For almost 20 years, every second Saturday night of the month from September to May, the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 77, in Waterloo, has welcomed musicians, Anglo and francophone alike, their families, fans and following, for an afternoon and evening of Bluegrass music.
GĂ©rard Berthiaume, unofficial host, serious Bluegrass fan and Waterloo resident, explained during a visit to last monthâs event on Mar. 9, that many times attendance at the event would be so high it would push the buildingâs fire safety limits to the limit.
According to Bluegrass Music Canada, the musical genre combines elements of country, folk, jazz and blues, and is usually played on acoustic stringed instruments such as the banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle or violin, stringed wash tubs and washboards.
It gets its name from American musician and songwriter Bill Monroe (1911 â 1996) and his Blue Grass Boys band from Kentucky.
A sub-genre of country, Bluegrass is a form of American roots music, that can be traced back to 18th century Irish and Scottish immigrants to Appalachia, and is often referred to as âwhite folks Blues.â
Just like the Blues, the lyrics tell of hard times and suffering that can be overcome through perseverance, humour, wit, and of course, the joyful spirit that playing and listening to music provides.
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