The Bluegrass Experience – Celebrating Their 48th Year
The Bluegrass Experience is one of North Carolina’s most respected traditional music groups. For nearly 48 years The Experience has played its high energy bluegrass throughout the southeast and beyond. Since winning The World’s Champion Bluegrass Band title at the legendary Union Grove Fiddler’s Convention in 1972, the band has toured extensively, performing at college concerts from Chicago to Mississippi, concert venues such as UNC’s Memorial Hall, Duke’s Page Auditorium and The amphitheater of The North Carolina Museum of Art, major bluegrass and folk festivals in North Carolina and Virginia, numerous private events as well as a nine year weekly performance at the legendary Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill and a long running monthly show at Cary’s Six String Café.
Two highlights of the band’s career were representing The United States at The Finnish National Folk Festival in 1975 ( 1200 musicians and close to 100,000 attendees) and a week of performance alongside North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers and The Malpass Brothers at the 2007 Bluegrass and Mountain Music Festival in Omagh, Northern Ireland.
The Bluegrass Experience and/or its members have recorded 4 band albums and numerous solo projects. Tommy Edwards has six of his own. And music by the band or it’s members has been included on collections presented by WUNC Radio’s Back Porch Music, The Bynum Front Porch Traditional Music Series and “Southern Cultures” music issue among others.
The talented and dedicated members of The Experience perform a wide variety of songs including traditional string music numbers, originals from the pen of guitarist and lead singer Tommy Edwards and several re-imagined rock, country or folk songs. The band is blessed with virtuoso instrumentalists who are also fine singers that in addition to their solo offerings, combine to form several duos, trios and a bluegrass gospel quartet.
The Bluegrass Experience has been featured in many publications, most recently in an article by Jack Bernhardt in the respected national traditional music magazine, “Bluegrass Unlimited”. Tommy Edwards has been the subject of an article in Our State magazine and his original music and commentary has been included in a video on the legendary Devil’s Tramping Ground for UNC TV.
The Bluegrass Experience enjoys presenting its music with a touch of humor and a story or two about the songs. They love the music and they love to entertain!