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Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms

Bluegrass was born in Kentucky, but it's certainly got a home in Illinois.

One place bluegrass players could always put up their feet and slide on their fingerpicks was the central Illinois town of Hillsboro, where hundreds of musicians flocked to each fall for a foot-stomping good time.

For years, the Western Illinois Bluegrass Music Association brought together musicians for the Bluegrass Jam in Hillsboro. Though the event officially lasted just one weekend, enthusiasts knew to arrive early for the jam sessions that sometimes got underway two weeks before the festival.

Though the festival has been on hiatus since 2003, organizers are busy trying to find a venue where the jam can flourish once more.

Related Links

Check out PBS's River of Song and take a musical journey along the Mississippi.

Listen to the Boys who started it all as Blue Grass Boys Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs play together with guitarist Doc Watson. Follow the links to learn more about bluegrass at PBS's "Great Performances."

Visit the website of Illinois' own bluegrass star, Alison Krauss who has won 20 Grammy Awards and hails from Champaign, Illinois.

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Sit back and listen to these members of the Western Illinois Bluegrass Association pick on their mandolin, banjo, double bass and guitar. Who knows if the late Bill Monroe, founding father of bluegrass, could have kept up with these quick fingers?

 

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Fr. Edward J. Richard picks the banjo.

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Brothers Jim and Ed Orchard on fiddle and guitar, respectively.

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Frank Ray keeps the music rolling on mandolin.

 

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