On Labor Day weekend Murray State’s NPR Station, 91.3 WKMS-FM, broadcasts a total of five hours of music from ROMP 2012 in Owensboro, Kentucky, portions of which the station broadcast live in late June from Yellow Springs Park thanks to the International Bluegrass Music Museum which puts on the festival annually.
On Sunday, September 2, WKMS offers a three hour bloc of its Labor Day weekend special concert from 1 to 4 p.m. culminating with headliners Pokey LaFarge and South City Three from 3 to 4 p.m. The groups Town Mountain and 23 String Band open the show from 1 to 2 p.m. The high-energy Boston-based group The Deadly Gentlemen have the 2 to 3 hour all to themselves. WKMS pre-empts the regular programs The Jazzman Show at 1 p.m. and American Routes from 2 to 4 p.m. only for this Sunday’s special.
Pokey LaFarge and South City Three hail from St. Louis and are known to West Kentuckians for “Riverboat Soul” shows at Maiden Alley Cinema Theatre in Paducah. Their mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing makes them among the most innovative of the purists performing American roots music today.
The Asheville, North Carolina, Bluegrass Band Town Mountain is traditionally based but reaches out into the broad horizon of string band music. They toss influences as varied as surf-rock, gospel, and honky-tonk country into their field of play. 23 String Band is out of Louisville, Kentucky, and is described as folk, hillbilly, old-timey and bluegrassy.
The Deadly Gentlemen out of Boston is a five member band that says it plays “epic folk and grasscore.” Instead of having a lead singer, the group uses a nonstop orchestration of somewhat unconventional vocals, with everybody in the band doing everything they can. This group, which features David Grisman’s son Sam on bass also stirred great excitement among the crowd at ROMP.