Bluegrass icons get personal in next produced TV show, filmed in Owensboro

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Del McCoury. Rhonda Vincent. Dan Tamynski. These are some of the world famous bluegrass stars who have come to Owensboro to delve deeper into their personal stories. Featuring never-before-seen information on artists’ careers, the upcoming My Bluegrass Story TV show was thought out, developed and filmed in Owensboro.

The show is slated to air on RFD-TV later this year, with the first season featuring 13 artists ranging from longtime icons to emerging stars.

And it all happened through the collaborative effort of Owensboro-based organizations – the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the advertising and design agency Tanner + West.

The idea for the show was born out of a brainstorming session between Chris Joslin, director of the Hall of Fame, and Jason Tanner, owner of Tanner + West.

Filmed within the four walls of the Hall of Fame, each 30-minute episode highlights a particular artist as they tell their story of the personal impact Bluegrass music has had on them. Artists also interact with artifacts relating to bluegrass music and perform songs important to their careers.

Most of the artists featured in the first season of My Bluegrass Story performed at the Hall of Fame’s ROMP festival, so previous footage of their performances at the festival is featured on the TV show as well.

According to Tanner, the artists enjoyed getting to the heart of their story through the interview process for each episode. It was the director’s role to dig deeper into the artist’s background stories, childhood memories and influences, the meaning of certain songs and other ideas that most people had never heard of. previously.

But the real highlight of each episode is a live solo performance filmed inside the Hall of Fame Hall surrounded by the plaques of former Hall of Fame inductees.

“These are mind-blowing performances,” Tanner said. “We filmed them a few meters away, so it’s like a private concert. Just seeing the level of dedication, talent and passion of these artists is amazing and inspiring. “

Each artist featured also brought an artifact or keepsake that is particularly meaningful to them. These artifacts were then left at the museum to be staged together as an exhibit at the end of the first season.

“It’s not just a TV show that you watch, it’s something that viewers can engage with here (at the museum),” Joslin said. “So now we’re thinking about how best to display these artifacts in a new My Bluegrass Story exhibit – whether it’s instruments, awards, pictures, song lyrics, etc. – with a multimedia presentation that will present these artefacts and the stories behind them. to life for our visitors.

Joslin said the Hall of Fame tries to tell stories with its exhibits, programming, an oral history video archive and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. He said My Bluegrass Story is just another tool they’ll use to highlight the journeys of bluegrass artists.

“As live music energizes everything we do, television is a great way to creatively link stories with live performances,” he said. “Also, I thought it was important to showcase a wide range of artists in the first season, because bluegrass music is so diverse today. My Bluegrass story reflects this diversity.

Some of the performers include Hall of Fame members Del McCoury and Doyle Lawson. Others included Dan Tyminski; Grammy Award winners Rhonda Vincent as well as Tammy Rogers of The Steeldrivers; and IBMA Award winners Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Russell Moore, Becky Buller and Joe Mullins. The episodes also include emerging artists Noah Wall from The Barefoot Movement, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley and Tony Kamel.

My Bluegrass Story will be distributed on RFD-TV from the end of the year. The cable channel’s content includes agribusiness, horses, the rural way of life, as well as traditional country music and entertainment. RFD-TV is distributed to over 100 cable, satellite and numerous streaming services with a reach of over 52 million households.

“RFD-TV is thrilled to be working with the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and we think it’s very authentic that a bluegrass music show originates from Kentucky and the genre’s premier destination,” said said Jeremiah Davis, Programming Director of Rural Media Group, Inc. “The quality of the production is top notch and we are sure our audiences will be drawn to the show. We are excited to add My Bluegrass Story to our programming calendar.

Tanner + West – a seven-time Emmy Award-winning regional agency – has produced and edited every episode of My Bluegrass Story. The episodes were directed by Tanner, Dave Docimo of Wavelength Films, Grand Peele of Muse Storytelling and Dan Miller of Bluegrass Unlimited.

One of the TV show’s original funders is Mike Simpson, former chairman of the board of directors of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

“A nationwide television show on bluegrass music produced in Owensboro further strengthens the Hall of Fame’s position as a world-class destination for music,” said Simpson. “I am impressed that the Hall of Fame can provide this type of content using local resources and production talent. Ultimately, projects like this translate into an economic impact for Owensboro and Daviess County. ”

Joslin expanded on this, saying the show is both excellent internally for their own storytelling exhibits, but also serves the external mission of becoming a bigger economic player and attracting tourists from all over the world.

“This show is part of our vision to make the Hall of Fame a premier destination for bluegrass music,” said Joslin. “We want to help Owensboro, Kentucky live up to its reputation as the bluegrass music capital of the world. “

The entire 13-episode first season has been filmed. My Bluegrass Story is initially scheduled to air in November and will also be available online at watchrfdtv.com.

“People are going to be blown away when they see it,” Tanner said. “Even if you are not a fan of bluegrass music, if you are a fan of a good story, you are going to love this show. And I can almost guarantee that there will be people who have never heard of these artists before who become fans after watching the episode. We have already seen this happen from a few people who have watched the pilot. This is a result we did not expect.



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