BMAI Begins another new adventure in 2015!!

BMAI is excited to announce that they are adding another festival to their roster in 2015. On May 7, 8, and 9, 2015 BMAI will kick off the 1st Annual Hampton Bluegrass Festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hampton, Iowa. This event has previously been hosted by another festival producer but is no longer able to coordinate the event. The BMAI board has had this festival on its radar for a couple of years now and is excited to be picking up the show!!

Thursday night the show will kick off with a Gospel Concert featuring Iowa bands Cedar Valley Bluegrass, Highway Home, and Castle Ridge. On Friday bands performing are: Cedar Valley Bluegrass, Castle Ridge, The Sterling’s from Missouri, No Grass Limit and The Platte Valley Boys both from Minnesota. On Saturday performances will be: The Sterling’s, The Platte Valley Boys, No Grass Limit, Cedar Valley Bluegrass, and two special performances by Dale Eichor and Bobby Awe.

This festival is still in the very early planning stages and we are pleased with the local support we have received so far. BMAI will keep you updated as we get closer to the event. You can find a flyer on our website and information on more of our events at www.iowabluegrassmusic.com.

Hampton 2015


Honey Creek Festival a Huge Success!!

By Brenda Smith

Another festival at Honey Creek Resort has come and gone, but certainly is not forgotten! This was the 5th year the Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa has held this festival at the resort near Moravia, Iowa on Lake Rathbun. I’m always amazed and overwhelmed by all the great bluegrass music fans and musicians that attend this annual festival.

This year was no different and the excitement at the resort was at an all time high with over 200 area 6th Graders attending a special Bluegrass Workshop presented by BMAI and the Honey Creek staff. Students and teachers came to learn about the history of Bluegrass Music, how to make a musical instrument out of recycled materials, and experience their first Bluegrass Concert with The Harper Family. The Harper Family did a question and answer session for the students as well as sing for them. The room was buzzing with excitement and energy as all 200 students watched intently and listened to this beautiful music. We hope they took this excitement home to their parents and would love to have some of them involved in our Play It Forward! Instrument Lending Program for Youth in the near future! Iowa schools that were involved this year were Centerville, Moravia, Moulton-Udell and Seymour. Also attending were several home school families. We look forward to more schools involved in the future as we continue to promote Bluegrass to the Schools in Iowa!

Lori King, Executive Director of BMAI, runs a well organized festival and also books the bands that perform at the festival. The festival started off Thursday night with some incredible Bluegrass Gospel groups and a large crowd in attendance to hear music by The Trinity River Band. This is a dynamite group from Florida that had beautiful harmonies and a sincere dedication to the gospel they performed. Also performing were The Harper Family which never cease to amaze me! The group did a wonderful blend of harmony vocals on all their songs. Hannah Harper has been learning guitar the past six months and is playing guitar on stage with the family now. And I can’t forget Bluegrass Express! They also did a fantastic job and left us with great gospel memories. We were truly blessed with great gospel music the entire evening.

Other groups that performed throughout the weekend were Lori King & Junction 63, Kenny Stinson & Perfect Tymin, The Punches Family, The Harper Family and a crowd favorite, Darin & Brooke Aldridge. This was a perfect line up of bands for this festival, so perfect that they all stood out as favorites to everyone! Highlights of the performances were when Darin and Brooke dressed as Johnny & June Carter Cash for their Friday night performance since it was Halloween. Kenny Stinson & Perfect Tymin were marvelous on stage and kept the audience on their toes with their bluegrass antics and music. Lori King & Junction 63 were also energetic with their songs and a highlight of this festival. Husband and wife duo, Joe and Lori King have one of the best Iowa groups around and proved that fact on stage all weekend long!! Hard driving and upbeat, certainly worth seeing anywhere they perform.

For me there is nothing better than a hotel full of music lovers, musicians and friends. And this festival had the hotel full! Not only was there music on stage, but a special room for people to jam if they brought their own instruments. The rooms were alive with music and workshops, too. Workshops were given on Friday and Saturday of the festival with musicians from the different groups hosting them.
Another bright spot of the festival was when Darin & Brooke Aldridge called upon Lori King to sing a special song with them. A very inspirational song that filled the room and moved everyone! Joe King, also performed on stage with them and picked a mighty fine guitar.

Did you know that we raffled off a guitar worth $3500 at this festival? A custom built guitar made by Steve Hinde, (Hinde Custom Instruments) with our BMAI Logo and signed by Dailey & Vincent!! As the drawing got closer, people kept buying more tickets hoping they would be the lucky winner. The lucky winner this year was Chuck Millar, who is part of the group “No Grass Limit.” He was beaming when he took that guitar in his hands! Maybe you can be the lucky winner at next year’s festival?

Lori King and the rest of the BMAI Committee want to thank you for attending the festival and making it a continued success! We would also like to thank all of our many sponsors for their continued support and contributions:
Alliant Energy Foundation
Appanoose County
Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
Bluegrass Today
CD’s Restaurant & Motel
Dailey & Vincent
Elliott’s General Store
Honey Creek Resort
Hinde Custom Instruments
Iowa Arts Council
Iowa Trust & Savings
Iowa Tourism
KJJB Radio
KIIC Radio
Lake Rathbun Area Chamber of Commerce
National Media Services
Pro Line Buildings
Saga Instruments
Sinclair Tractor
Tom Williamson, DDS
Vaughn Automotive

A big thank you to our Grant Writers that help find extra funds to bring this excellent music to you. Without their hard work and dedication, some of what we do would not be possible. Thanks to Sandy Grace, Sandi Yoder and Lori King for all your hard work on the Grants!

Come out and enjoy the sweet sounds of Honey Creek with us next year on October 29th, 30th & 31st, 2015. All BMAI events are family friendly and we encourage you to bring the kids. As with all BMAI events, there is something for everyone! Because it’s Bluegrass, sweet music for your soul.

Honey Creek Resort Highlights

Darin and

Youth Day

BMAI Continues a 40 Year Tradition!!

The Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa (BMAI) will
continue the Central City Bluegrass Festival after the Society for the
Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) opted to discontinue
hosting the 39 year annual event earlier this year. The festival will be
held at the Linn County Fairgrounds on Aug 22 and 23, 2014 in Central City,
Iowa. This event under new management will provide a full weekend of
toe-tapping, soul stirring music for families and people of all ages.

Bands scheduled to perform are: The Sterlings, Jimmie Allison and the Ozark
Rounders, and Missouri River Band all from Missouri. Two other bands from
Iowa will also be featured: The River Bottom Ramblers and The Purdy River
Band. Camping is available with or without electric and food will be
available on the grounds. In addition to the stage performances jamming is
highly encouraged and welcomed at this event.

Tickets, camping fees, and information for this festival and other BMAI
events are available by visiting the website at http://www.iowabluegrassmusic.com.

For more information you may also contact Lori King at
iowabluegrassmusic@gmail.com or phone 641-799-1442.

*The 1st Annual BMAI Central City Bluegrass Festival is sponsored by the

Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa in cooperation with the Linn County

Fairgrounds. BMAI is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.*

Central City 2014 Copy 2_0

Joe Mullins Performance in Paton, IA.


BMAI was so excited to have the very talented band Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers to perform here in Iowa on April 26, 2014.  Joe and the band were en route back to Ohio after performing at the North Platte Nebraska Bluegrass Festival for a couple of days and we were able to set up a location for them to perform.  And what a great performance it was. 

I was blessed to have met Joe a few years ago at the Sally Mountain Festival in Queen City, Mo.  Then we have visited a few times during our trips to Nashville for the SPBGMA International Convention and the International Bluegrass Music Association Fan Fest and Business Conference.  Throughout our discussions the idea arose that if they would be coming through here we would try to put something together.  Thank you to all of those that attended the concert and if you want to find out more about Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers check out their website at www.radioramblers.com   

Please join us for our upcoming shows, concerts, and festivals and support live bluegrass music in Iowa.  www.iowabluegrassmusic.com

Bluegrass Goes Pink for Cancer in Iowa City!!



IOWA CITY, IA.  Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa (BMAI) is going “Pink” for Cancer awareness.  Bluegrass Bands from Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota will come together for the 1st Annual BMAI Bluegrass Goes Pink Festival on April 11 and 12, 2014 at the Clarion Highlander Hotel in Iowa City.   Performances by Iowa bands Highway Home and Castle Ridge will begin on Friday April 11th at 6:30 PM.  Also performing that evening will be Minnesota’s Award Winning Band Blue Wolf and Missouri’s Award Winning group The Baker Family.

On Saturday BMAI will provide workshops from 10am-Noon and 4-6pm with the concert to begin at 1pm.  In addition to performances throughout the entire day by Highway Home, Castle Ridge, Blue Wolf, and The Baker Family there will be a special performance by the BMAI Bluegrass Band and a Special Cancer Awareness presentation by 16 year-old Haley Scott.

Patrons are encouraged to visit the BMAI website at www.iowabluegrassmusic.com for more information regarding this event.   Tickets are now available on the website.  The Clarion Highlander Hotel is offering a special bluegrass rate for those attending from out of the area.  To make reservations call 319-354-2000 and request the bluegrass rate.

BMAI hosts several events each year throughout the state and is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting, promoting, educating, and preserving the appreciation and enhancement of traditional bluegrass music in the State of Iowa.  Partial proceeds from this event will go to the American Cancer Society in Iowa.  Donations are being accepted at the BMAI website.

The Clarion Highlander Hotel is located at 2525 N. Dodge Street in Iowa City, Iowa.

For more information phone Lori King at 641-799-1442 or by email at iowabluegrassmusic@gmail.com.

The 1st Annual BMAI Bluegrass Goes Pink is sponsored by the Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa, Central Iowa Tourism, and area businesses. 


Bluegrass Music is alive in Iowa!!

Jct 63
Newly formed bluegrass band Lori King & Junction 63 from Drakesville will headline the 12th Annual Bluegrass Show, scheduled for Saturday, March 22nd at the Iowa Theater in Bloomfield. Lori King & Junction 63 is based out of Southern Iowa and Missouri. However, Lori and Joe King are no strangers to the Bluegrass stage. After long discussions the duo decided to dissolve their previous band Bluegrass Addiction and focus on more original material, in addition to the songs their audiences have grown to love. Lori King and Junction 63 debuted their new group in February 2014. The band consists of Lori King on Upright Bass and singing Lead and harmony vocals. On guitar, band partner and husband Joe King also singing lead and harmony vocals. Joe and Lori reside in Drakesville Iowa and have been performing on stage for over 20 years. Kevin Amburgey lives in Ashland, MO. He recently moved from Kentucky with his wife and kids to start a Baptist Church and is a stellar mandolinist, singer, and guitar player. He sings lead and harmony vocals. Adam Smith lives near the St. Louis area with his wife and son and plays banjo for the band. Lori and the guys are looking forward to this new venture and are currently booking dates for 2014 and 2015. Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/junction63band or http://www.junction63.com

BSR newAlso appearing will be Blue Steel Rail and County Line Bluegrass. Blue Steel Rail hails from O’Fallon, MO, just west of St. Louis. Bryan and Joanna Dietz, a husband and wife team, started BSR in 2010 and have continued to promote and play gospel and bluegrass all around the Midwest with a musical emphasis on traditional bluegrass and gospel music. Blue Steel Rail consists of Bryan Dietz on Guitar and vocals, Joanna Dietz on Mandolin and vocals, Jim Potter on upright Bass, Thomas Sitze on Banjo, Larry Daniels on Guitar and vocals and Randi King on Fiddle. You can find more information about Blue Steel Rail at http://www.BlueSteelRail.com, or http://www.facebook.com/BlueSteelRail. Contact us by email at Bryan@bluesteelrail.com or by phone at 636.734.9017.

County Line 2013County Line is a Bluegrass band from various parts of Marshall County in beautiful central Iowa. These longtime friends really enjoy playing traditional bluegrass and gospel music. Members include: Rex Gunderson – Guitar, Fiddle, & Vocals. Rex grew up in and around the town of Conrad Iowa. He started playing music in high school, after getting a guitar. He came across bluegrass in the mid-1980’s, taking a special interest the fiddle. Cheryl Gunderson – Bass & Vocals. Cheryl’s love of music goes back as far as she can remember. In high school she was in band and chorus, and participated in many small groups. Because Cheryl spends a good amount of time with Rex, she was been exposed to bluegrass music. She started playing bass, specializing in her solid rhythm and sweet harmonies. Steve Anderson – Mandolin & Vocals. Steve moved to Iowa in the mid-1970s, found a mandolin in a store window over in Council Bluffs, and things have never been the same since. Steve started out jamming around tropical southern Minnesota. Steve is very thankful for all the musical memories that have been made over the years – bluegrass people are good people. Fred Buck – Banjo, Dobro, & Vocals. Born and raised on a farm west of Grinnell, Fred has been playing bluegrass since the 30’s (since he was 30, that is). He has played in several bluegrass bands. Fred builds and repairs instruments and teaches in several locations. Fred has always thought bluegrass was a participant sport and the best people in the world are involved in it. Julie Buck – Guitar & Vocals. Julie grew up in Wyoming listening to rock & roll as well as grandpa playing polkas on his button box accordion. Fred introduced Julie to bluegrass and taught her to play guitar. She loves Laurie Lewis, IIIrd Tyme Out and Dailey and Vincent. You can visit their website at http://www.countylinebg.com.

Four youth from the Davis County area will also perform: Clayton Thompson, Dayton Rysdam, Hayden Watson, and Lane Johnson. The lineup promises a full evening of toe-tapping, soul-stirring music. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. start time. Tickets are available now online at http://www.iowabluegrassmusic.com, by calling 641-799-1442 or at the door. Show prices are $12 for adults, $6 for children 6-16, and free for children five and under.

Prior to the event patrons will also have the chance to enjoy a jam session in the Kay Burchett Center from 2-5 pm adjacent to the theater. Everyone is welcome and no admission is charged for the jam session. Musicians are encouraged to bring an acoustic instrument and join in. Chairs will be available for the listeners. Please bring finger foods to share during the jam. In addition, BMAI is asking that you bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Davis County Food Pantry. You may call Lori King at 641-799-1442 for more information.

In the unlikely event of inclement weather, patrons are encouraged to call ahead at 641-799-1442, the theater at 641-664-9588, or tune in to KIIC 96.7 FM for updated information.

The Iowa Theater is located at 107 S. Washington Street, Bloomfield, Iowa.

For more information, call Lori King at 641-799-1442 or go online at http://www.iowabluegrassmusic.com or http://www.junction63.com .

The 12th Annual Bluegrass Show is sponsored by the Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa, Central Iowa Tourism, and area businesses. BMAI is 501c(3) non-profit organization.

More upcoming BMAI Events:

* Sunday March 16th 2-4 PM Simpson Barn Jam in Johnston (FREE, Donation is requested)

* March 29- Jam Session with West Connection at the Winterset Stage in Winterset (Free, Donation is requested)

* April 11 & 12- Bluegrass Goes Pink Festival with Highway Home, Castle Ridge, Blue Wolf, The Baker Family, and the BMAI Bluegrass Band in Iowa City (Tickets now available) Room Reservations can be made by calling 319-354-2000. Don’t forget to ask for the Bluegrass Rate!! This hotel stay includes a FREE breakfast!!*

* April 26- Joe Mullins Concert Paton, Iowa (Tickets and Meal Option now available) This is a rare opportunity to catch this National Touring Band Coming through the Midwest!! Joe and the Radio Ramblers are a fantastic, traditional Bluegrass Group. You will not want to miss this concert!!

* May 3- Showcase of Bands and Jam Session with Bartons Hollow, Milltown, and Truckstop Souvenier at Fairfield Middle School 5-8PM (Free, Donation is requested)

* July 19- Picnic and Jam Session Crown Point in Johnston (Free, Donation is requested)

More information can be found on our website at http://www.iowabluegrassmusic.com

Iowa Theater 2014 Copy_0

BMAI Entering its 5th Year

ImageAs we near the end of 2013 and begin the new year we hope that somehow over the past 5 years we have impacted your life in a positive way.  The BMAI Board and committee is striving to bring more bluegrass events, jam sessions, and concerts to the State of Iowa.  We just completed our 2013 season with the 4th Annual Honey Creek Resort Bluegrass Festival. Three national touring bands: The Darrell Webb Band, Nu Blu, and The Harper Family, were joined by five regional and Iowa based bands, to make the three day event a great success. Attendance was at an all-time high.

BMAI sponsored six other bluegrass concerts in 2013. We enhanced our concert offerings with other bluegrass related activities including small group performances, educational workshops, and promotion of the Play It Forward! (PIF) program.  We now have provided 5 Iowa youth with instruments through the PIF program. 

We are planning to grow our events in 2014. We will be holding new workshops at the Annual Ramada Tropics Resort Festival and a brand new Bluegrass Goes Pink weekend to be held April 11 and 12 in Iowa City. These are just two of our planned expansion activities for the upcoming year.

We also will be raffling a custom 5th Anniversary BMAI Guitar built by Iowa based instrument builder Steve Hinde.  Steve is an incredible luthier, as well as a musician and we feel truly blessed for his donation of his time to build it for us.  We will be posting some photos to keep you up to date on its progress.  The guitar will once again be raffled at the Honey Creek Resort Bluegrass Festival on Saturday November 1, 2014.  Photo is the inlay that will be on the headstock of the guitar. You can find out more about Hinde Instruments on his website at www.hindecustominstruments.com.

Please visit our website for all of our 2014 events and plan to attend!!  We have some great bands hired for your entertainment.  We will post our new events there as we get them scheduled.  www.iowabluegrassmusic.com

Additional reminder to our current members, 2013 memberships will expire on December 31, 2013 so make sure to get your renewal form in the mail.  If you would like to become more involved with BMAI, volunteer some of your time at our events, find out more about our programs, or make a donation feel free to contact me at iowabluegrassmusic@gmail.com or by calling 641-799-1442.     

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and look forward to seeing you next year!!