The wait is officially over in Owensboro for Bluegrass fans. The banks of the Ohio River will echo with music this weekend, as the new Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum finally opens its doors.
Friday night will kick off the first public concert in Woodward Theatre. Located within the new facility, the 450-seat venue is equipped to host versatile entertainers and showcase them in an intimate setting.
Sam Bush, the first artist set to perform sold out almost immediately, and that doesn’t come as a big surprise to many.
“Sam has Western Kentucky roots, being originally from the Bowling Green area. By those standards alone he has a huge fan base here in Owensboro,” said Bluegrass Museum Executive Director, Chris Joslin.
Aside from his fan base, Bush has a plethora of awards to back his immense presence in Bluegrass music. The honors include being a 4-time recipient of the IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year, a Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist Award from the American Music Association and multiple Grammys.
Dubbed “The Father of Newgrass” it is easy to see how Bush is progressive yet embodies a traditional feel within the Bluegrass genre.
“Sam is unique in the sense that he appeals to the young and old; he’s an innovator,” Joslin said. “He picked up the Bluegrass torch for a new generation of musicians and fans and has evolved while still paying homage to some of the greats like Bill Monroe. That speaks volumes about him as an artist.”
For the past 15 years, ROMP has been widely successful each summer in Owensboro. The nationally known three-day festival draws a diverse group of fans who share the same love for Bluegrass music. Bush has proven to be a crowd favorite each year and a consistent choice to close out the festival on Saturday night.
“The crowds love Sam, and he loves them right back,” said Carly Smith, Marketing Director for the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. “Sam is a link between first generation bluegrass artists such as Flat and Scruggs and the younger generation. He was an ideal choice for the first concert in Woodward Theatre because of his broad appeal. He is the perfect artist to celebrate our grand opening.”
Bush brings a high energy feel to the stage, often described even as “joy” in human form. Words like eclectic fun, and jubilant have been used to describe his live performances.
Sam Bush, like the new Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, offers “something for everyone.”
For a full list of upcoming events at Woodward Theatre click here.