“Citizens for Backus” proudly present the U.S. Midwest’s premier Bluegrass and Gospel quintet, “Monroe Crossing,” in concert at Backus Auditorium in International Falls this Sunday (Jan. 28).
The 3 p.m. matinee performance marks Monroe Crossing’s first-ever appearance in International Falls. They are touring in support of their new CD release, “Into The Fire.”
Opening for Monroe Crossing will be local favourites, “Sloughgrass.”
Influenced by the music of Bill Monroe, Monroe Crossing performs a mix of traditional and contemporary bluegrass, including some of their own compositions, as well as inspirational gospel music.
They were 2003’s winner of the Minnesota Music Academy’s “Best Bluegrass/Old-Time Album of the Year” award and are the only bluegrass band ever to be nominated as “Artist of the Year” by the MMA.
“Monroe Crossing’s appearance gives area concert-goers the chance to hear bluegrass at its finest,” said James L. Collins, chairman of the board of the Norris Cultural Arts Center.
He noted their music continues to win acclaim in ever-widening bluegrass circles.
Collins pointed out Dave Higgs, host of “Bluegrass Breakdown” on Nashville Public Radio, called their most recent album, “On the Road,” “. . . a true live spectacular including some killer tunes, imaginative arrangements, and some unforgettable collaborations. . . .”
Al Shusterman, host of “Backroads Bluegrass” on KCBL radio in Sacramento, Calif., said, “This CD was ‘so hot’ that when I turned on my CD player and the music started, smoke came out. . . .
“A first-class production; beautiful singing, flawless instrumental music, and superb song selection,” he added.
Featuring selections from their recently-released CD “Into The Fire,” Monroe Crossing will present a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass and gospel selections.
Named in honour of Bill Monroe, “The Father of Bluegrass,” Monroe Crossing plays an upbeat blend of classic and traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals.
Audiences can sing along to the music of Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, the Osborne Brothers, and Jimmy Martin—performed in unique arrangements by the band.
Monroe Crossing also “crosses” over to new songs and styles, as well, as evidenced by their absolutely original treatments of songs like The Temptations’ doo-wop hit “My Girl” and Etta James’ “At Last.”
From Birchdale, Mn., the Sloughgrass Family Band performs a blend of bluegrass, old-time, Scandinavian, gospel, country, and Folk music.
All of the group members take turns on many of the vocal and instrumental pieces.
Advance tickets for Sunday’s concert cost $10 for adults, $5 for children, and $25 family ($12,$6, and $30, respectively, at the door).
They are available in Fort Frances at Betty’s and the Fort Frances Public Library.