One of the most active and entertaining acts on the bluegrass scene is coming to Billings. Monroe Crossing will perform at Cisel Recital Hall at Montana State University Billings on Thursday, Sept. 20.
Based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Monroe Crossing plays an average of 150 shows a year in intimate rooms and at major venues and outdoor festivals, entertaining audiences across the United States, Canada and Europe. Monroe Crossing is a favorite among bluegrass connoisseurs and non-bluegrass audiences alike — the band loves introducing newcomers to bluegrass music.
According to a news release, the band was named in honor of Bill Monroe, who is commonly referred to as the father of bluegrass. Because they met through his music, they like to say they had a “Monroe Crossing.”
The band is made up of five very distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds. When combined, their individual histories make for a unique ensemble sound. Band members are Derek Johnson, guitar and lead vocals; Lisa Fuglie, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and lead vocals; Matt Thompson, mandolin, fiddle and harmony vocals; Mark Anderson, bass and bass vocals; and David Robinson, banjo, dobro, harmonica and harmony vocals.
Their many honors include induction into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, and selection to perform at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual World of Bluegrass convention twice.
On Thursday, Monroe Crossing will take the stage at Cisel Hall to perform traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, original bluegrass and other songs at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door. The show is sponsored by Yellowstone Bluegrass Association, Yellowstone Public Radio, Hansen Music and Kirk House of Music.