Sunday, December 27, 2015


The band schedule for Saturday morning breakfast at the Owl Cafe in Laurel. MT, has been announced:

Jan. 2: Highway 302
Jan. 9: Spur of the Moment
Jan. 16: Yesterday’s Wine
Jan. 23: Hillbillings
Jan. 30: Home Stretch
Feb. 6: Highway 302
Feb. 13: Spur of the Moment
Feb. 20: Hillbillings
Feb. 27: Maverick String Stretchers

This line up should provide some good bluegrassy picking.  I have heard all the bands except "Home Stretch."  Someone will need to fill me in on them.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


The Yellowstone Bluegrass Association annual election has resulted in new officers and board members.  Edd Tremblay of Red Lodge is the new president and Mark Millard is now secretary-treasurer.  Sharon Karlson and Scott Moore have stepped down and been replaced on the board by Lee Jackson and Dan Scheaffer. They are all very capable individuals who will continue to keep bluegrass music alive and well in the Billings areal.  As a former professional musician Edd brings a great deal of expertise to the YBA.  We look forward to their leadership.    

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Robert Grosvenor has announced that January 29, 30 & 31 are the dates for Winter Pick 2016.  Get your reservations in soon for the Super 8 Building B.  We don't want it filled up with tourists too soon. This is one big bluegrass party.  If you haven't attended make 2016 the year to do so. You won't regret it.

Monday, December 14, 2015


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 14, 2015) – The countdown to Christmas is on, and Rhonda Vincent is celebrating with multiple TV appearances, including SiriusXM’ s “Bluegrass Junction” and “Music City Roots” on Dec. 16 and TBN’s “Praise the Lord” on Dec. 17. The International Bluegrass Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year’s latest album, Christmas Time, has received rave reviews. The critically-acclaimed project has recently been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe, to name a few. You can also read an in-depth interview with the six-time Grammy nominee in the latest issue of NASH Country Weekly, where she opens up about the recording process of the star-studded album, which features collaborations with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Lorrie Morgan and more.

Upcoming Rhonda Vincent Appearances:
Dec. 16 at 10:00am/CT - Track-by-Track (SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction)
Dec. 16 at 7:00pm/CT - Music City Roots (
Dec. 17 at 9:00pm/CT - Praise the Lord (TBN)
Dec. 19 at 7:00pm/CT - Reno’s Old Time Music (RFD)
Dec. 24 at 6:30am/CT - Reno’s Old Time Music (RFD)

Bluegrass fans are in for a treat as Vincent returns to SiriusXM’ s “Bluegrass Junction” on Dec. 16 for a very special episode of “Track-by-Track.” Tune in as the reigning IBMA “Female Vocalist of the Year” opens up about all 12 songs from the instant holiday classic, which recently received a 4 out of 5 star rating in Country Music People magazine. The show, which is hosted by Kyle Cantrell, premieres on Dec. 16.

Vincent makes her return to the popular Jim Lauderdale-hosted show “Music City Roots” on Dec.16. The special John McEuen 70th Birthday Jam and Christmas show airs live at 7pm CT, and will also feature performances by Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Jesse McReynolds and more. Broadcast on Wednesday nights from 7pm to 9pm, CST, “Music City Roots,” Live From The Factory showcases Nashville’s astonishing music scene, from Country and Americana to more progressive interpreters of tradition — a “roots and branches” format that brings together fans of different tastes and generations. Presented live from the stage of the The Factory, this show showcases purveyors of authenticity across many genres. Fans can stream the show LIVE, or listen in at

TBN’s hit show “Praise the Lord” will also feature Vincent performing songs from Christmas Time. The unique holiday-themed episode will bring the Christmas spirit front and center on the faith-based program, which is hosted by gospel singer Jason Crabb. The program brings the highest caliber of guests from well-known celebrities to laypersons for interview, as well as, singers, musicians, evangelists and the coverage of revivals and crusades from around the world. This award winning program has been on each week night for over 30 years. Catch Rhonda Vincent’s episode on Dec. 17.

Rhonda Vincent returns to RFD’s "Reno's Old Time Music" to co-host a very special episode of the new series, "Hats Off to Bluegrass." Just in time for Christmas, Rhonda and Ronnie introduce the best holiday-themed performances by Reno's guests, as well as share personal stories of the season. Rhonda also treats fans with a delightful performance of one of her favorite holiday tunes. The episode is set to air from December 19-24 on RFD-TV (check local listings here).

About Rhonda Vincent:
Rhonda Vincent, dubbed "The New Queen of Bluegrass" by the Wall Street Journal, began her musical journey at the age of three, performing alongside her family members on what was called The Sally Mountain Show. She sang bluegrass as a teenager, then recorded a couple of mainstream country albums in the 1990's, when makeup artists cared more about her looks than her sound. She was asked if she could "get the bluegrass out of her voice." Confused and heartbroken, she put together her first bluegrass band, and found the most natural approach to her music was in the bluegrass realm.

In addition to being the most award winning band in Bluegrass music history, alongside her band The Rage, totaling over 100 awards, Vincent has also performed and recorded with the best of the best, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Keith Urban, Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Daryle Singletary, Richard Marx, Hank Williams Jr and more. While being a 15-time "Entertainer of the Year," Vincent has established herself as one of the most visible, best-selling artists in the genre, whose cross-over appeal stretches well into the mainstream media. For more information visit

Stay social with Rhonda: and @rhondavincent13

Rhonda Vincent On Tour:
Dec 31 - Jekyll Island, GA - New Year's Bluegrass Festival
Jan 08 - Jefferson City, MO - Mid-West SPBGMA
Jan 09 - Jefferson City, MO - Mid-West SPBGMA
Jan 16 - Perrysburg, OH - Bluegrass in Super Class
Jan 17 - Nelsonville, OH - Stuart's Opera House
Jan 21 - Grenada, MS
Jan 22 - Oklahoma City, OK - OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater
Jan 23 - McKinney, TX - McKinney Performing Arts Center
Jan 30 - Kennett Square, PA - Longwood Gardens
Jan 31 - Feb 07 - Country’s Family Reunion/Larry’s Country Diner Cruise – Departing from Port Canaveral, FL
Feb 07 - Nashville, TN - National SPBGMA Awards Show
Feb 18 - Palatka, FL - Rodeheaver Boys' Ranch
Feb 19 - Asheville, NC
Feb 27 - Weirsdale, FL - Orange Blossom Opry
Mar 03 - Brewton, AL
Mar 04 - Breman, GA - Milltown Music Hall
Mar 05 - Fulton, MS - Davis Event Center
Mar 06 - Baton Rouge, LA
Mar 11 - Stoughton, WI - Stoughton Opera House
Mar 12 - Effingham, IL - Effingham Performance Center w/Gene Watson
Mar 13 - Saginaw, MI - The Temple Theatre
Mar 18 - Valdese, NC - Old Rock School Auditorium
Mar 19 - Mt. Airy, NC
Apr 01 - Bowie, TX
Apr 02 - Ft. Smith, AR
Apr 09 - Milton, WV - Milton Performing Arts Center
Apr 14 - Sellersville, PA - Sellersville Theater
Apr 16 - Hamden, CT - Unitarian Society Hall
Apr 23 - Disputanta, VA – Three Brothers Distillery
Apr 29 - Lincolnton, GA - Little Roy and Lizzy Festival
May 05 - 08 - Branson, MO - Silver Dollar City
May 13 - Gettysburg, PA - Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival
May 21 - Amelia, VA - Central VA Family Bluegrass Festival
May 26 - Curryville, MO - Back 40 Bluegrass Park
Suggested Tweet:
#Don't miss @RhondaVincent13 making appearances @TBN @OfficialRFDTV & more to promote latest album #ChristmasTime - LINK



Nashville, Tenn. (December 14, 2015) - Country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs will be featured on NBC's The Voice, singing with one of the show's finalists, Emily Ann Roberts.  Skaggs' duet with Roberts will air on Tuesday night, December 15 at 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT.
Roberts, hailing from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of Blake Shelton's two remaining team members and will be breaking out some country hits.  She will be joined by Skaggs to sing his #1 country song, "Country Boy."
The Voice features the strongest vocalists from across the country who are invited to compete in this blockbuster vocal competition show's ninth season. Internationally acclaimed artist Gwen Stefani returns to join megastars Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as celebrity musician coaches, while Carson Daly continues to serve as host.  After many rounds of singing and voting, in the end, one contestant is named "The Voice" and receives the grand prize of a recording contract.
For more information, check out the story on E! News, HERE.
About Ricky Skaggs
Over the course of his 40 plus year career, Ricky Skaggs has won 14 GRAMMY Awards, 8 CMA Awards, 9 ACM Awards, 11 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Assn.) Awards, 9 ICM Awards, 2 Dove Awards, 3 honorary Doctorate degrees and countless other awards. Ricky has had 12 #1 singles on the Billboard Country charts and 12 Top 20 Country albums, along with twelve consecutive GRAMMY-nominated albums, all from his own Skaggs Family Records label. In 2012, Ricky Skaggs was inducted into the GMA’s Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton. That same year, Ricky received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM). In 2013, Grand Ole Opry member Ricky Skaggs released his first-ever autobiography, "Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music." The book details the life and times of Skaggs and provides a descriptive history of Country and Bluegrass music, as told by the master himself. This past September, Ricky received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association in the Instrumentalist category.  In addition to his regular touring schedule with his band, Kentucky Thunder, he is also currently on the road with his better half Sharon White as well as guitar legend Ry Cooder on the critically-acclaimed "Cooder-White-Skaggs" tour.

Visit for more information.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Honored with Grammy® Nomination
(NASHVILLE, TN) - Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver has been honored with a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Bluegrass Album in the the 58th GRAMMY® Awards.
In Session (Mountain Home Music Company) debuted top 10 in Billboard in January 2015 and has had multiple songs on multiple radio charts the entire year.
Produced by National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship winner and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Doyle Lawson, In Session is the band’s fortieth album and fifth Grammy® nomination.

"We are extremely excited and honored to have this Grammy® nomination," says Lawson. "My band worked hard on this album and it truly was a team effort. Special thanks to Mountain Home for their hard work and support, the DJs that play our music, our booking agent Mary McClellan, and the promoters and venues that allow us to present our music. We also want to express our gratitude to all of the incredible writers for their contributions to this album.”
In addition to Lawson, the band includes some of the best musicians and vocalists in the genre: Dustin Pyrtle, Eli Johnston, Josh Swift, Joe Dean, and Stephen Burwell.
The Grammy® will be awarded on Monday, February 15, 2016, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.



Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver has released forty albums since 1979. The group has won fourteen International Bluegrass Music Awards including two Song of the Year awards and seven Vocal Group of the Year awards. The band has, in addition, received multiple, Dove, ICM, and SPBGMA Awards and nominations. Lawson is a 2006 recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship (National Endowment for the Arts) and was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


 I wish all members of the YBA would stay true to this model of real bluegrass music.  There is a lot of good country music, but it's not bluegrass unless played in true bluegrass style.
International Bluegrass Music Association
8 hrs ·
It was 70 years ago today, December 8, 1945, when 21 year-old Earl Scruggs and his guitar-playing pal Lester Flatt joined Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry for the first time. Scruggs’ revolutionary style of banjo picking, in concert with Flatt’s extraordinary guitar work and Monroe’s singular mandolin, set music on a new course that would forever be known as bluegrass music. Or, as Mr. Monroe liked to call it, “My music.”
Bluegrass lovers around the world owe these men a great debt for creating this unrivaled sound.
“Bluegrass has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world.” – Bill Monroe
Pictured left to right: Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music; Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs
Photo Credit:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


"Christmas Times A-Comin' - A Bluegrass Christmas" continues with 7:30 PM performances on Friday & Saturday Dec. 11-12 and Dec. 18-19.  There will also be a Sunday matinee show at 2 PM on Dec. 13. Admission is $23 while Senior-student rates are $16. Tickets may be ordered at 591-9535 during business hours or on-line.  They may be purchased at the box office as well.  There are plenty of seats available for all performances.   Venture Theater is located at 2311 Montana Avenue in Billings.

Monday, December 7, 2015


After going on-line and seeing the cast of characters names including Pa and Ma, Pappy and Granny, Bubba, and lots of kids I attended the show on Saturday evening, December 5, with lots of preconceived ideas about it's content.  I had imagined a mish-mash mix of Al Capp's "Lil Abner," "Pa and Ma Kettle," "Andy Griffith," "Hee Haw," with some "Cousin Minnie Pearl," and "Deliverance" tossed in, all while listening to various renditions of Tex Logan's great bluegrass song, "Christmas Times a-Comin'." (Tex Logan was a brilliant electrical engineer - I believe he had a PhD - for Bell Laboratories.  He was famous for carrying his fiddle case on field work.  He used it as a portable desktop to write equations and electronic schematics.  And do a little fiddling after hours, too.)
As this show was written by local people and  expecting very little I was pleasantly surprised by how well it all went.  Yes there were a lot of corny jokes and lines, but all the cast had good vocal skills and many well known Christmas carols had been woven into the story line.  Tex Logan's tune only introduced the show and was not repeated again.  Maybe it could have been reprised as a finale, but that was a sing along with the attendees joining in which most enjoyed.

An on stage band cast as the "Cousins" consisted of Terry and Trent Indreland, Janny Kirk, Wade Steinmetz, Wes Horton, and another fiddler whom I didn't recognize. Many old time tunes were woven into the story line throughout the play. "Dooley" was a Dillard's tune from the Old Andy Griffith show.  The Dillard's were called the Darlings in those classic TV shows centered in fictional Mayberry. Toward the shows end local favorite Ed Kemmick entered with his guitar to play several numbers.  Coming weekends will feature "Songdog Serenade," and "Highway 302" in those final roles.  My only criticism of the band was they didn't know how to handle a jug of supposed moonshine whiskey. Instead of two hands they needed a jug coach to show them how to grab the jug with an index finger in the ring and hoist it onto the shoulder of that hand.  Then turn the head and guzzle from there.

Well with that minor gripe I have to say that my companion (a singer guitar strummer herself) and I greatly enjoyed the show.  You will, too.      



Parton to Offer Advice to Semi-Finalists and Sing Heartfelt Song “Coat of Many Colors”
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (December 1, 2015) – Country music legend Dolly Parton will perform one of her most personal and beloved songs, “Coat of Many Colors,” on the Tuesday, Dec. 8 (8-9 p.m.) live telecast of NBC’s Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice.”

Also taking the stage will be country star and “Voice” season three champion Cassadee Pope, who will perform her latest single, “I Am Invincible.”

Parton will mentor this season’s semi-finalists and share with them her infinite knowledge as a music industry trailblazer and icon.

Parton, whose career has spanned six decades, is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records.

She has garnered seven Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

In 1999 Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music honored Parton with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004 the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts.

The remarkable upbringing of the iconic artist will be portrayed in NBC’s two-hour movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. The film is set in the Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains in 1955. It is neither a biopic nor musical about Dolly’s whole life and performing career, but rather a family-oriented faith-based story about the incidents in her and her family’s life around the time she was 9 years old.

Jennifer Nettles will play Parton’s mother, Avie Lee Parton; Ricky Schroder will portray Dolly’s father, Lee Parton; Gerald McRaney, one of the most respected actors of his generation, will play Grandpa Jake Owens; and Alyvia Alyn Lind will portray 9-year-old Dolly Parton.

More information on Dolly Parton can be found at

Cassadee Pope’s debut solo country album, “Frame by Frame,” debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top Country Albums charts. Her debut single, “Wasting All These Tears,” sold more than a million copies — a feat that ranked her as one of the select few solo female artists to garner platinum certification with a first release.

After a moving performance at the Special Olympics this summer Billboard has already touted “I Am Invincible,” as a "self-empowerment anthem…” Since winning season three of “The Voice,” Pope has toured with superstars Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts and performed at major racing events such as Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. She was also touted the CMT’s Next Women of Country, and won the 2014 CMT Music Awards’ Breakthrough Video of the Year.

For additional information and dates, visit

So far this season, the Monday and Tuesday editions of “The Voice” are averaging a 3.7 rating, 12 share in adults 18-49 and 13.3 million viewers overall, according to “most current” results from Nielsen Media Research through the season’s opening nine weeks, to lead NBC to #1 ranking among the broadcast networks on both Monday and Tuesday nights. “The Voice” is television’s #1 alternative series this fall in every key ratings measure – adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.

“The Voice” is a presentation of United Artists Media Group (an MGM company), Talpa Media USA Inc. and Warner Horizon Television. The series was created by John de Mol, who serves as executive producer along with Mark Burnett, Audrey Morrissey, Lee Metzger and Jay Bienstock.

For embeddable clips and more, please visit’s official show site:

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Another successful harvest jam took place on Saturday, November 14, 2015.  For the first time this jam was held at the Blue Creek Baptist Church on Blue Creek Road and it proved to be a good venue. It is located about one mile beyond the popular Riverfront Park on the Yellowstone River.  The catered meal was delicious with many salad and dessert items brought by YBA members. A few of the participants are shown below:

Saturday, November 7, 2015


The Yellowstone Bluegrass jam on Friday, November 13, 2015, will move to the Knights Room of the Elks Club on the main floor behind the big ballroom. It should be easiest to park in the main or side lots and enter through the main door.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Star-studded event Nov. 16 will benefit the Pujols Family Foundation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – GRAMMY® Award winning multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush and his band will join forces with Major League Baseball slugger Albert Pujols for a night of entertainment at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Monday, Nov. 16
“Onstage in the Off-Season,” hosted by Bush, will also feature Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, John Oates, Jeff Black and several other special guests. Pujols, who is a three-time MVP, nine-time MLB All-Star and Roberto Clemente Award recipient, will take the stage to talk about the great work of the Pujols Family Foundation, which he founded with his wife, Deidre, in 2005. 
“It’s an honor to team up with Albert and this significant foundation,” Bush said. “It’s always exciting when I can play music with friends and musicians I respect, but knowing we’re up there doing what we love for a cause so worthwhile makes it all the more special.” 
The Pujols Family Foundation’s mission is twofold: to promote awareness, provide hope and meet tangible needs for children and families who live with Down syndrome, and to improve the standard of living and quality of life for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic through education, medical relief and tangible goods. 
“Down syndrome and the people of the Dominican Republic are two things dear to my heart,” Pujols said. “I’m grateful for Sam Bush and all the talented musicians taking time to raise awareness of the mission of the Pujols Family Foundation.” 
Tickets for the 8 p.m. event are available from $54 up to $177 for VIP packages, which can be purchased through the Schermerhorn at Sponsors for the event are NFocus, Nashville Scene and radio station 102.5 The Game and 94.9 FM Game2.
For more information, please contact:
Richel Albright, McNeely Pigott & Fox, (615) 259-4000,
About the Pujols Family Foundation:
The Pujols Family Foundation, a national IRS 501(c)(3) organization, benefits people with Down syndrome, disabilities and/or life-threatening illnesses, as well as children and families living in impoverished conditions in the Dominican Republic.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Fans can now not only listen to classic country artist George Jones big hit, "White Lightning," but they can DRINK it, too! Local distilleries around the country are making their own versions of moonshine including one in Billings, Montana. 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 30, 2015) – Increased sales and demand for George Jones White Lightning Moonshine and Vodka have led the brand to consider distribution & marketing vendors in both nationwide and international markets. After the brands were successfully launched they won awards for best taste. The moonshine and vodka products are currently sold exclusively at the George Jones Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.

After the White Lightning Moonshine brand's recognition at the 2015 SIP Awards, the Museum store has been overwhelmed by demand for its White Lightning Moonshine and Vodka products.

With the tremendous success of the spirits line, the George Jones biographical film "No Show Jones" slated for release in 2016, and the growing demand for the product and interest of many to buy the spirits line, plans are underway to choose the right partner to create an international footprint.

“George always wanted to own his own brand of whiskey,” said Nancy Jones, George’s widow. “This was one of the promises I made to him before he died, that I’d make that dream come true.”

Management has selected the Investment Bank, R.L. Hulett & Co., to represent them in their search for a strategic partner with the capabilities and distribution network to properly scale the brand.

This opportunity is large and multi-faceted. The iconic George Jones name, the trademarks of White Lightning and the 2015 SIP awards all make for an incredible opportunity for both George Jones fans and discerning tastemakers worldwide.

For more information, contact Pete Fischer at R.L. Hulett.

# # #

About George Jones Moonshine:
The George Jones White Lightning signature brand of moonshine received highest honors at the 2015 SIP Awards. George Jones White Lightning Apple Pie took home a Platinum Medal for Unaged Flavor Infused Whiskey/Moonshine. The award underscores the high quality of the signature whiskeys, which are available exclusively at the George Jones Museum. The Spirit International Prestige Awards are held annually and gauge consumer satisfaction with spirits. The SIP Awards rank among the most prestigious awards available for liquor products. They are given annually to the top spirits in the world.

The George Jones Museum, restaurant, event space, and rooftop restaurant and bar are located at 128 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37201. For more information, visit or

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Following is a schedule of bands performing for Saturday breakfasts at the Owl Café in Laurel, MT. If any new bands are interested in playing beginning in January, 2016, they should call John Letcher at 406-633-0099.

October 31:            Southbound

November 7:          Memory Lane

November 14:        Highway 302

November 21:        Yesterday's Wine

November 28:        Spur of the Moment

December 5:          Back Porch Band

December 12:       Spur of the Moment

December 18:        Highway 302

December 28:       Spur of the Moment


The band "Yesterday's Wine" played their second gig at the Owl Café on Saturday and have another scheduled on November 21, 2015.  They are a family band based around  88 year old patriarch, Elmer Webb, of Belfry and his sons and their wives.  They performed as a trio on Saturday morning with Elmer on electric lead Fender guitar, son, Steve, singing lead and rhythm guitar while son, Ed, provided the electric bass accompaniment. I have known them for a long time as Steve served the Old Time Fiddlers as president (and equipment hauler) for about ten years. They mainly play old "classic country" stuff, but have an innovation that was quite unique to my mind. Steve and Ed both had music stands with I-Pads on them.  Steve had programmed a huge number of country songs with cord changes onto them.  Between numbers you could observe his finger flicking through various pages  until he found the one to perform.  He also had a program to transpose to different keys automatically.  The music may have been from earlier times, but the technique to access them was certainly very up to date. Great job, Steve Webb!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


After awakening very early Monday morning I tuned into MT PBS and stumbled upon a late night showing of Austin City Limits. There was big tall Ray Benson and "Asleep At The Wheel" cranking out those old western swing standards.  They even had one of Bob Wills original Texas Playboys join in on a vocal.  Then at 5 AM the bluegrass Jubilee show featured the "Lonesome River Band" which plays good old fashioned bluegrass music. The fiddler and banjo player really tore up a hot version of "Angeline The Baker." It doesn't get any better than that.  Yep, sometimes a little insomnia can be a good  thing. 



Our last event for the year will be our Harvest Jam.  Mark your calendars for Saturday November 14th staring at 1 PM.  This is an all day jam, just like our Mid Winter Jam,  but we will have it at a new venue, instead of the Unitarian Hall  , we will have it at the BLUE CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH, 2337 Blue Creek Road,  just south of Riverfront Park.  We have Blue's BBQ planned,  but you can also bring a salad or a dessert if you would like.  Served will be pulled pork sliders, ranch flavor pasta salad, and their delicious baked beans!  So come and enjoy a day of pickin and eatin before the holidays arrive!
     It is also time to plan for our up coming election of Board Members.... if you would like to be on the Board... please let me know.  Elections will be next month already, and would love to have you join us!

ROGER'S NOTE: Blue Creek Baptist pastor is Lee Jackson, lead singer and mandolin picker of the Milestown Band. It is a bit out of town, but should be a nice fall drive with autumn colors along the Yellowstone.  This event is for paid up YBA members only, but you can pay up at the Church.  Individual memberships are now $20.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Following are more photos from the Fall Showcase:

The raucous Hillbillings

Highway 302


Trio harmonies from Songdog Serenade
Pat Bruin & Canon


Local area fans enjoyed another showcase performed by eight area bands on Friday evening, October 16. 2015, at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch chapel.  The Miles City group "Milestown" filled in at the last minute to replace a band which had cancelled and performed very well. Photos from the evening are shown with more to come in another post.

                                                  Old timers with fiddler Gladys Burns
                                                            The Unexpected Band
Spur of the Moment
MC Terry Jessee the old folkie with 12 string  

Friday, October 16, 2015



Here is the order in which the bands will be playing Friday:

1.  Plots and Rocks
2.  Memory Lane
3.  Ed Pierson
4.  Spur of the Moment
5.  The Hillbillings
6.  Song Dog Serenade
7.  Highway 302
     Bluegrass County Line had to cancel.  See you all tomorrow night!

Monday, October 12, 2015


From:  Paddy Moore

Paddy Moore is a very fine graphic artist as well as bass player and vocalist for the bluegrass band "Songdog Serenade."  This poster is her creation. The YBA is fortunate to have she and her hubby Scott Moore as talented and very active members.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


In the opinion of this blogger, a founder of the bluegrass club in Billings, MT, the Yellowstone Bluegrass Association has been struggling for a number of years.  The constant diminishing of facility use by the Billings Public Schools and the closing of the Prairie Winds Cafe in Molt and it's Saturday morning bluegrass with breakfast have been major factors. Some readers may have wondered why several recent posts have been dedicated to the new jams at the Elks Lodge. They are continuing to pick up steam and become more popular with both pickers and fans. The Friday October 9th session had some 20 musicians participating and an increasing number of fans.  Some are out for dinner and/or drinks at the Elks and come downstairs to enjoy the bluegrass music. Some bring their drinks along. Ohers respond to announcements in local media. A portion  of last Friday's  picking circle are shown above.

The Elks jams are proving to be very good for regaining the earlier strength of the YBA.  In addition the recent months of Saturday bluegrass music at the Owl Cafe in Laurel, MT, are drawing even larger crowds than the Molt sessions had.  This is not surprising as Laurel has a population of more than 7,000 and has several more  nearby towns.  Of course it is barely 15 miles from the Billings city limits with it's 100,000 to draw from.  Some retirement facilities have even sent buses from Billings for the Owl activities While established bands have normally provided the bluegrass entertainment, a unique group performed last Saturday, October 10, 2015. "Spur of the Moment" was originally scheduled, but had to drop out with just a day or two's notice.  As a result several pickers decided to simply put a six person jam band together and they actually wowed the crowd with their musical compilations.  They included Paddy Moore on bass and Scott Moore on lead guitar from "Songdog Serenade" plus Larry Larson on rhythm guitar and Jim McGowan banjo of "Hiway 302."  Lee Jackson of "Milestown" played mandolin and Arlen Ellis contributed dobro licks. This impromptu group actually outperformed some of the other groups who have played the Owl.  Thanks to those six pickers for doing a great job and making sure that "the show goes on."

There will be no bluegrass jam at the Elks this Friday October 16 as the Fall YBA Showcase will take place in the Chapel of the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch.  See other posts for more information.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


The third YBA jam at the Elks Club on Lewis Avenue was the best one yet as more experienced musicians and vocalists attended.  That is valuable for novice pickers in attendance.  Photos are from that event:


2015 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Winners

Entertainer of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
Female Vocalist of the Year: Rhonda Vincent
Male Vocalist of the Year: Shawn Camp
Vocal Group of the Year: Balsam Range
Instrumental Group of the Year: The Earls of Leicester
Song of the Year: “Moon Over Memphis,” Balsam Range
Album of the Year: The Earls of Leicester, The Earls of Leicester (produced by Jerry Douglas)
Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year: “Who Will Sing for Me,” the Earls of Leicester
Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year: “The Three Bells,” Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge, Rob Ickes
Emerging Artist of the Year: Becky Buller
Recorded Event of the Year: “Southern Flavor,” Becky Buller with Peter Rowan, Michael Feagan, Buddy Spicher, Ernie Sykes, Roland White and Blake Williams
Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year: Becky Buller
Banjo Player of the Year: Rob McCoury
Bass Player of the Year: Tim Surrett
Dobro Player of the Year: Jerry Douglas
Fiddle Player of the Year: Michael Cleveland
Guitar Player of the Year: Bryan Sutton
Mandolin Player of the Year: Jesse Brock
Inductees into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: Bill Keith and Larry Sparks
Distinguished Achievement Awards: Alison Brown, Murphy Henry, the International Bluegrass Music Museum, “Bashful Brother” Oswald Kirby and Steve Martin

Friday, October 2, 2015


Music continues at the Owl Café in Laurel, MT, on Saturday AMs.  Enjoy an old fashioned country café breakfast served up by Kathy and her staff and listen to some old time music as well. Here is the latest band schedule:

Oct,. 3                   Highway 302
Oct. 10                  Spur of the Moment
Oct. 17                  Old Time Fiddlers
Oct. 24                  Yesterdays Wine

This is all that is available at this time.

We have since learned that Spur of the Moment will not be performing on Oct. 10. A band will be there, but no announcement as to which is yet available..

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Those of us who do not have access to cable/satellite for channels with bluegrass music can still watch top performances on Montana PBS.  The 5 AM Mondays slot has been changed to "Jubilee," but still features great artists.  Last Monday it was Dale Ann Bradley who performed in Missoula recently. Other special events have excellent music as well.  Check your local PBS schedule for these.


For Immediate Release:
Balsam Range, Lester Flatt, Reno & Harrell and the best performances of Bluegrass & Gospel Music--PLUS Rhonda Vincent as Co-Host for first episode of new series!! 
Nashville, Tenn. (Sept. 28, 2015)—"Reno's Old Time Music" will treat fans to a sweet October lineup! The month's bag of "goodies" includes another episode of FRONT PORCH GOSPEL; a celebration and look back at the legendary career of Lester Flatt; a show featuring IBMA Entertainer & Vocal Group of the Year Balsam Range; a family reunion of sorts with Reno & Harrell; and the premiere of a new series of shows called HATS OFF THE BLUEGRASS, co-hosted this month by the reigning Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent. For more information on "Reno's Old Time Music," please visit and click on the TV Show tab.
"Reno's Old Time Music" airs weekly in prime time on Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. Eastern and on Thursday morning at 6:30 A.M. Eastern on RFD-TV and is sponsored by Derksen Portable Buildings and the Old Time Music Store (click HERE for more information and for exact times in your area).
October 3 – 8: Front Porch Gospel
​Start the month off with some musical inspiration! A fan favorite, FRONT PORCH GOSPEL compiles never-before-seen Gospel performances from the guests of "Reno's Old Time Music" to enkindle the heart and delight the spirit. Gather the family, tune in and usher in the fall with a renewed purpose! Don't miss it! 
October 10 – 15: Balsam Range
Recently honored by the legislators of their home state of North Carolina, IBMA Entertainer & Vocal Group of the Year, Balsam Range is fronted by the reigning Male Vocalist of the Year and stellar fiddler Buddy Melton. Backed by the superb harmony/bass of Tim Surrett, the incredible guitar chops of Caleb Smith, the gifted mandolin playing of Darren Nicholson and the banjo stylings of GRAMMY award-winner Mark Pruett, these boys can always be found regularly at or near the top of the singles and albums charts. If you want to see the best of today's Bluegrass talent, then this is the show for you!   
October 17 – 22: Lester Flatt
No conversation about the founding of Bluegrass can ever be had without the name Lester Flatt, a guitar player and singer for Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys--the group is cited by many historians as the first and best group to ever play in the genre. Flatt later partnered with Earl Scruggs to form Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, ushering in a new era of Bluegrass that would endure for the next 23 years. Remaining true to Bluegrass until his passing in 1979, Flatt left behind a legacy of music and classics that will forever shape the genre. Join us as we explore the incredible music and talent of Lester Flatt through archival footage, interviews and performances only available on "Reno's Old Time Music."
October 24 – 29: Reno & Harrell
When one hears the name Reno & Harrell, one can't help but recall the 1960's Bluegrass act featuring Don Reno and Bill Harrell and The Tennessee Cut-ups. However, the current rendition of the group was formed by their laureate sons, Don Wayne and Dale "Deacon" Reno (Ronnie Reno's younger siblings), and Mitch Harrell, who continue their amazing legacy. Tune in and watch them perform and reminisce about their legendary fathers.
October 31November 5: "Hats Off to Bluegrass"
"Reno's Old Time Music" is pleased to premiere a brand new series of shows paying homage to the best performances by its guests throughout the years. Each episode is co-hosted by Ronnie Reno and one of today's biggest Bluegrass stars, who will talk about each performance and do a little "super pickin'" of their own. This month's co-host will be the reigning "Queen of Bluegrass," the lovely and talented Rhonda Vincent.
This award-winning weekly music/talk show is the brainchild of Producer/Host Ronnie Reno, whose over-60-year career helped forge the sound and songs of so many legendary Bluegrass and Country Music entertainers, including Reno & Smiley, The Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard, The Reno Brothers, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vassar Clements, Sammi Smith, Johnny Paycheck, Mac Wiseman and Conway Twitty, to name just a few.
Reno began airing his show in 1993 on another network as "Reno's Old Time Music Festival.” It was the first and only national television show featuring Bluegrass and acoustic music and could be seen in 28 million households. Because of the show’s rich music/talk format and Reno’s influence in getting top-name guests, the show was a huge success, earning Reno a nomination for the prestigious Cable Ace Award for“Best Musical Series" and the nickname "The Dick Clark of Bluegrass."
Today, "Reno's Old Time Music" has nearly doubled its carriage with its transition to the RFD-TV network, reaching an estimated 47 million homes weekly and pulling an estimated 1.3 million monthly viewers. Although the name has changed slightly, the format remains largely the same, which includes performances by Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition and the weekly featured guest, an interview segment, the extremely popular “Super Pickers” segment and a sterling closing performance by the guest, who is joined by Reno on the Main Stage. Reno was honored with both the IBMA "Distinguished Achievement" (2006) and "Broadcaster of the Year" (2013) awards due to the continued success of the show.
Reno has recently released his first album in over a decade, LESSONS LEARNED, on Rural Rhythm Records, available on iTunes, Amazon and wherever Bluegrass and Country music are sold. 
For more information on Ronnie Reno or "Reno's Old Time Music," please visit
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