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Blue Grass Boys Sing for 100 Year Birthday of Bill Monroe

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Bill Monroe Centennial CelebrationAustin, TX -- Former members of "Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys" will headline a day long celebration at Central Market North to commemorate the 100th anniversary of "The Father of Bluegrass," Bill Monroe's birth! This one-of-a-kind concert features Blue Grass Boys: Bob Black (banjo), Tom Ewing (guitar), and Mark Hembree (bass), accompanied by friends Paul Kienitz (fiddle) and Brian Ray (mandolin). The day will begin with some of the "best in Texas" bluegrass players on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. at the 4001 North Lamar Blvd store. There is a reserved seating area for $15 (walk-up only). There will be informal jamming in the shade of the live oak trees. (

The Central Texas Bluegrass Association (CTBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bluegrass. The event is sponsored by Collings Guitars, Central Market, Gold Tone Banjos, Old Settler's Music Festival, One World Theatre, and Fiddler's Green Music Shop. Raffle Items include a Martin Guitar, a Gold Tone Banjo, Old Settler's Music Festival Tickets, Marty Stuart Tickets at One World Theatre in Nov. as well Collings Guitars is donating $250 in hats, shirts, and miscellaneous flair.

Bill Monroe invented the style, invented the name, and
for the great majority of the 20th century, embodied the art form. Beginning with his Blue Grass Boys in the '40s, Monroe defined a hard-edged style of country that emphasized instrumental virtuosity, close vocal harmonies, and a fast, driving tempo.

Bob BlackBob Black (Blue Grass Boy - 9/20/1974-9/19/1976)
As a Blue Grass Boy: Bob Black played banjo for Bill Monroe for two years, touring Europe and Japan with the band, and recording the Weary Traveler album. Bill once said of him, "I believe Bob Black is the best at playing the old-time fiddle numbers of any banjo player."

Mark HembreeMark Hembree (Blue Grass Boy - 8/1979-6/1984)
Mark Hembree was the bass player and sang the bass part in quartets. He recorded Bill Monroe's classic instrumental album Master of Bluegrass.
Recording Sessions: 2/3/1981, 2/19/1981, 12/23/1982, 1/6/1983, 1/26/1983, 1/27/1983, 2/1/1983, 2/22/1983, 4/20/1983, 5/4/1983
Before and After: Mark Hembree was a member of the second edition of the Monroe Doctrine before joining Bill Monroe's band. After his time as a Blue Grass Boys, he co-founded the Nashville Bluegrass Band and played with them from 1984 through 1988, recording their first three albums.

Tom EwingTom Ewing (Blue Grass Boy - 5/18/1986-12/31/1988, 3/31/1989-1996)
Tom Ewing was the guitarist and lead singer for the last ten years of Bill Monroe's career. Among guitarists, only Wayne Lewis, whom he replaced in 1986, was with the band longer. He first performed with Monroe onstage in 1972, as a guest; in 1974 he arranged an audition for the band, but Monroe had already hired Ralph Lewis. Twelve years later Ewing got another chance at his dream job. He appears on Monroe's last three studio albums, including the Grammy winner Southern Flavor, and several live albums.

The Blue Grass Boys: Bob Black, Tom Ewing & Mark Hembree sing classic bluegrass, played truly, by those who have lived and worked with the founders of bluegrass music. With all the finest elements of this exciting, driving and emotive music, from the classic "high, lonesome sound" vocals to the clean whirl of picking, along with personal accounts and anecdotes, this a real bluegrass experience! Come on out. Bring an instrument if you play and sit down under the shade trees a while.

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