The original bad-ass of bluegrass, Bill Monroe.
We interrupt our regularly scheduled Nellies-only posts for this non-Nellies news about an event Nicole threw together…
Bill Monroe Tribute Night at Amnesia
Monday, September 6
One month before the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival takes over Golden Gate Park, Amnesia is hosting a truly strictly bluegrass night, dedicated to the man who founded the genre, Bill Monroe. Celebrating Monroe’s 99th birthday, three acts will be performing his music, all from different eras of Monroe’s career, for free at Amnesia on Labor Day.
Eric Embry (Burning Embers, Shed House) and Nicole Solis (Barefoot Nellies) will start off the night playing a happy hour set of songs from the Monroe Brothers. Featuring Bill and his guitar-playing brother Charlie, the Monroe Brothers was Bill Monroe’s first professional band, performing and recording in the early 1930s.
Matt and George and Their Pleasant Valley Boys kick off the official “band” portion of the show with bluegrass just the way Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys played it from 1945 to 1947. Why those years? Though Monroe formed the Blue Grass Boys in the late 1930s, he made the brilliant decision in 1945 to hire banjo player Earl Scruggs and guitar player and singer Lester Flatt. Together, they created the modern bluegrass sound: driving banjo, tight three-part harmonies, and breakneck tempos. The Pleasant Valley Boys hew close to Monroe’s style musically and visually, dressing in period 1940s clothes and performing around a single microphone.
The Monroe Tribute Band, put together by renowned Monroe-style mandolin player Butch Waller (High Country), features some of the local bluegrass scene’s heaviest hitters: Larry Cohea (High Country, Blue and Lonesome) on banjo, Paul Shelasky (David Grisman, Good Ol’ Persons), Chris Smith (Mighty Crows), and Matt Dudman (Pleasant Valley Boys). They’ll tackle the rest of Monroe’s more than 60-year career, offering up some stellar picking and great singing.
After the bands play, we’ll invite some of the musicians in the audience to come onstage and sing or play their favorite Monroe songs and maybe even tell their favorite Monroe stories.
Monday, September 6
853 Valencia St. (between 19th and 20th Sts.)
San Francisco, CA
Happy hour set at 7:30
Bands start at 8:30
21 and over
Contact: Nicole Solis (nicole at barefootnellies dot com).