While it is true one can find bluegrass most anywhere these days, it takes on a new meaning here in Knoxville. Many of the legends call this region home and the culture is steeped in Appalachia. From porches to barn dances, bluegrass was the music folks gathered around. One only has to look around see the influence these mountains have on bluegrass music.
One of the biggest ways we achieve our mission is by hosting jams around town. Be it out at Ijams Nature Center in SoKno, up at Sleepy-Eyed John’s in Clinton or downtown at Visit Knoxville you are able to find music being made almost every weekend of the month. We at ETNBA strive to maintain a traditional jam at all times, which means we welcome the standard bluegrass instrumentation (fiddle, banjo, acoustic guitar, bass, dobro) and ask that people refrain from amplification. We pass song choice around in a circle and everyone gets the chance to choose a song to play with the group, which keeps in the tradition of a bluegrass jam. One does not need to be a member of ETNBA to join in any of our jams, just ready to make some music and have some fun.
Beyond our monthly jams, we also host a concert series at Ijams Nature Center titled “Pickin’ On Nature”. These concerts feature regional acts and are always family friendly. In fact, there are some kiddos out there we have watched grow up at our concerts! Be on the lookout for some exciting news concerning the 2022 series.
If you’re not familiar with bluegrass as a genre, some notable names to check out include Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Nickle Creek, Billy Strings and Sierra Hull just to name a few. You might be surprised to recognize a few of those tunes!
Happy pickin’ and see y’all real soon!