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LO VIRTUAL EDITION: APPALACHIAN SPRING WITH SAM BUSH

Saturday, November 7, 2020 7:30pm

Event Description

SAT 7 NOV: 7:30pm

Streaming live from Paristown Hall, we present a salute to the American folk music tradition. Special guest artist and legendary bluegrass musician SAM BUSH joins the LO for a celebration of tradition and music.

This Louisville Orchestra Virtual Edition concert is available in our online package. Get your subscription for all 4 online concerts this fall and get the bonus videos too! Interviews, more music, and video features are packed into our new online video channel.
One time on-demand view will be available  10/29/20 – 12/13/20

SAM BUSH (Arr. Gabriel Globus-Honich & Nathan Farrington):

The Old North Woods
Eight More Miles to Louisville
The Mahavishnu Mountain Boys
Circles Around Me
Revival
Puppies N’ Knapsacks
Gold Heart Locket

 BILL MONROE (Arr. Nathan Farrington):  Blue Moon of Kentucky

AARON COPLAND: Appalachian Spring

SAM BUSH, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, etc.
STEPHEN MOUGIN, guitar/vocals
TEDDY ABRAMS, conductor


Welcome SAM BUSH!

There was only one prize-winning teenager and son of Kentucky finding a light of inspiration from Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys and catching a fire from Bob Marley and The Wailers. Only one progressive hippie allying with like-minded conspirators, rolling out the New Grass revolution, and then leaving the genre’s torch-bearing band behind as it reached its commercial peak.

There is only one consensus pick of peers and predecessors, of the traditionalists, the rebels, and the next-gen devotees. Music’s ultimate inside outsider. Or is it outside insider? There is only one Sam Bush.

On a Bowling Green, Kentucky cattle farm in the post-war 1950s, Bush grew up an only son, and with four sisters. His love of music came immediately, encouraged by his parents’ record collection and, particularly, by his father Charlie, a fiddler, who organized local jams. Charlie envisioned his son someday a staff fiddler at the Grand Ole Opry, but a clear day’s signal from Nashville brought to Bush’s television screen a tow-headed boy named Ricky Skaggs playing mandolin with Flatt and Scruggs, and an epiphany for Bush. At 11, he purchased his first mandolin.

As a teen fiddler, Bush was a three-time national champion in the junior division of the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest. He recorded an instrumental album, Poor Richard’s Almanac as a high school senior and in the spring of 1970 attended the Fiddlers Convention in Union Grove, NC. There he heard the New Deal String Band, taking notice of their rock-inspired brand of progressive bluegrass.

Roy Acuff offered him a spot in his band. Bush politely turned down the country titan. It was not the music he wanted to play. He admired the grace of Flatt & Scruggs and loved Bill Monroe but he’d discovered electrified alternatives to tradition in the Osborne Brothers and manifest destiny in The Dillards.

“I started working at the Holiday Inn as a busboy,” Bush recalls. “Ebo Walker and Lonnie Peerce came in one night asking if I wanted to come to Louisville and play five nights a week with the Bluegrass Alliance. That was a big, ol’ ‘Hell yes, let’s go.’”

Bush played guitar in the group, then began playing mandolin after recruiting guitarist Tony Rice to the fold. Following a fallout with Peerce in 1971, Bush and his Alliance bandmates – Walker, Courtney Johnson, and Curtis Burch – formed the New Grass Revival, issuing the band’s debut, New Grass Revival. Walker left soon after, replaced temporarily by Butch Robins, with the quartet solidifying around the arrival of bassist John Cowan.

“There were already people that had deviated from Bill Monroe’s style of bluegrass,” Bush explains. “If anything, we were reviving a newgrass style that had already been started. Our kind of music tended to come from the idea of long jams and rock-n-roll songs.”

Shunned by some traditionalists, New Grass Revival played bluegrass fests slotted in late-night sets for the “long-hairs and hippies.” Quickly becoming a favorite of rock audiences, they garnered the attention of Leon Russell, one of the era’s most popular artists. Russell hired New Grass as his supporting act on a massive tour in 1973 that put the band nightly in front of tens of thousands.

Over his 50-year career, Sam Bush has performed for millions, issued acclaimed albums, and become a favorite on the festival circuit. He’s influenced dozens of newgrass bands including Punch Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Greensky Bluegrass to name a few. His joy in this music undiminished from his earliest days in Kentucky.

Follow Sam on INSTAGRAM

 


STEPHEN MOUGIN

It didn’t happen on accident. For Stephen “Mojo” Mougin’s career trajectory, it was fate: when Bill Monroe signed Stephen Mougin’s mandolin at the Peaceful Valley Bluegrass Festival in summer 1988, and then used it in a workshop. Talk about a good omen, because now Stephen Mougin is one of the most respected Jack-of-All-Trades in acoustic music. A compassionate teacher, compelling touring guitarist, natural songwriter, sought-after producer, and gifted sound engineer, Stephen Mougin is a go-to guy for pretty much anything under the musical sun.

Mougin is most naturally a vocal teacher, having earned a degree in music education with a vocal focus from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Mougin teaches voice through workshops and lessons, with one student or in group form. He also teaches guitar and mandolin, and offers zeroed-in focus on each student’s work. “[Bluegrass voice Teaching is] about knowing which rules you can break or bend to make it sound authentic,” he says. Mougin’s proven method starts with the fundamentals, and then he works with the student on developing their own style.
After finishing a five year program in four years at Amherst, Mougin taught music from grades 7-12, reviving the musical department at the school. He had gotten a job from an educator who had watched him perform in high school. Mougin’s advice? “Always do your best, because you never know who is watching.”
Mougin has released instructional CDs through his label Dark Shadow Recording on baritone and tenor harmony vocals (with help from Russell Moore, and Ronnie Bowman), and a comprehensive fiddler CD featuring Megan Lynch.
“Of all the things I am, the thing I do best is teach. The results are tangible, and it’s where I have the most confidence,” Mougin says.

Taking a leap into the world of playing music professionally, Mougin moved from the East Coast to Nashville in 2002 to play mandolin with Valerie Smith, but soon switched to playing guitar.
In 2006, Mougin began his role as Sam Bush’s main guitar man in the Sam Bush Band. “The music is wonderful, and the people are wonderful,” Mougin says. “Sam [Bush] has taught me a lot about band leadership and how things work.”
Playing with a supportive band leader made Mougin feel more empowered in his career, which lead him to pursue other creative outlets like Nedski and Mojo, his duo with banjo player Ned Luberecki. Luberecki is a broadcaster for SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction, and plays banjo in Chris Jones and the Night Drivers.
Nedski and Mojo tour together in the off-season and hold workshops on the road: banjo, vocal, duets, harmony. The pair was clearly meant to play together, as their artistic chemistry and genuine friendship exhibits, leaving them a much sought-after duo.

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