A lot has changed for Bluegrass Underground heading into their eighth season of producing concerts in the subterranean caves of middle Tennessee for PBS television.
The show has moved from their original location in McVinnville to a new facility called The Caverns, just a few miles down the road in Pelham under Monteagle mountain. This new location offers the show considerably greater flexibility, since it has been purchased by the producers, allowing them to make such modifications as they see fit, while also eliminating the need to work around anyone else’s schedule.
Site modifications are being made now, with an eye towards resuming production when the weather starts to break in March 2018. Electricity, sound, and lighting are being installed, along with modern rest room facilities and food and drink concessions.
A look at the 2018 schedule also shows a good bit more bluegrass at the live shows than had been the norm in recent years. After launching as a primarily grass-centered program, more recent years have seen it fall into the background, though with at least a couple of high profile bluegrass acts each year. Seven shows are set for live television recording, and another nine just for the sake of the great music.
On tap for this spring are performances from Sam Bush, Billy Strings, Flatt Lonesome, Michael Cleveland, and Tim O’Brien, all destined for broadcast on a network of PBS affiliates. Concerts underground that will not be recorded include Del McCoury, Sierra Hull, Mountain Heart, and Dailey & Vincent. Full details ticket information and can be found online
These shows won’t appear on TV until next season, but tickets are available to attend the tapings. Package deals are offered that include local hotel accommodations, transportation to and from The Caverns, cave exploration tours, and meal vouchers as well as tickets.
Congratulations to Bluegrass Underground on their new home, and we’ll certainly look forward to seeing all these great artists (and more) on television.
This article was written by Richard F. Thompson and published on Bluegrass Today.
Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specializing in bluegrass music topics.
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.