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Kentucky's Own Sam Bush Returns to ROMP Festival

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Sam Bush at ROMP 2015Owensboro, KY -- Bowling Green KY native Sam Bush, the King of Newgrass, has been honored by the Americana Music Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award and by the International Bluegrass Music Association on any number of occasions. But honors are not what drives him. "I didn't get into music to win awards," he says. "I'm just now starting to get somewhere. I love to play, and the older I get, the more I love it."

ROMP - River Of Music Party is a celebration of the roots and branches of bluegrass music. Hosted each year by the International Bluegrass Music Museum, ROMP is a favorite music festival that benefits the museum and the entire region. As the Museum's annual fundraising event, the festival supports the only museum in the world dedicated to the preservation of the international history of bluegrass music.

Sam has helped expand the horizons of bluegrass music, fusing it with jazz, rock, blues, funk, and other styles. He's the co-founder of the genre-bending New Grass Revival and an in-demand musician who has played with everyone from Emmylou Harris and Bela Fleck to Charlie Haden, Lyle Lovett and Garth Brooks.

Although best known for jaw-dropping skills on the mandolin, Sam is also a three-time National Junior Fiddle Champion and a Grammy award-winning vocalist. But his greatest contribution will undoubtedly be his impact on the future of bluegrass music. “It’s crazy to think about,” Bush says of his influence on today’s crop of mandolin players. “I’m proud to be part of a natural progression in music. And I hope to still be playing 30 years from now. “As long as I’m alive I hope I have the ability to play. When the ability to play is taken away (he is a two-time cancer survivor), it’s humbling. It teaches you a lesson: don’t take it for granted.”

Appearing for the 3rd consecutive year at ROMP, Sam brings with him his ace band featuring Scott Vestal (banjo), Stephen Mougin (guitar), Todd Parks (bass), and Chris Brown (drums). He says of them, “I get to play every show with my favorite musicians. I love playing with them. I've been pretty lucky to play with almost every one of my heroes. I've gotten to play with Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs.

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