By MARK VOSBURGH from MakeitMissoula.com
Wanna Jam? Missoulians, You are SO in luck.
It’s a bit ironic that in the digital age you can learn old time bluegrass over the Internet. YouTube videos and Internet mandolin instruction kept me busy for the first year or so with my new instrument.
I practiced in my living room, learning chords and a batch of fiddle tunes. After that year, I started yearning to make live music with others. Trouble was, I didn’t have a clue how to go about it, and the Internet was no help.
Missoula’s the Place for Bluegrass.
Missoula has a great bluegrass scene. I can easily count 15 area bands playing bluegrass, and we have a ton of great musicians. The Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association (MRBA) is the hub for area bluegrass festivals, camp-outs and jams.
Everyone doesn’t have it so good. “Here in Idaho Falls there is no bluegrass scene. I usually tell people that there are only five people in our area who play bluegrass, and they are all in our band!” says Fred Frank of New South Fork. Fred, his wife Emily and fellow band-mates routinely make the long drive to Montana to jam with area bluegrass musicians.