"My total time: it's 26 hours a day; it's on-going - every day almost, we have three thousand members and we put out a publication, festival guide, band directories and a quarterly newsletter," said Chuck Stearman, SPBGMA's president.
And for anyone who's attended a live bluegrass festival like the one SPBGMA is putting on in September, there's no question why people like Stearman and bluegrass promoters across the country are as dedicated as he
is.Traditional bluegrass harmonies and instrumentation make for a musical experience unlike any other.
We don't allow any electric instruments," said Stearman
international band competitions, held in Nashville every year, they limit it to the six basic instruments known to bluegrass: bass fiddle (upright bass), five-stringed banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle (violin), and Dobro (resonator guitar).
"We've stuck to it; we got a lot of criticism early on, especially with the electric bass," said Stearman
At one time, there was a significant number of bands wanting to use the electric bass, said Stearman
, but because organizations like SPBGMA have consistently requested only bands who use traditional instrumentation, many bluegrass groups started using the bass fiddle instead of the electric bass.
"There are very few groups using electric bass any more," he
andersonfamilybandIn addition to instrumentation and harmonies, many early traditional bluegrass bands were also 'family bands'.
"Right now there's just an explosion of families wantin' to get into bluegrass," said Stearman
."It's one of the greatest things that families can do together."
There are are at least two gifted musical families coming to Albert Lea this fall.
"The Anderson's [pictured right] and then the Bistodeau family, you really want to take note of those two family groups," said Stearman