Guest Blogger Brandon Lee Adams Has Personal Report on Bluegrass in Africa

Brandon Lee AdamsHave you ever been to South Africa?  Can you close your eyes and imagine what sounds might be happening there right now?

If you’re like me, I'm sure some old clich├ęs apply. Drum music and chorus sounds. Images brought to us from old movies or a Hemingway novel. 

What if I were to tell you this is far from correct?

I have recently found that the listening a audiences of Africa are just as complex and diverse as ours here state side. 

I am honored to say a bit of bluegrass is in the mix now. 

On chance a few months ago I received an email from a DJ who runs a net radio show called "Fame Radio" located in Johannesburg South Africa. I was asked if I wouldn't mind sending a song or two of mine to the station. When I found out it was a reporting station and all the normal t's and i's required crossing and dotting, I was happy to send my single "Hardest Kind of Memories" hoping a few folk might enjoy it. 

A couple more months passed and I was contacted again via e mail by the stations program director George Hegelmann asking if I would be interested in doing a live interview for the show via Skype. It seems the sound of all acoustic music driven by a Scott Vestal banjo caught some attention. 

I was happy to abridge. I believe that music is a universal language that can bridge gaps that nothing else can. Something happens on a spiritual level when people find a song or a sound they like. I was floored, humbled, and a bit surprised that it was a song of mine that caught on a bit.

The interview was easy to set up. All I needed was my iPad and Skype app. I was sent a few questions ahead of time and asked to choose twelve songs from the stations music library. The station manager George and DJ Jonathan C. Bodenstein informed me that there would not be any bluegrass to choose from. But assured me that the bluegrass sound - the live acoustic sound - was something that had a future there. 

I was asked a few questions about the music. Like where it came from. Of course I said Mr.Bill Monroe was the father of it all. He had a lot of help along the way. I made sure to mention Mr. Earl Scruggs and his three finger roll on the originally African instrument The Banjo.

A few more questions passed and a few more songs. I'm happy to say it was fun for me and the fellas at Fame Music Radio are wide open to the idea of having more bluegrass on the show.

If you would like to submit your music to the show contact George Hegelmann at mailto:admin@famemusic.co.za. Keep in mind this is a net station but does report.   


After recording “I Long For Seventeen” with Brandon, Tony Rice  said, "When I listened to the song we recorded..... it was one of the few times that I missed my voice"


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