Tricounty News

‘A Bluegrass Christmas with Monroe Crossing’

The Midwest’s premier bluegrass and gospel quintet, Monroe Crossing, will be in concert at the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center in Cokato with “A Bluegrass Christmas with Monroe Crossing” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30.

Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor-sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States, Canada and Europe.

The Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center is located at the D-C High School, 4852 Reardon Avenue SW in Cokato. Tickets are $20 for adults and $7 for youth (ages 18 and younger) and are available at the Dassel-Cokato Community Education office, by calling (320) 286-4120, or order online at

Monroe Crossing is touring in support of their brand new CD, “The Road Has No End.” This, their 12th CD, features the songwriting talents of band members Derek Johnson, Mark Anderson and Lisa Fuglie. While the evening’s program will include songs from this latest recording, “A Bluegrass Christmas with Monroe Crossing” prominently features selections from their seasonal sampler “The Happy Holidays.”

Old familiar carols such as “Silver Bells,” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “Up On The Housetop” get a warm bluegrass feel from David’s banjo, Lisa’s fiddle and Matt’s mandolin. You’re likely to hear many of your seasonal favorites like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Angels We Have Heard On High” or “What Child Is This?”

Monroe Crossing also serves up country and bluegrass-inspired tunes (“Christmas Time’s A Comin’”), traditional folk songs (“Christ Was Born In Bethlehem”), past hits from Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” some seasonal band originals including the CD’s title track.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. This grant also makes it possible for Monroe Crossing to present a “History of Bluegrass” program to Dassel-Cokato students Monday, Dec. 2, at no charge to the school or the students.

Named in honor of Bill Monroe, “the Father of Bluegrass,” Monroe Crossing also recently released a tribute CD, Monroe Crossing “Plays the Songs of Bill Monroe,” which features 15 classic bluegrass songs made famous by the “Big Mon” himself, and their third all-gospel recording, “Joy, Joy, Joy.”

Founded in 2000, Monroe Crossing plays more than 135 shows a year, including The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Carnegie Hall in New York City, The Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield Wis., Branson’s Silver Dollar City, and the legendary Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark. They are a 2007 inductee into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, and were invited by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) to showcase at the 2007 IBMA World of Bluegrass convention in Nashville.