Bluegrass for Hospice Celebrates 5th Year With Double Headliners!

LARRY SPARKS   (Photo Courtesy of  M. Lane Photo)Bluegrass for Hospice-2013, on Saturday October 26th, will be celebrating its 5th year and headliner, Larry Sparks is celebrating his 50th year in Bluegrass music.

This year will be bigger and better than ever with two headliners and the rest of the day filled with local entertainment.

Alongside of Rebel Recording Artist Larry Sparks, will also be the 2013 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Male Vocalist of the year, Junior Sisk along with his band Ramblers Choice who record for the same record label. It will be a Rebel Bluegrass day!

Larry Sparks is among the most widely-known and respected touring musicians in Bluegrass and gospel music today. He started his Bluegrass career in 1963 as guitarist with the Stanley Brothers and later became lead vocalist for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Larry went on to form his own band in 1969 (the Lonesome Ramblers). He has recorded and toured with his band for over four decades, releasing over 60 albums and delighting countless fans with his soulful vocals and unparalleled musicianship. He has released such hits as John Deere Tractor, A Face in the Crowd, Tennessee 1949, Blue Virginia Blues, I Just Want to Thank You Lord, Love of the Mountains, and a tribute album to Hank Williams are just a few of his many recordings.

Larry has performed on such world famous venues as the Grand Ole Opry and television shows including Austin City Limits and Song of the Mountains. Also having toured the United States, Canada and Japan, Larry has been recognized as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Male Vocalist of the Year. He also was awarded Album of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year with his Album, “40” featuring several artists such as Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Tom T. Hall and many more.

Larry has received the honor of being inducted into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and has been nominated for a Grammy Dove award for his Gospel album, “New Highway”.

On Larry‘s newest release, “Almost Home” on Rounder records, the title cut reached number 1 on the bluegrass charts.

According to Alison Krauss: “Larry Sparks is bluegrass music’s Ray Charles, no one can touch him. He is an absolute original”.

While Sparks is most defiantly a stylist, his approach to the music is more than a style. It is real with no gimmicks. After fifty years in the spotlight, Larry is still on a roll and creating some of his best music. “Sparks’ style” is mature, seasoned and deeply expressive.

Throughout his long career Larry has stuck with what works. He has followed his vision and he has made an enormous contribution to the music. In a world that’s gone fake, Larry Sparks is a true stylist, keeping it real.

Also headlining Bluegrass for Hospice-2013, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia comes one of Bluegrass music’s most honest voices in the genre’s history, Junior Sisk. Over the years, his haunting, almost lonesome vocals have earned him the devotion of countless traditional Bluegrass fans from all over the world.

His songwriting talents helped the Lonesome River Band make their ascent into bluegrass stardom in the early 1990′s.

Then he became a member of Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz and ultimately Blueridge, again reaching new audiences that would eventually follow him on his own musical path. In 1998, Sisk formed Ramblers Choice and together, they recorded and released their first solo project titled, “Sounds of the Mountains” and also contributed to the award winning “The Stanley Gospel Tradition”.

Nominated numerous times for Male Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA), Junior Sisk is at the top of his game and has surrounded himself with a top notch band of musicians including Jason Tomlin on bass and vocals; Chris Davis on mandolin and vocals; Billy Hawks on fiddle and vocals; and Jason Davis on banjo and vocals. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice received SPBGMA’s Album of the Year Award for “The Heart of a Song“.

Junior also received the Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year Honor for 2013. “A Far Cry from Lester and Earl “was named SPBGMA’s 2013 Song of the Year.

Their latest album for Rebel records is called, “The Story of the Day That I Died”.

On September 26, 2013, Junior Sisk took home the Male Vocalist of the Year which was given out at this year’s IBMA World of Bluegrass Awards.

Local Bluegrass talent will include Jay Armsworthy & Eastern Tradition (event promoter & coordinator), Charlie Thompson & Bottom County Bluegrass, Bubby Abell & Spoon Creek, and Bluegrass Gospel Express. The always popular, Gracie’s Guys and Gals Dancers will do a short dance performance to Bluegrass music, and for the first time on the show is a new local acoustic trio, 15 Strings. Troy Jones will provide the sound for the day.

Bluegrass for Hospice-2013 will be held at the Flat Iron Farm in Great Mills, Maryland. It is located on Flat Iron Road just 1.5 miles from MD Route 5.

The event begins at Noon with gates opening at 11:00 am. All proceeds for the day go to support the Hospice House of St. Mary’s County, MD.


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