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'A Bluegrass Christmas' coming to Backus stage

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Members of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Monroe Crossing will present “A Bluegrass Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Backus Auditorium in International Falls.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with local family group Sloughgrass to warm up the audience starting at 7.

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $6 for students, and $25 for families, which are available in advance at the Backus office and City Drug in the Falls, Betty's in Fort Frances, and J&D Foods in Littlefork.

They also will be sold at the door on the night of the show.

Still going strong after 17 years, Monroe Crossing presents a high-energy stage show. With a combination of tight vocal harmonies, stellar instrumentation, and an endearing comedic stage presence, they will deliver an unforgettable bluegrass experience.

The band specializes in traditional bluegrass music, but it also puts its own spin on selections from other genres, such as country, R&B, and rock-and-roll.

With many talented songwriters, they also perform a great deal of original music.

Taking audience requests at intermission is a standard at Monroe Crossing shows. If the band knows it, they will play it!

This adds a fun spontaneity to the performance. It also gives the audience a chance to participate in the make-up of the show and a chance to hear some of their favourite songs.

The band is touring this season in support of its latest holiday release, “Winter Wonderland.”

Monroe Crossing's second holiday album, “Winter Wonderland” contains bluegrass renditions of classic Christmas carols, as well as some lesser-known Christmas tunes.

It also features two new original numbers from fiddle player Lisa Fuglie.

Founded in 2000 and named in honour of Bill Monroe, “the Father of Bluegrass,” Monroe Crossing plays 120 shows every year performing in venues across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

They have performed more than 2,000 shows, with appearances in places like Branson's Silver Dollar City, the legendary Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark., Dailey & Vincent's LandFest, the 2014 IBMA World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh, N.C., and even twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

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