Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Sam Bush

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Free ride
  • Free ride

When he was a fiddle-playing teen, Sam Bush met bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and tried to show off his blossoming mandolin skills to the icon, who advised, “Stick to the fiddle.” Bush ignored him and went on to become the Father of Newgrass. Bush first picked up the mandolin when he was 11, won the junior division of the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest three times, and released his first recording, 1969’s Poor Richard’s Almanac (with Wayne Stewart and Alan Munde), when he was 17. The following year, energized by the New Deal String Band’s rock-tinged bluegrass, Bush joined the similarly grained Bluegrass Alliance, and when the group dissolved, he reassembled it as New Grass Revival in 1971. The band’s fluctuating lineup included some of bluegrass’ biggest names (like Bela Fleck) before Bush dissolved it in 1989. He quickly moved on to a variety of projects: forming Strength in Numbers with Fleck and other likeminded musicians, playing with Emmylou Harris’ Nash Ramblers, performing sessions with Lyle Lovett, and launching the Sam Bush Band. Bush’s frequent and ecstatically received appearances at the country’s most prestigious bluegrass festival inspired his other title, the King of Telluride, and three years ago he mantled the International Bluegrass Music Award trophy for Mandolinist of the Year. Somewhere, Monroe is having a good laugh. Bush plays the Kent Stage at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. —Brian Baker

Review the show at

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

More by Michael Gallucci

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation