Host: Darcy Whiteside
Noon - 1pm MT Sundays
The roots of bluegrass music can be traced back to the Appalachia region of the United States. A blend of English and Scottish folk music, Baptist and Pentecostal gospel, brother harmony, hillbilly/early country music and the blues resulted in a new genre of music, coined “bluegrass” after the name of Bill Monroe’s band – considered the originator of the genre – Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys.
Since then, the music has expanded worldwide, and bluegrass artists have balanced the firm traditions of the genre while exploring innovation. The CKUA Bluegrass Hour celebrates the innovators and the traditionalists. From the classic to contemporary, progressive acoustic bluegrass and everything in between – host Darcy Whiteside explores the entire genre of bluegrass, with a little old-tyme music thrown in as well. Additionally, the CKUA Bluegrass Hour is a strong supporter of the bluegrass community – whether it’s Alberta, Canada or across the world.
Being the host of the Bluegrass Hour on CKUA is a dream come true. I hope to share with the listeners the music and stories of the small, vibrant bluegrass community that I have been so fortunate to be a part of.
I have played with the Edmonton bluegrass band, The Bix Mix Boys, for the past ten years. I teach banjo lessons and host “Bluegrass 101,” a workshop that covers the fundamentals of bluegrass music for all levels of players every Wednesday with the Northern Bluegrass Music Circle Society in Edmonton.
Growing up on a farm in the small town of Didsbury, Alberta, the radio or record player filled our house with country and bluegrass music. A family friend who knew our love of music brought over her guitar and banjo for us to play. My sister was given first pick, leaving me with the banjo at the age of 10. The Canadian banjo champion, Jake Peters, moved to Didsbury when I was in my teens. He became my teacher and mentor and I never looked back.
In my 20s, I started playing with the band Maple Creek as well as the folk band, The George Bushes. I learned the finer points of bluegrass harmony and became exposed to a broader scope of bluegrass and acoustic music, from the pioneers of bluegrass and old time music to more progressive bands and everything in between. My radio life started with CJSR, co-hosting the bluegrass show with friend and bandmate Jim Storey. Through touring, hosting the radio show and playing festivals, I have been able to meet a lot of bluegrass musicians and fans. With CKUA, I feel that my family just got a whole lot larger.