Blue Moon Rising
Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1600 Kessler Blvd. East Drive
Sunday, Feb. 10, 4 p.m., free
(donations accepted for Gleaners Food Bank), all-ages
Visit nearly any bluegrass festival and you’ll see several homegrown or regional acts. Bluegrass, perhaps more than any other genre except punk, inspires a DIY attitude: People of all ages and occupations pick up instruments simply for the love of the music. Out of those ranks some aspire to go full-time, but to do that, you need something to set you apart from the weekend warriors.
Blue Moon Rising rises above the fray because of the tag-team of Chris West and Keith Garrett, both strong songwriters and great vocalists.
Blue Moon stays active on the road with over 60 dates a year, and they’re booking more gigs as they’re becoming better known. From festivals to private shows, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based group plays all over the South, East and Midwest with occasional treks to that bastion of bluegrass, North Dakota.
“Those fans in North Dakota are honestly one of the best crowds we’ve ever played to,” West says.
In addition to their regular shows, the band does their best to spread the bluegrass gospel by going to elementary and high schools, as well as colleges, to talk about the music and teach the students.
As the band rolls into Indianapolis for the first time, they are gearing up for the release of their new album, due out in March. Co-produced by the band and Rick Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder guitarist Cody Kilby, the album will showcase West and Garrett’s songwriting, as well as drawing from legendary songwriters like Fred Eaglesmith, Townes Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen.
The concert is free, with donations of canned or packaged goods accepted for the Gleaners Food Bank. The band looks forward to taking part in an event that benefits the community.
“We’ve played several shows like that and those are actually good to be a part of,” West says. “I like it, the whole band does as well. When the opportunity presents itself, it’s always good.”