Roots Music Leaders Celebrate

Directors from three of the country’s most respected music organizations joined WoodSongs Old-Time Radio host, folksinger Michael Johnathon on Monday for an adventurous exploration of roots music.

Barbara B. Newman, president and CEO of The Blues Foundation, Angus Finnan, Executive Director of Folk Alliance International and Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the International Bluegrass Music Association and Dr. Ron Pen of SongFarmers explained their grassroots mission before a full house at Lexington’s historic Lyric Theatre.

“Roots music sits at the music crossroads of folk, blues, bluegrass, Americana, country and more,” Johnathon said. “It’s influence, heritage and legacy has created the rich artistic tapestry that launched the world’s most iconic recording artists.”

Part of the program was to illustrate how all musicians can benefit from their grassroots work.  Each organization selected a “WoodSongs Kid” to represent their musical style.  The Blues Foundation chose 16-year old David Julia from Minneola, FL.  Indian/American siblings Giri and Uma Peters represented the Folk Alliance and Ivy Phillips, the Grand Master Fiddle Champion from Chapmansboro, TN represented IBMA.

Also on hand was blues legend and multi-award winning “Steady Rollin’” Bob Margolin (Muddy Waters) and ace Deanie Richardson (Bob Seger, Emmylou Harris).

“The world of roots music is like a fertile garden,” Johnathon adds “it produces many different kinds of musical fruit but all with the same abundant harvest. What it comes down to is simple: it doesn’t matter what bin you’re in because there are no more bins. These grassroots organizations working together will make this garden more fertile and healthy for all the artists involved.”

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