It’s worth the drive to Owensboro, Kentucky just to become steeped in the distinctly beautiful and haunting style of music known as Bluegrass. At the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, you’ll become familiar with artists like the legendary Bill Monroe, a master mandolinist, singer, and songwriter who essentially invented Bluegrass as a musical form. Almost the entirety of this musical genre can be traced back to Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys Band.
Preserving the Sound
Bluegrass is authentic American roots music that – much like its cousin, country music – developed out of traditional stringed instruments like the guitar, banjo, and mandolin. The Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to preserving this important musical genre. It does so by inducting important musical figures into the hall of fame, like Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Tom T. Hall, and many others. But there’s more to the hall and the museum than just protecting the music’s past. The Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum presents current musical acts in concert. Take, for instance, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Asleep at the Wheel, and Bela Fleck, who are all on the fall 2023 concert schedule. If you go on the weekends, bring your own instrument. There’s an open jam session from 1:30-4:30 p.m. every Saturday.
Think you’re not familiar with Bluegrass? Think again. One of the most famous scenes in film, the banjo scene in the Burt Reynolds movie, Deliverance, featured a young visually impaired boy playing the banjo. That song – called “Dueling Banjos,” naturally – is one of the most famous Bluegrass tunes ever. And then there’s the Cohen brothers movie O Brother Where Art Thou that featured the Bluegrass standard, “Man of Constant Sorrow,” originally written, sung, and recorded by the Stanley Brothers. The University of Tennessee Volunteers use the Bluegrass standard “Rocky Top” as their theme song, and it’s one of the state songs for Tennessee.
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When You Go
The Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 311 W. 2nd Street in Owensboro, KY. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. The hall of fame and museum are closed on Mondays.
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