Sunday, April 17, 2016

Montana Music Makers

The State of Montana is blessed with some great bluegrass musicians. Their talent was on display at a recent "Hootenanny" held in the Stevensville area. Bands from Salmon, Idaho, and Washington state were welcomed, and all put on a great show with old favorites being rendered.

Some of the 18 bands represented played and sang original songs which were well-received and pleased the crowd. Sponsored and produced by the Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association.

Red Resonator, plaid shirt

The resonator or Dobro (brand name) being played with a slide (metal tubing) on the left hand.

mandolin being played by gray shirt player

Mandolins are very common with most bluegrass bands.

Banjos. The top is being played "Clawhammer Style" without picks. It is of different construction than the bluegrass banjo being played below which uses picking style.

One group substituted a washtub, broomstick, and string for the typical double bass. It works. The flat top guitar is as standard as can be and most bands feature a violin or fiddle, nomenclature depending on personal preference. Some purists favor fiddlin', others say violin, it appears.

The MRBA will stage its big, annual Hardtimes Festival in the Hamilton, Montana, area, July 22 thru the 24th. Dry camping is available.

Festival Location is ten miles south of Hamilton, Montana, on U. S.  Highway 93. Turn west on Forest Hill Road at exactly the 37-mile marker and follow the signs (approximately one mile) to parking at the Pat and Mary Thomas Ranch. The festival site is on the adjoining Tom and Janice Heiland Ranch. For more information, phone 1-406-821-3777.

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