Backyard Bluegrass with Randall Hylton

By Wally Stewart

I recently stumbled across some fun "in my own backyard" while I was in another "neighborhood." At July's Kentucky Music Weekend in Louisville I listened to bluegrass artist Randall Hylton for the first time and thought, "Here's a gem!" Later someone said to him, "We'll see you in Scottsburg on August 20th." Since that's the small Indiana town where my house is, I decided to investigate.

What I found was a monthly open stage for members of the Hoosier Hills Bluegrass Music Association, a group spread throughout Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky. Thirty-minute sets run from 7:00-11:00 p.m. and Music City resident Hylton performed as a special guest. He thoroughly delighted a crowd of 200 with humor, stories, and superb acoustic playing. A favorite feature of his too-short appearance was impersonations of famous musicians Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., and others singing "Salty Dog." This almost split the barn open with laughter, and Randall was surrounded with applause and fans as he left the stage.

The open stage operates on 3rd and 5th Saturdays at Richie's Square Dance Barn (formerly Miner's Barn), approximately 4 miles west of the I-65 Scottsburg exit. Bands from Scottsburg and other areas were on the program and some pickers came early to jam. It is a family show and information is available at 812-883-5548. For players and fans of traditional bluegrass music it's a good time.