Bill Monroe Birthday Tribute
Thursday, September 10, 2015, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

Laurie Lewis & other bluegrass luminaries pay tribute to Father of Bluegrass

$22 adv / $24 door

Purchase tickets online
September 10 8:00 pm

Bill Monroefeaturing David Grier, Butch Waller, Kathy Kallick, Molly Tuttle, Tom Rozum, Chad Manning, Patrick Sauber & Chuck Poling


Bill Monroe, born on September 13, 1911, near Rosine, Kentucky, is the undisputed Father of Bluegrass Music. He gave the genre its name and its distinctive style, and for most of the 20th century he embodied the essence of the art form, which is typically delivered by a five-piece acoustic string band featuring instrumental virtuosity on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and string bass, and plaintive, high lonesome voices singing in close harmony. Monroe’s influence reaches far and deep, and will be very much in evidence during the Freight’s popular annual tribute, overseen for the sixth year in a row by Berkeley’s own Laurie Lewis.


“Bill Monroe’s repertoire of recorded material was so vast and varied,” Laurie says, “that the first year we felt we had barely scratched the surface. Since then, we’ve tried to get deeper and deeper into the catalog, and the guests always surprise and excite us with their choices.” Laurie has been a treasure on the local music scene ever since the mid-1970s, when she fell under the spell of Monroe's music and started fiddling and singing in bluegrass bands in the Bay Area. The International Bluegrass Music Association named her Female Vocalist of the Year – twice! – and she won a Grammy for her work on the album True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe.


This year's all-star guests will include Nashville-based guitarist extraordinaire David Grier, local keeper of the bluegrass flame Butch Waller on mandolin and vocals, and Laurie's longtime singing collaborator, Good Ol' Persons co-founder Kathy Kallick on guitar and vocals, and Molly Tuttle, a young bluegrass phenom from Palo Alto and the Berklee College of Music. The "house band" in this Grand Ole Opry-style show will include Chad Manning on fiddle, Patrick Sauber on banjo, Tom Rozum on mandolin, and Max Schwartz on bass. Chuck Poling will serve as master of ceremonies.


Bill Monroe is to bluegrass as Thomas Edison is to the light bulb. If you want to see some of the brightest lights in bluegrass, come to the Freight for this glorious tribute to the musician who started it all.


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