This man is smiling because bluegrass is back

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Dick Kimmel is a friendly guy anyway, and that certainly comes through in the photo by Minnesota Public Radio News’ Jennifer Simonson Oct. 12, 2012, near his New Ulm home.

Dick’s joy is due in part to the fact that as a retired Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist he has more time to pursue bluegrass music.

He’s also helping expand the population of bluegrass musicians by convincing New Ulm resident Jerilyn Kjellberg, a gifted vocalist, to join his band.

More recently, Dick’s 16-year-old son, Ian, has formed his own bluegrass band.

You can learn more in my Minnesota Sounds and Voices radio report this afternoon on All Things Considered on the Minnesota Public Radio news stations.

It’s possible there’s an added bluegrass bounce in Dick’s step based on recent news developments.

Those MacArthur genius grants? The ones where recipients receive half a million to do with what they wish? Well, one of the recipients is a bluegrass musician.

Also, one of the chart topping groups in Great Britain these days is a folk/bluegrass group.

What does it all mean?

Maybe it’s time to buy a banjo, fiddle or mandolin and get on board.

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