Drew "Drewgrass" Grunseth, Production Director, WHYS Radio 96.3 FM, Eau Claire WI 11/09
I host a weekly bluegrass show called "Smokin’ Grass" on WHYS Radio 96.3 FM out of Eau Claire, WI. I love the sound of Monroe Crossing! If the band is ever passing by or through here, it'd be great to have them come down to the station for an interview and some pickin’.
Monroe Crossing’s laid-back “folkgrass” approach stands in contrast to many contemporary hyperkinetic bands, such as Kentucky Thunder. Their novel, soulful, and musically satisfying cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” demonstrates their unique style.
Louisville Music News 10/09
....This band understands and respects the musical principles laid down by Bill Monroe...."Heartache & Stone" represents their best effort to date....Arrangements are fresh and creative....All in all, it is an enjoyable project loaded with a satisfaction.
Wilson Moore, CHMA-FM “Bluegrass Jam,” Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada 10/09
This is to acknowledge receipt of, and to thank you for, the copy of “Heartache & Stone” you sent to us recently. There certainly is an abundance of interesting original material. Especially noticeable is Lisa's great fiddle work, and the solid instrumentation throughout. Some of the tracks that stand out to me are: “Do You Love An Apple,” “Heartache And Stone” (arrangement), “Run Nellie Run,” “Coming Home To You,” and “Potter's Field.”
Prime Cuts of Bluegrass -
DO YOU LOVE AN APPLE 10/09
Great song to “bluegrassize.” — David Higgs, WPLN
This is a great song. Top 10! — Garry Tilley, WDSL
This song has a catchiness about it, and Lisa does a fine job on the singing, and I like Thompson's mandolin break. Fine bluegrass from Minnesota! — Rik James, KGLT
Yes, I do love apples and love to listen to Monroe Crossing. This is great music and vocals from a band that has obviously worked hard to perfect the sound they produce. Hope you get to the festival in North Platte, Nebraska sometime. I?ll be dropping your name. — Carl Anthony, KZUM
Great bluegrass here. Starting with a great old song that has been dusted off, adding awesome vocals and some mighty fine pickin’ and you have a winner here. — Charlie Hall, WCYO
Another great song from this band. Most appealing is the band's ability to keep a foot in two camps: a touch of old time, with a very modern sound. The lyrics have a strong appeal. — Wayne Bledsoe, KMST
I like this band. They have a unique sound that truly is bluegrass. — Steve Pritchard, CIUT
Brave, creative reworking of this Celtic chestnut. It works nicely. Bluegrass lives in America's Heartland! — Steve Winters, WSHU/WSUF
Really enjoyable performance. It stands out, and the voices coming in together just added to this recording. — Ben West, WMMT
Fantastic lead vocal! Great playing, very smooth. The band at its best. Great harmonies! — Dan Joseph, CKWR
Great tune, great album, fine group! The expressiveness of the vocals and the arrangement are terrific, not to mention the flawless instrumental work. But the real glory of this cut is the cohesiveness that the band gets in pulling off the feeling during each and every phrase! — Joe Steiner, WLFC
Al Shusterman, “Backroads Bluegrass,” KCBL Radio, Sacramento CA 10/09
Monroe Crossing strikes again. ("Heartache & Stone") just yells out, “listen to me, I have something important to say.” From the first song, “Do You Love An Apple,” to the last note of your arrangement of “Purple Rain,” you can’t walk away from listening to this project. Each and every song keeps you wanting more. I can foresee many of your original songs becoming classics somewhere down the line. It is all part of my opening remarks. I think that the band has gotten tighter, and that has helped the overall sound. I played the entire project and received many requests for all of the songs. This is the best project to date. WE LOVED IT.
Hank Janney - WGTY 09/09
Just a quick note to let you know that the new project "Heartache & Stone" arrived this morning. I have listened to it, reviewed it, and will be starting to share it with my listeners this week. It's an excellent addition to my library.
Jan Dale, Southern Style, PBS FM 106.7, Brighton North Australia 09/09
I was so happy to find a copy of your new album "Heartache & Stone" in my mail box. I am listening to it as I write and it sounds wonderful. My listeners will enjoy it as they enjoyed your others and the interview I made with you at IBMA last year. Many thanks and kind regards.
Mary Anne Moorman, Seattle WA 09/09
It's me, your emcee from Seattle's Wintergrass. Well, I loved you (there) so they just handed me "Heartache & Stone" to review for the DJs at KBCS. You are a wonderful group and Lisa's voice just brings it all up right. The best to you all.
Daily Journal 08/09
Picnic, 'Monroe Crossing' a delight
There was simply no way to leave Antigo’s City Park Monday night without a smile on your face. Monroe Crossing, a Minnesota bluegrass band that borrows the last name of the man known as the Father of Bluegrass, the late Bill Monroe, was on the renovated park bandstand for one of the last of the big summer picnics … Monroe Crossing proved to be a true collection of professionals with an assortment of stringed instruments well-known among the bluegrass music crowd. The band worked its way through a program of the genre’s standards by Flatt & Scruggs, Monroe and an assortment of others. To perform “Dueling Banjos,” the song made famous in the motion picture, “Deliverance,” the band did battle with a banjo and mandolin. There was plenty more as the evening moved on quickly … It was a special night, indeed for Salm Brother’s sausages, Monroe Crossing, the hundreds and hundreds of people who were in the crowd and the Antigo Optimist Club, which coordinated the event as a fund-raiser for its many projects.
The Naperville Sun 04/09 - by Hank Beckman
Music By The People, For The People
A recession can ruin your plans for a vacation, wreak havoc with your 401(k) and make you think twice about that new car you've had your eye on. But it can't stop the Naperville Bluegrass Festival.
Fans of the musical genre started by the late Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys jammed the Holiday Inn Select at 1801 N. Naper Blvd. for the 15th year, braving the heavy rain that turned to wet snow Saturday night to hear their favorite bands playing the music they loved.
National acts including Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Monroe Crossing and Special Consensus helped draw an audience that could also enjoy local groups like Illinois Rail and Jefferson County.
Although most of the bands didn't stray too far from traditional bluegrass/country standards like " "Wabash Cannonball" and "John Henry," some of the material might come as a surprise.
Monroe Crossing's lead vocalist, Lisa Fuglie, offered a soulful rendition of the Etta James classic, "At Last," that had the audience on its feet cheering at its conclusion. "It's all music," Fuglie said afterward. "We even do a version of 'My Girl' by the Temptations."
Sean McCormick, Ozark Acoustics, KUKU, Willow Springs, MO 05/08
Got your CD in the mail yesterday, and I listened to some of it. VERY nice! Sometimes it's hard to get the same quality recording live versus in the studio, but yours is VERY VERY good! Thanks again!
Jonna Gjevre, Uncommon Places blog, jonnagjevre.com 04/08
Named for the late bluegrass legend Bill Monroe, bluegrass quintet Monroe Crossing performs some of the most joyful music I’ve ever heard. They played two vibrant sets this evening, combining woeful lyrics with a banjo sound so bouncy, I couldn’t stop smiling. I will confess right now that several songs about heartbreak, abandonment, loneliness, and death had me grinning from ear to ear. That’s bluegrass for you.
The vocalists and upper strings (banjo, mandolin, five-string fiddle and guitar) perform in the old-time style, moving in an intricate dance around a single microphone, while their frenetic bass player hovers on the periphery. And they are so good.
They opened tonight with "Endless Stream of Tears," an up-tempo song with close vocal harmonies and punchy, slap-happy bass. "He’s relentless, and I’m defenseless," sang lead vocalist Lisa Fuglie, "drowning in an endless stream of tears." That was fun.
Benji Flaming, on the 5-string banjo, fostered much of the happy vibe, with a quick three-finger style so mesmerizing and delightful, I forgot I was hearing songs with titles like "The Children are Crying" and "Fox on the Run." Flaming’s banjo added zing to a murder ballad, a song about a hanging, and more than a few cheerful odes to heartless, cheating women.
In the all-request second set, the band members performed several songs with more hopeful lyrics, like the exquisite Etta James classic "At Last" and the gospel standard "Amazing Grace." These featured understated vocals, sparse textures, and slower tempos. Then the tempo picked up again for songs like "I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow," as the subject matter returned to grief and loss.
Highlights of the evening: a frenzied banjo solo in Earl Scruggs’ "Ground Speed," a feisty "Orange Blossom Special" virtuoso show-down, and an absolutely lovely performance of the sad-yet-hopeful Bill Monroe song, "The Walls of Time."
I hear her voice out in the darkness
It moans and whispers through the pines
I know it must be her a’callin’
I hear her through the walls of time
Al Shusterman, KCBL 01/08
I really enjoy that new CD from Silver Dollar City. It is out of sight. I just love the intimacy that this one really has. It's wonderful, just wonderful. We're playing the hell out of it, and everybody's enjoyed it.
Marty Scarbrough, KASU 01/08
First of all, let me say how fabulous the new "Live at Silver Dollar City" CD is! After receiving so many of your CDs over the years, it’s been fun to hear your band’s sound grow stronger with every release, and after hearing that live CD, I know without a doubt that our crowd is in for a real treat when you perform here at the end of this month.
Dave Higgs, Nashville Public Radio, Bluegrass Breakdown 01/08
Howdy and many thanks for sending us a copy of Monroe Crossing's latest--a fabulous live set from Silver Dollar City. This is one of the most enjoyable live outings I've ever heard--the band is really tight, hard-driving and shines on every track. I can't believe the studio quality of the sound. Everything--even tunes that are part of the standard bluegrass repertoire--sound fresh and exciting. I especially enjoyed "Rocky Road Blues," "The Rain," "That's What I Like About the South," "Oh Lonesome Me" and "Jolene." Would that all live albums sound this good! Thanks again for the great tunes!
Ted Lehmann's Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms
At the 2008 Yee Haw Junction Bluegrass Festival, Monroe Crossing continued their high quality performance from Thursday. This band, little known outside the Midwest, deserves a national audience and reputation. Their eclectic mix of classic bluegrass and more contemporary sounds combined with high energy and first-rate musicianship should be pleasing to just about any bluegrass aficionado except the most intransigent, hard core traditional bluegrass fan.
At one point they began with commenting that Bill Monroe is a member of five separate music halls of fame, including both bluegrass and rock and roll, and then used "The Rocky Road Blues" to morph through the original to rock-a-billy, a polka, to the blues. This clearly demonstrated the flexibility and versatility of Monroe’s music for today as well as having something to say about Monroe himself.
Benji Flaming on banjo picked Bela Fleck’s "Whitewater" as well as an incredibly sweet and melodious banjo solo in their second set. Despite his very unusual way of holding his banjo, Flaming is a young banjo player very much worth watching. This band is extremely entertaining, engaging the audience with humor, gentle ribbing and banter. Monroe Crossing does honor to its namesake, dressing in forties-era slacks and the awful painted ties your father used to wear (add a generation or two if you wish), but their music reflects trends and tastes from the thirties until today without seeming forced or mannered. Look for this band and request your local promoter to book them.
Al Shusterman, KCBL 01/08
"LIVE FROM SILVER DOLLAR CITY" is THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINING!!! I am a huge fan of yours, but this project really nailed it. This project gave the group the intimacy that a normal project can’t convey. The song selection was first class. Everything was great. I played the entire project over a 2-week period & received many requests. I know that I will be playing many requests from this project for many weeks to come.
Becky Wood, Sun-Argus/Gateway Publishing 08/07
Monroe Crossing Wows Spring Valley
SPRING VALLEY WI- Yes, they really are as good as you’ve heard. Monroe Crossing’s performance last Friday night at the Spring Valley Stagehands was one to see. Their precision pickin’, bass slappin’ and tight harmonies left the audience wanting more. And after a standing ovation they came back and amazed us once again.
This was the first time I have heard Monroe Crossing in concert and I was pleasantly surprised. Their performance flowed smoothly from beginning to end. The first set included favorite standards and some original songs. The second set was comprised mainly of well known songs, such as "Rocky Top" that the audience had requested during the intermission.
Monroe Crossing may be the hardest working bluegrass band in the upper Midwest, touring hundreds of days a year. Last Friday they performed music from their most recent release, "Into The Fire." It is about as honest a recording as you can get, recorded live, but with no audience. This collection of one-take tracks doesn’t use multi-tracking or overdubs, so there’s no interference with the group’s pure simplicity and authentic sound.
A striking feature of the band is that it makes full use of its talent. We saw Lisa Fuglie move easily from fiddle to mandolin. Her singing and songwriting is one of the band’s great strengths. And I was amazed by Matt Thompson’s clean, clear, precise mandolin playing and throughout the evening he also played twin fiddles with Lisa. Art Blackburn offered solid flat-picking and fine vocals, and bass player Mark Anderson, who was previously a drummer, was full of energy. Newest member, Benji Flaming’s strong banjo playing sounded great on his Deering banjo.
If you missed Monroe Crossing, go and see them the first chance you get!
Dave Higgs, Bluegrass Breakdown, Nashville Public Radio 07/07
I have thoroughly enjoyed "Into the Fire," a thoughtful and delightful excursion through the wonderful world of bluegrass gospel music which you all have augmented with a couple of excellent originals, "He Did Rise" and the excellent title track. The harmonies are close and tight, the arrangements interesting and the musicianship simply top-flight. Other highlights for me included "One Life," "A Mother's Last Words to Her Daughter," "Get Thee Behind Me" and "Oak Grove Church."
Thanks again for the great tunes--I'll be doing my best to get the word out in Nashville, in our other syndicated locations and on bluegrasscountry.org.
Roy Blackman, The Main Street Bluegrass Show 06/07
The two CDs came in today. Some Great Gospel Tunes from "Into The Fire." My favorite is cut #14, "Shut Up In The Mines." And "Somebody Like You" is a cool project. My all-time favorite instrumental is "Maiden's Prayer." Songs like "My Girl" and "Oh Lonesome Me" are what’s making bluegrass music move to center stage. Great Job Monroe Crossing!
Rick Cornish, Almost Daily News, CBA Homepage 06/07
Monroe Crossing pushed some buttons...This year's Emerging Artist Band, headquartered in Wisconsin, was, by nearly all accounts, the right EAB (band) for the right FDF (Father's Day Festival). Most of the fans who approached us raved about the energy, versatility, virtuosity and, of course, lady singer. Holy mackerel, what a voice!
PRIME CUTS OF BLUEGRASS
DJ Comments, "Into The Fire" 5/7
Great vocals from Lisa and Matt’s mando chops shine above all. All around great album and song. - Matthew Fetterer, WELY
I’ve always liked Monroe Crossing’s material, but this is far and away their best material to date. Great song, excellent singing and inspirational. - Wayne Bledsoe, KUMR
They blow out of the north country like a cold north wind and chill your bones with their talent. Keep the fire going, folks. - Billy Dunbar, KKRF/World Wide Bluegrass.com
I’ve been listening to Monroe Crossing for some time now and am impressed with their contemporary sound. - Rich Baker, WOSU
Wow! What a great tune! Great performance, with interesting harmony instrumental intro and unique breaks. Nice, varied arrangement. More great stuff from a fine group! - Joe Steiner, WLFC
Ear catching intro and ending. This group has a very pleasing organic wholeness to it. - Steve Winters, WSHU/WSUF
Often you can listen to a tune and predict every turn. Not so with "Into The Fire," so sit back, grin and enjoy ... I did. - Maurice Kurtz, Valley FM/QBN FM
Carl Anthony - The Drive-In Radio Show, KZUM 89.3 FM Radio, Lincoln NE 03/07
Hello Monroe Crossing, ("Into The Fire") is your best yet! Precision pickin’, tight harmony’s and from the heart vocals. You’ve truly outdone yourselves and all in one take. That’s totally awesome! Your refreshing bluegrass rendition of a great gospel classic, "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," is outstanding. It’s one of the moments during the CD that takes me back to a little Baptist Church in Western, Nebraska. Keep up the great work.
Brenda Hough - Bluegrass Breakdown, California Bluegrass Association 01/07
I've been listening to the new CD and it's tremendous! Really fine harmonies and incredible mandolin, banjo and guitar. If buying a Lloyd LaPlant guitar and mandolin will make me sound this good, tell me how to sign up! My favorite is "Into The Fire" and I'll be listening for it when you guys come out to Grass Valley.
Nancy Sartor, PulseTC.com 01/07
Monroe Crossing may be the hardest working bluegrass band in the upper Midwest, touring hundreds of days a year. Their most recent release, "Into the Fire," is about as honest a recording as you can get, recorded live, but with no audience. This collection of one-take tracks doesn't use multi-tracking or overdubs, so there's no interference with the group's pure simplicity and authentic sound. The result is a clean, infectious blend of upbeat, toe-tapping numbers and soulful, melodic grooves.
Marvin O'Dell - The Grass is Bluer, Classicheartland.com 12/06
I just got the "Into The Fire" CD today. You guys have outdone yourselves. Great performances - great songs! We'll give it lots of airplay beginning this week. Thanks for sending it. I hope you had a great Christmas and that 2007 will be your most prosperous year yet.
Carroll Parham, KCLW Radio, Stephenville TX 12/06
... Just got your new CD in today...And I just want to tell you I enjoyed it. I played it for the last two hours, and I’ll probably play it for another two hours. ....If you have any more, please fire it to me because I love what you guys are doing. I really appreciate it. I love this CD. "Satan’s Jeweled Crown" is my favorite on there, I must say, but you’ve got other ones on there that are wonderful too, no question about that. Everything’s good on there. Thanks for sending it to me. I appreciate it.
Carolyn Hegeler, Fireball Mail
Southern Wisconsin Bluegrass Music Association, Inc. Newsletter 03/06
Monroe Crossing! with opening act Jefferson County at Stoughton Opera House, February 25
This last-minute review is to simply sing the praises of Monroe Crossing for a wonderful concert last night at the Stoughton Opera House. It was my second time to the Opera House and the first time I’d heard Monroe Crossing in concert. The Opera House was close to full, it’s a gorgeous space, it has excellent acoustics, and it’s a perfect place to listen to bluegrass music.
Where to begin with Monroe Crossing? In every way, they are shining professionals. Their instrumental prowess, strong lead and harmony vocals, varied repertoire with original songs/tunes, artful arrangements, and their warm and relaxed stage presence all made for a perfect evening of wonderful entertainment.
Their performance flowed smoothly from beginning to end. The first set included favorite standards like “Uncle Pen,” some original songs, and a beautiful Irish song (“The Call And The Answer”), among others. The second set was comprised mainly of well-known songs, such as “Rocky Top” and Alison Krauss’ “When You Say Nothing At All,” that the audience had requested during the intermission. A striking feature of the band is that it makes full use of its abundance of talent. It was a pleasure to see Lisa Fuglie move so easily from fiddle to mandolin (and even guitar). Her singing and songwriting is one of the band’s great strengths.
And I was struck by Matt Thompson’s clean, clear, precise mandolin playing. During the evening, he also played twin fiddles with Lisa, mando/fiddle duets, and, I believe, mandolin duets, all combinations were in play. Art Blackburn offered solid flatpicking and fine vocals, and bass player Mark Anderson was both a vision and earful of liveliness. Newest member Jeff Whitson’s strong, straight-ahead banjo playing sounded great on his old Gibson banjo. One of the evening’s highlights for me was his beautiful solo on the hymn “How Great Thou Art,” in a style that requires effort and creativity from a banjo player. And Art and Matt were right on the money sharing the emcee work, which was humorous, well-timed, and fresh. At the end of the performance, following a standing ovation, Monroe Crossing graciously invited Jefferson County back on stage for a grande finale of “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” If you haven’t heard Monroe Crossing in concert yet, do it the first chance you get!
Linda Sandersen, NEWSLETTER, Milwaukee Area Bluegrass Music Association 03/06
Monroe Crossing, a full-time Minnesota Bluegrass band, entertained a good crowd on Sunday, March 26. Pickin’ Up Speed was the opening band. Monroe crossing was on a tour that had included Independence and Stoughton WI, ending in Milwaukee.
They do a lively show that is very entertaining as well. Their love of Bluegrass and other music styles is evident, as is their overall fun of working together. What they do appears to be more than “just a job.” They like each other as people, so that liking comes across as well.
The audience did a lot of toe-tapping and moving to the music. When you’re on stage and you observe the audience doing that, as they’re smiling, it makes you perform even better. You just know you’re bringing joy.
Art Blackburn and Lisa Fuglie are the lead singers. Their voices blend beautifully. Lisa knows the words to many fiddle tunes too. She sang Sally Goodin. I doubt that any in the audience, myself included, even knew there were words to it. A good time was had by all. They’ll be back.
Bill Ogden - The Bluegrass Special, KETR FM-88.9, Commerce TX 12/05
"The Happy Holidays" is the best Christmas CD I've got in my collection this year, and the best thing you guys have ever done. Thanks!
Tim Lohrmann - KUOI 89.3 FM Radio, Moscow ID 12/05
I received your "The Happy Holidays" album and have been playing it on my KUOI show quite a bit. I played the complete album already and cuts from it several times. My favorite cut is that great instrumental version of AULD LANG SYNE!
Marty Scarbrough - KASU Program Director, Jonesboro AR 12/05
...about your new Christmas CD. It's wonderful! I've been playing at least five or six songs from it on each of my radio shows since I received it, and it will continue to get heavy airplay here on KASU through Christmas. Thanks for sending the CD, and have a blessed and merry Christmas!
Marvin O'Dell - The Grass is Bluer, Classicheartland.com 07/05
I received your new CD "Somebody Like You" yesterday and listened to it last night. I just want you to know what an excellent CD this is!
You guys did a wonderful job with the less-than-bluegrass songs. If these songs had never been heard any other way, folks would assume they are bluegrass standards. I appreciate how you arranged them in such a way that they didn't come out sounding like "newgrass."
This is a wonderful mix of songs. It captures the listener's ear throughout because of the mood changes from song to song and never releases the listener's attention.
Monroe Crossing is an amazingly talented and tasteful group. I still tell folks that you're the best independent bluegrass band out there. Thanks for sending me the CD. We'll get in our mix right away.
Matt Schuyler (Johnny Timewarp) - Dark Side of the Highway, WFCS 107.7 FM, New Britain CT 07/05
Thank you so very much for the excellent promo CD you recently sent of your latest album "Somebody Like You". The covers of "At Last" and "My Girl" were killer. I will be spotlighting the album during one of my upcoming shows. Once again, thanks for the CD and for keeping the music alive...
Jacques Dufour - Rockin'Boy Saloon Show, Radio Lyon, France 03/05
I want to let you know that I have greatly appreciated your album "On The Road" that you have sent me at my radio station. Great bluegrass music, traditional and fine versions of old chestnuts. Great musicianship. I will play ALL the tunes all along the season. We air on the net every Sunday 2 pm Nashville time on : www.lyonpremiere.com Best regards from France
Clyde Scott - BluegrassRadio.org 08/04
Thanks for sending the latest CD ("On The Road") from your group.. I have it in the computer system and will feature cuts from it during the 6:30 til 7:00 PM block starting today.. GOOD STUFF!
Dave Higgs - Bluegrass Breakdown, Nashville Public Radio 07/04
Howdy and many thanks for sending us a copy of your latest CD ("On The Road"), a true live spectacular including some killer tunes, imaginative arrangements and some unforgettable collaborations with the Heritage Singers. I thought you all did just a stellar job on "Walls Of Time," "Blake's March," and "Who's Gonna Show Your Pretty Little Feet." And the 2 cuts with the Heritage Singers are just spine-tingling. I've never heard anything quite like that before-and you're right, when the singers come in on the third verse of "Friendship's Road," I get chills from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. Thanks again for another wonderful project. And, did I mention-for coming up with absolutely the coolest logo in Bluegrass! I'll be doing my best to help get the word out.
Al Shusterman - Backroads Bluegrass, KCBL Radio, Sacramento CA 07/04
I am going to charge you for a new CD player. This CD was "so hot" that when I turned on my CD player & the music started, smoke came out and completely disintegrated my player. This CD has all the bells & whistles of a first class production; beautiful singing, flawless instrumental work, & superb song selection. A majority of the songs on this CD are wonderful classics, which unfortunately aren't heard too much anymore. Thanks for keeping the tradition alive. This material is relative to what is going on in the world today as well as what has happened in the past. If you listen very closely you can tell that Monroe Crossing has its own distinctive sound. Their music comes straight from the heart, & you can sense it immediately. I played this CD several times at home before taking it into the studio. I just couldn't get enough of that wonderful music. The intensity of their singing and playing is amazing. While playing the entire CD, I received many requests to play all of these songs again. I am as anxious as my listeners to hear all these songs again. I can hardly wait for your next project! Thank you very much for sharing your fine project with us.
Jim Whitney, Editor, Twin Cities Acoustic Music Calendar 07/04
Tuesday I caught Monroe Crossing at Northrop Plaza for the noon hour. I've written many times about MC since I go to most of their shows in the Twin Cities metro, so I won't go into a lot of detail. When they kicked off the set my first impression was, as always, "These guys are SO GOOD!" MC is the class of Upper Midwest bluegrass. No one else is as polished, as tight as Art, Matt, Lisa, Graham, and Mark. The folks sitting around the steamy quad, dodging the scorching sun, were treated to truly professionally presented music. And they responded, with the whoops and hollers I was hoping for. Incredible musicians, great show.
Cary Allen Fields - Fields of Bluegrass, WICR, Indianapolis IN 07/04
The new ("On The Road") CD sounds absolutely marvelous! I'll begin working it into the playlist this week. I am amazed at your appearance schedule! You keep this up and you'll soon be known as "the hardest working band in bluegrass" if you aren't careful.
Shirley & Dennis Henderson, Eversong Bluegrass Band
Bluegrass Gospel Drive, KWXT Radio, Russellville AR 07/04
Just wanted to tell you again how much we enjoyed pickin' and visitin' with all of you. By the way, your website is GREAT - do you maintain it yourself? I'm preparing Monday night's gospel radio program and will feature a couple of your songs. Thanks for the newest CD--you people really have it together. And sign us up for your newsletter (when do you have time to do all this?). We hope to see you "on the road". Blessings to you!!
Carl "Anthony" Marino - The Drive-In Radio Show, KZUM Radio, Lincoln NE 07/04
Wow! Great music from your live CD "On The Road." Y'all are sounding great!! Thanks again, hope to catch up with you on the road somewhere, I'm keepin' an eye on your schedule.
Hedley Charles - Coastal FM Radio, Tasmania 01/04
Many thanks for the copy of the "Green Mossy Ground." I was more than pleasantly surprised at the total consistently high quality of the material on the release; a well-balanced selection of tempos; instrumentals and Country Gospel tracks.
Jacques Dufour - Radio Lyon, France 01/04
I have received the "Green Mossy Ground," played it and liked it! Excellent bluegrass album, well diversified in rhythms and with three strong instrumentals. Fine picking, vocals and harmonies. A good production. A work well done! Great fast version of "Why Did You Wander." On my playlist.
Mike Mathes, Jumpin' Jambalaya Jamfest 10/03
Nice work on your "Green Mossy Ground" CD. Purchased a copy and love it like all the rest of your stuff. Keep up the good work. I keep seeing your schedule and looks like you guys are keeping busy. We talk highly of your band wherever we go. You folks do such a fine job.
Bob Douglas, Sunday Evening Concert Series, Shoreview MN 10/03
Congratulations on the Minnesota Music award. Your (the "Green Mossy Ground") CD deserved it!
Sandy Quam - Bluegrass Express, KSER, Vashon WA 10/03
Hey, We've received (the "Green Mossy Ground")...just gave it a good listen tonight, and really enjoyed the whole project. Vocals were wonderful!! Great selections of tunes. Can't wait to air it!
Dave Higgs - Bluegrass Breakdown, WPLN, Brentwood, TN 10/03
I am thoroughly enjoying "Across the Blue Mountains" and "Then Sings My Soul." It kind of scares me--the thought that but for your kindness I would probably never had heard these projects which would have been tragic given the greatness of the music contained therein. Again, you all have forged your own compelling sound, have just concocted some stellar arrangements and unearthed and/or created some amazing tunes. I especially liked your takes on "Two Men A Prayin'", "Annabelle" and "Tallahassee" and you all have some truly outstanding originals in "Patience," "Friendship's Road" and "Frog." The gospel CD is also quite nice--my favorites were "Wings of An Angel," "The Atlanta Church" and your gorgeous "A Child's Prayer." Great stuff! As always, I'll do my best to try and get the word out. Thanks again!
A good new release from... Monroe Crossing is the "Green Mossy Ground." It features superb picking and tight harmonies. All the elements of a good Bluegrass recording.
Cary Allen Fields - Fields of Bluegrass, WICR, Indianapolis IN 09/03
Hey, good people of Monroe Crossing! The "Green Mossy Ground" arrived in the mail yesterday and sounds great. It's always nice to hear some straight-up grass that isn't "bluegrass lite" or "elevator grass!" The tree won't grow if you rip the roots out of the ground, right? You scored major points with me by covering Pete Wernick and Norman Blake compositions, as well! I'll be working your music into the playlist starting this Saturday.
Robin H Mathis - WCPC, Houston MS 09/03
Thank you for the two CDs that you sent, "Then Sings My Soul" and "Across the Blue Mountains." They are fantastic quality...and we will be playing them for a looong time into the future.
Bob W Dunn - Nuttin' But Bluegrass, WDBX, Harrisburg IL 09/03
This being our 'Fall Pledge Drive,' I was asked by the station manager to play the very best and most often requested music, and your material (the "Green Mossy Ground") fit that category. Want to once again thank you for all your help in making sure we do get the best of Bluegrass and Gospel music.
Wilson Moore - Bluegrass Jam, CHMA, New Brunswick, Canada 09/03
Thanks for the promo copy of the "Green Mossy Ground." Some good stuff here!
Cary Allen Fields - Fields of Bluegrass, WICR, Indianapolis IN 09/03
"Then Sings My Soul" arrived today and sounds great. I like the song selection, you really have a feel for what the folks enjoy. I can tell you've had some experience with audiences. I must say, with my last name, (the song "He Will Set Your Fields on Fire") really made me nervous!
Red Shipley - Stained Glass Bluegrass, WAMU, Washington D.C. 09/03
Hello Minnesota, thank you for the copy of your new CD (the "Green Mossy Ground"). Love the Becky Buller song ("The Rain") and the old hymn ("I Love to Tell the Story"). Both are being played on "Stained Glass Bluegrass." Also enjoyed your gospel project ("Then Sings My Soul").
Marvin O'Dell - Bluegrass Express, KCSN, Northridge, CA 09/03
You guys are putting out some of the finest bluegrass music anywhere. I featured the "Green Mossy Ground" CD a couple of weeks ago, and I'll be giving it a lot more play. I love it! I appreciate the fact that it's 'bluegrass', not 'newgrass.' We make no apology for being solidly a bluegrass program. Your music fits in perfectly. I always look forward to new music from you because I know when I see your name on it, it's going to be quality material. Thanks again.
Rake Magazine 07/03
Watch out 'N Sync, this hit factory is on its way up. They're the 'No Doubt' of bluegrass, complete with a slew of top hits (on the Old Time Music charts, that is) and the all-guys & one-gal lineup. While you'll never catch Gwen Stefani with a fiddle, this gal Lisa Fuglie can really light it up. Monroe Crossing is Minnesota's premier bluegrass outfit. If you want to experience the definition of jamming, check these guys out.
Jerry Loughney, Above the Town 04/03
Dear Lisa, I trust you and Monroe Crossing had a safe trip back to Minnesota. It was a real treat to hear Monroe Crossing this weekend. The hard drive, great instrumentals and outstanding harmonies made for an unbelievable show. Above the Town was very happy to share the stage with you all. ...Again, great show this weekend and hope to run into you folks sometime soon. Take care and keep warm.
Robin Williams, Robin & Linda Williams 01/03
I enjoyed the CD....They did a good version of (the title track) "Across the Blue Mountains"....We do it a cappella and I never thought of it as a bluegrass song. But it works great in their hands. They really did a good job.
Pete Wernick 12/02
I enjoyed the CD ("Then Sings My Soul")...The tone is excellent. The band sounds confident and together both instrumentally and in harmonies, and the cross-picked mandolin is a real standout.
Sue Edwards, Tina & Lena 09/02
WOW! What can I say but, "WOW!" You were fabulous yesterday at the Grape Stomp. Everyone loved you. One line you could use somewhere that has rung true for me every time I have heard you is, "Once you sit down and listen and watch Monroe Crossing, you just can't get up and walk away - the only way you can go home is when they stop...and they go home." ...You are magnetic. There is a comfort and happiness that happens when you watch all of you interact... and then when you play, it's sooo incredibly exciting. You've got everything it takes to just get bigger and bigger. YES! ...Thanks for a great afternoon yesterday!!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!
Marvin O'Dell - Bluegrass Express, KCSN, Northridge CA. 09/02
I've been playing from your recent album "Across the Blue Mountains" ever since it came out - one of the best bluegrass releases of last year, by the way...You guys are putting out quality bluegrass music, and I can't wait to introduce this gospel material ("Then Sings My Soul"). Thanks again.
Brother Bill Kaul - Bluegrass Saturday, WXPR, Rhinelander WI 06/02
Thank you so much for sending your latest CD "Then Sings My Soul." It's a wonderful collection of gospel songs. Keep up the promotion of Bluegrass music.
Patty Wetterling, Millstream Arts Festival 01/02
I really enjoyed working with Monroe Crossing for the Millstream Arts Festival. Your high energy, exceptional talent was a wonderful addition to the festival and drew festival goers towards the stage. Thank you so much. I was personally grateful for the assistance with the sound system as well....I wanted you to know that it was a real treat to have you participate in the festival. Thanks again.
Rob Davidson - QBN-FM, Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia 12/01
"Across the Blue Mountians" is great stuff. We don't hear a lot of Bluegrass in Australia. I truly love this CD...and I will be putting track to air on a rotational basis over the coming months. I think your music is great.
Liz Anderson, The University Register, University of Minnesota Morris 09/01
Last Friday night the Common Grounds Caffe was exactly that, a common ground for everyone in Morris to come together to hear some great bluegrass. Listeners of all ages received a spectacular mix of vocals, picking, and strumming. The music held a distinctive appeal to me, and the rest of the crowd...most were taping their toes or clapping along. They seemed to respond to all of the songs whether upbeat or mellow with the same enthusiasm. Towards the end of the second set, they started to play requests, many of which the band had never played before. However, they performed them just as though they had been practicing them for weeks. One audience member requested a song and actually went on stage to perform with the group. Overall, the group did a fabulous job keeping the audience entranced...by providing a show second to none in their class.
Neal Backues - Bluegrass World 09/01
...Monroe Crossing is certain to be one of the driving forces that brings what was once only music of the South to the northern most parts of America.
Rik James - Americana Backroads, KGLT, Bozeman MT 08/01
"Across the Blue Mountains" is lovely. Real nice material, well done!
Katryn Conlin - Inside Bluegrass Magazine 08/01
Benji's banjo playing sounds great...so tasteful and innovative. If I were from 'somewhere else' and heard "Across the Blue Mountains" and didn't know anybody on it, I would still be impressed!
Brother Bill Kaul - Bluegrass Saturday, WXPR, Rhinelander WI 08/01
"Across the Blue Mountains" is great! We'll give it all the air time we can!
Dick Nunnelly - Inside Bluegrass Magazine 01/01
The pacing was good, the vocals were tight and powerful, and the instrumental work was (predictably) first-class.