.
Life is good.
Bluegrass music has attracted a diverse following worldwide. Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the bluegrass genre as: “Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin’. It’s Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It’s blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound.”
In 1938, Bill Monroe and his brother Charlie broke up their successful duet act, the Monroe Brothers. Throughout the 1930s, Monroe continued absorbing black and white musical traditions, closing in on the style that would become bluegrass.
In 1938, Bill formed his own band, the Blue Grass Boys (named after his home state of Kentucky) . In 1939 he joined the Grand Ole Opry and was a member until his death in 1996. Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys lasted 58 years and saw more than 150 different musicians pass through the band. For more than half a century, being a Blue Grass Boy was the crowning achievement of many musicians’ careers; for others, a stepping stone to establishing their own bands.
But it was the group, formed in 1946 — Lester Flatt (guitar), Earl Scruggs (banjo), Cedric Rainwater (bass), Chubby Wise (fiddle), with Monroe playing mandolin — that defined the classic bluegrass quintet. Below is a list of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys who played with the band throughout the decades. Please click on the link to see a list of the men who proudly called themselves a “Blue Grass Boy”.