Appalachia in the Bluegrass Traditional Music Concert Series at the Gallery of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music at the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library, University of Kentucky in Lexington
The Red State Ramblers and The Horse Head Fiddle Ensemble the Art College of the University of Inner Mongolia
The music of the Red State Ramblers features native and adopted Kentuckians playing Kentucky tunes and songs that resonate with the truth of life lived close to the font from which this music springs. Will and Jeff grew up in the Bluegrass State, while Nikos and Kevin were inevitably drawn to the Commonwealth years ago. This is old time music, a music that sings of the old ways in a new way that remains brilliantly alive. Old time music is the garden of delights that raised a progressive crop of genres that flowered as swing, bluegrass, rockabilly, and country. Old time music is the true vine that some folks continue to cherish, and pass on as precious heirlooms, a gift of the past to nourish us in the future.
The Ramblers, Will Bacon (banjo and kazoo), Kevin Kehrberg (bass, guitar), Jeff Keith (mandolin and guitar), Nikos Pappas (fiddle) recently released their second recording, Commonwealth based on traditional music of Kentucky and in 2008 the band was a finalist in the string band competition at Clifftop Old Time String Band Festival. Presently Jeff Keith and Kevin Kehrberg serve as professors at Warren Wilson College, Nikos Pappas is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Alabama. Will Bacon is the owner of the celebrated contracting firm, BaConstruction, and Ron Pen is a professor at the University of Kentucky where he also directs the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music.
This performance is a special reunion of the Ramblers who have traveled a “fur piece” to reunite at the Niles Gallery. In February, the Ramblers participated in a State Department sponsored cultural exchange with Ustatshakirt in Krygyzstan and this October the band was in Ecuador on a State Department sponsored cultural exchange.
The Horse Head Fiddle Ensemble of the Arts College at the University of Inner Mongolia is featured in a collaborative performance with the Ramblers as a part of the “Living Landscape” residency of this ensemble. Living Landscapes is an exploration of the people, lands, and livelihoods of Inner Mongolia and Kentucky. During this collaborative festival of art, music, and dance come discover what makes us unique and what brings us together through an exciting adventure of art and culture.
Get some Old Time music!:
You can hear samples of these albums. Or order MP3s or CDs from Amazon
Cold Icy Mountain
Devil Eat the Groundhog