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The University of Hartford

State of the Bluegrass
by Kevin Lynch, Host of UH Bluegrass Saturday
 9am to 1pm

Year 2001 was another great period in Bluegrass music history. The highlight being the unprecedented success of both the soundtrack and the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? At this writing (Nov. 2001) the sales of the soundtrack is nearing the 350,000 mark. The video sales, available for $9.99 at several outlets, are also mounting at a rapid pace.
The 'Down From The Mountain Tour' of musicians from the movie and soundtrack has been finalized, bringing that star-studded show as close as NYC and Boston. The Wang Center in Boston being the most accessible to music fans in the Connecticut area [see details below]. The Coen Brothers' movie and soundtrack proved to be one of the most important chapters in Bluegrass music history having gained the attention of every type of media group in the USA and several foreign countries. At no other time in Bluegrass history has one event had such an effect on the general population. OBWAT has brought huge numbers of new listeners and fans to the Bluegrass Fold. Many of the people behind the scenes are anxiously waiting to see where its continued success will lead in the next few months.
Almost a year after the movie and soundtrack hit the market, OBWAT was nominated for, and won, several major awards. The film was nominated for an Academy Award. At the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) 'World of Bluegrass Week' in October the soundtrack won 'Song of the Year' for "I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow," and 'Album of the Year' at the IBMA Awards Show in Louisville, KY. The Country Music Association Awards Show (CMA) brought two more high honors to OBWAT. Again the artists and producers won for 'Song of the Year' and 'Album of the Year'. Ironically, so-called "country" music radio staunchly -- and openly -- refused to acknowledge the soundtrack deeming it "too country." Very, very few commercial country stations aired even a single cut, leaving public radio and its educated listeners to decide for themselves that this is a type of music they want to hear…and purchase. In the meantime 'O Brother' refuses to follow the path predicted by country radio, proving not to be a "fad" or a "mere spectacle." You listeners are to be congratulated for your good taste and support of such projects as OBWAT…no matter what "professional" commercial country radio programmers say about you.

Other good news in 2001 was the formation of a new professional non-profit Bluegrass organization in Connecticut, the CT Bluegrass Music Association (CTBMA). CTBMA founder and president Kim Cyr has some great shows in store for 2002, including 'IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year' Rhonda Vincent. Kim presented a limited schedule last season while "testing the waters". One of those concerts was the awesome reunion of The Bluegrass Cardinals. It was an afternoon of entertainment that people spoke of for weeks...and those who missed it moaned the blues when they heard about it. Don't you miss out on this years events, contact Kim Cyr & CTBMA using the information listed below.


Music from the film O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? P.O. Box 2042
February 02, 2002 Salem, CT 06420
Wang Center / Wang Theater 860-859-2696
Tremont St. Email: ctbma@yahoo.com
Boston, MA
Join Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Ralph Stanley,
Norman Blake, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Dan Tyminski,
and many other artists as they bring a great performance of
songs from American musical history.

Tickets online at: wangcenter.org
--or call toll free:1-800-447-7400.


From the we can't announce it if we don't know about it! department: I'll close this edition by pleading to those of you with Bluegrass related news and general information to send your listings, schedules, band info, etc. to me via email at: klbgrass@aol.com; or mail hardcopy to: WWUH, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT, 06117, attn: Bluegrass.

I hope those of you who received WWUH Micro Fleece Pullovers during the fall fundraiser in October are staying toasty this winter. As always, thanks to all you great listeners who help keep WWUH and 'U-H Radio Bluegrass' on the air.

-Kevin Lynch
"U-H Radio Bluegrass"

~~ WWUH Radio is a member in good standing of the International Bluegrass Music Association: 1-888-GET-IBMA. ~~

Copyright©WWUH: Jan/Feb Program Guide, 2002

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