High Lonesome Goes High Tech and Worldwide RBI (Radio Bluegrass International) Launches May 1, 2007
By Mandolin Cafe
May 7, 2007 - 9:15 am
International Bluegrass Museum
Owensboro, Kent., — While it might seem ironic that a musical art form known for its resistance to any electric instrument would benefit from the world's most recognized state-of-the-art electronic medium, those who run the International Bluegrass Music Museum are confident that their new internet service is going to be bluegrass heaven to fans old and new around the globe.
RBI: Radio Bluegrass International, a non-commercial, 24-hour internet radio station, makes its debut Tuesday May 1, 2007 and will stream from the museum's website at bluegrassmuseum.org.
The fully licensed and encrypted stream, emanating from the only international bluegrass museum in the world, will feature programming based on the museum's personality and collections—with input from bluegrass fans around the world.
RBI will consistently expand its content, utilizing the museum's daily contact with legends, luminaries, and up-and-coming artists to provide bluegrass news, classic tracks, new releases, disc reviews, in-studio performances, international recordings, archived radio shows from around the world, vintage vinyl, festival announcements, festival recordings, and museum news.
Interactive extras such as forums, blogs, and calendars will be added as the station grows. Longer range plans include multi-lingual bluegrass programs from around the world, vintage and classic music from the museum's vast collection of rare recordings, a fully translated multi-lingual RBI host website, and streaming the museum's exclusive audio and video interviews with iconic musicians from bluegrass music's first generation. "With RBI, we will provide listeners a satisfying, educational bluegrass experience while serving as a worldwide electronic extension of the museum," said the museum's Assistant Director, Mike Lawing.
After a free trial period ending July 5, 2007, RBI listeners will pay $4 per month to access an uninterrupted stream. Members of the bluegrass museum, however, will receive unlimited access as part of their annual membership. Although the May 1 launch will serve as something of an "Open House" to the new station, the official "Grand Opening" will begin Friday, May 18 at 8:30 a.m. CST with a show hosted by Lawing and engineer/program director Rob Calhoun.
Bluegrass music is so named because of Kentucky native Bill Monroe and his band, The Blue Grass Boys. Monroe's birthplace and grave are only a short drive from the museum in Owensboro. The music he created has become so universally associated with the State of Kentucky that on March 19, 2007, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher signed Kentucky House Bill 71 into law, designating bluegrass as Kentucky's official state music. "This is a great opportunity to share Kentucky's music, Bluegrass, with the entire world," said Governor Fletcher. "The International Bluegrass Music Museum has opened new doors in sharing Kentucky's music heritage worldwide."
Museum web site