|Bluegrass music back at the Empire|
Bluegrass music returns to the Empire Arts Center Sunday, April 20. Two great bluegrass bands from Minnesota will take the stage to share their brand of music and fun. Monroe Crossing is the headline act from the Minneapolis area and the opener will be The Woodpicks from Thief River Falls. Both groups have performed at the Empire in the past, Monroe Crossing last spring and The Woodpicks in February. Named in honor of Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass," Monroe Crossing plays an upbeat blend of classic and traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and heartfelt originals. The group plays an average of 125 shows a year at major venues and festivals across the country.
Always a crowd pleaser, Monroe Crossing is known for its dynamic stage show and for the warmth it shares on and off stage -- interacting with one another and the audience, and always honoring requests after intermission.
The only bluegrass band ever nominated as "Artist of the Year" (2004) by the Minnesota Music Academy, Monroe Crossing won the NMA's "Bluegrass Album of the Year" award in 2003. The group also took home awards for Best Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo at the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association's 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet.
They were an International Bluegrass Music Association Showcase Band at the 2007 World of Bluegrass Convention in Nashville, and were inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame Nov. 2, 2007.
The Woodpicks will open the show April 20. The five-piece group has become a fan favorite in the area since they started playing together in 2005. The members of the group have well over 30 years of experience playing music all over North America. The group plays a mixture of gospel, bluegrass and americana music. Their vocal harmonies and great stage presence make them a fun group to listen to and watch perform.
The concert will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 20. Tickets for the show are $17 for adults and $5 for high school age and younger. Advance tickets are available through the Chester Fritz Auditorium box office, by calling 777-4090, at all Ticketmaster locations or online at www.ticketmaster.com ( http://www.ticketmaster.com/ ). Tickets will also be available at the door beginning at 2 p.m. April 20. The concert is sponsored in part by the Xcel Energy Foundation. For more information on the concert or the Empire Arts Center call Mark Landa at 701-746-5500.