"AllStar Bluegrass Celebration" lives up to its name as it captures an historic gathering of the living legends, the biggest stars and a new generation of bluegrass artists, all in one remarkable hour from the stage of the revered Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally taped for PBS, this special hosted by Ricky Skaggs was the first major television production of its kind to feature Bluegrass music.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2004
FIRST-EVER NATIONAL BLUEGRASS SPECIAL
Nashville, Tenn.... Home viewers and listeners can thrill to the enduring power of bluegrass music, the ongoing strength of its founding giants and the brilliance of today’s biggest bluegrass stars in a concert setting when Rainmaker Music releases All*Star Bluegrass Celebration on DVD and CD, Tuesday November 9th. Originally taped at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium for PBS broadcast and first aired as one of the public network’s most popular fund-raising specials, the discs will be distributed by Welk Music Group.
AVAILABLE ON CD & DVD NOVEMBER 9TH
Magical night captured at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville
Produced by legendary Austin City Limits architect Terry Lickona
Hosted by Ricky Skaggs, the show opens the first of three segments with a blistering traditional mountain song, "Shady Grove" from the bluegrass trailblazer and his award-winning band, Kentucky Thunder. Country superstar (and sometimes bluegrass picker) Vince Gill teams up with new Grand Ole Opry member and bluegrass ambassador Del McCoury and his band for a classic gospel number, followed by CMT and Grammy favorites Alison Krauss + Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, who offer a riveting performance of the video favorite, "Let Me Touch You For A While."
Act Two presents bluegrass legends who continue to make compelling music today. Earl Scruggs, whose 5-string banjo helped to define the bluegrass sound during his years with Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys and Flatt & Scruggs before branching out into pioneering country-rock with the Earl Scruggs Revue, knocks his signature "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" out of the park. The original "Man of Constant Sorrow," Ralph Stanley, brings his haunting high lonesome sound to center stage, much as he did when he first recorded the song more than 50 years ago as a member of the legendary Stanley Brothers—and, in a fresh twist, he welcomes country star Patty Loveless, a true Kentucky girl whose coal-miner Dad taught her to love mountain music, for a charming duet on the classic "Pretty Polly," before concluding the set with a spine-tingling accapella rendition of "O Death" that brings the house to its feet.
Act Three captures both the roots-embracing and forward-looking aspects of the genre, opening with a tribute to Monroe (1911-1996), known as the Father of Bluegrass, that includes his immortal "Uncle Pen," performed by Skaggs (who took the song to the top of the country charts 20 years ago), Loveless, and country roots-rocker (and banjo player) Travis Tritt. In a nod to the music’s appeal to musicians of every genre, Skaggs brings on pop-rock star Bruce Hornsby to pick some hot bluegrass piano (!) on a traditional number, "Darlin' Corey," popularized by Monroe. Representing an important part of the bluegrass future, Nickel Creek follows with a jammin’ "Seven Wonders." The hour ends with a stage full of pickers for an all-out, all-star jam session finale: Monroe's fiery instrumental, "Rawhide."
Now more popular than ever, bluegrass has much to celebrate. An original American musical style born in the late 1940s when Monroe blended Appalachian mountain music, African-American blues, gospel quartets and more into a new sound, it now attracts millions of fans from across all geographic, demographic, gender and genre boundaries. Enjoying an unprecedented renaissance typified by the multi-platinum-selling success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, bluegrass has demonstrated a new vitality through sold-out concerts, major music industry awards, wider media coverage and growing CD sales covering both established and new artists. Underlying it all is a yearning to return to the basics, the spirit and the soul of authentic American roots music—all on ample display in All*Star Bluegrass Celebration.
All*Star Bluegrass Celebration is a production of LickonaVision, Inc., in association with Rainmaker Productions. Producer: Terry Lickona, who has produced "Austin City Limits" for PBS for the past 27 years. Director: James Burton Yockey. Executive Producers: Stan Strickland and Terry Lickona.
TERRY LICKONA, Producer
Terry Lickona has been the producer of the award-winning P.B.S. music series AUSTIN CITY LIMITS since 1978; also, numerous other specials and series for public television, cable, syndication and home video. Now in its 28th consecutive year on P.B.S., AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is the longest-running popular music series on American television today, and is considered the premiere showcase for the most original and innovative singers, songwriters and musicians that America has to offer.
Since 1981, Terry has produced over a dozen major specials for public television (P.B.S.), H.B.O., Cinemax, domestic and foreign syndication, home video, and DVD, plus a Texas Music Festival at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and a Gulf Coast Music Festival at The Woodlands Pavilion in Houston. From 1990-1996, Terry produced two series, THE TEXAS CONNECTION and THE LEGENDS OF COUNTRY MUSIC, for THE NASHVILLE NETWORK (TNN) as well as eight major specials and broadcasts of Willie Nelson's FARM AID concerts .
Terry is also a Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and has served in an advisory capacity for the annual Grammy Awards CBS network specials since 2000.
He is co-producer of three COLUMBIA/LEGACY CD compilations, "The Best of Austin City Limits, and producer of the platinum home video, "Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live in Austin."